PhD Studentship in School of Engineering (Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials)

Postgraduate Opportunities

Newcastle University

PhD Studentship in School of Engineering (Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials): Smart Hydrogels for Medical Applications: Experimental and/or Mathematical modelling studies

Reference code: ENG005

Closing date: prompt application is advised as this position is only available until a suitable candidate is found

Supervisors: Dr Katarina Novakovic, School of Engineering, Newcastle University

Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC (DTA)

Duration of the award: 3 years

Person Specification

You should have an upper-second-class Honours degree or higher or international equivalent, in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Materials or a related subject.

If English is not your first language, you should have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. You must also have the potential for performing original research.


Hydrogels are three dimensional macromolecular networks of crosslinked polymer chains which are capable of retaining large amounts of water due to the hydrophilic functional groups which they contain. This makes them ideal candidates for applications such as drug delivery, wound dressings and tissue engineering due to their similarity to organic tissue. This project aims at both experimental and modelling studies and therefore gives the opportunity to pursue studies and train in two interconnected areas to develop materials with particular characteristics that are able to carry and dispense cargo content (e.g. drug loading).

A particular task is the study of a novel ground-breaking class of responsive hydrogels that the Novakovic group is developing as part of the EPSRC funded project Personalised Pulsatile Materials.

Study information

Start month:

September 2018

Funding information

Funding applies to:
Open to applicants from a range of countries
Funding notes:

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,777 (2018/19). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants. In the case of outstanding international candidates it may be possible that the University will make an award to cover the difference in tuition fees.

Contacts and how to apply

Academic contact:

Please contact Dr Katarina Novakovic, School of Engineering, email: telephone: +44 (0)191 208 3683.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

If you are interested in the above project and meet the criteria you should send a CV, covering letter plus two references to

The successful applicant will then be asked to apply for University admission using the University’s online postgraduate application form. Unsuccessful applications will not receive an acknowledgement.

- insert the program code 8030F in the program of study section
- select ‘PhD in Chemical Engineering (FT) - Chemical Engineering' as the programme of study
- insert the studentship code ENG005 in the studentship/partnership reference
- attach a covering letter and C.V. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code ENG005 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
- attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.