PhD Research Studentships

Thermoelectric Metal-Organic Frameworks: Design, Synthesis and Assessment

Apply by:31 May 2020

Thermoelectric materials are of great interest for energy research as they can convert waste heat into electricity. A new kind of hybrid inorganic-organic material, crystalline porous metal-organic frameworks, have recently been highlighted as desirable candidates for thermoelectric applications as they display very low heat conductivity with possibly high electric conductivity.

The project will initially focus on the synthesis of fused functionalised organic building blocks and their combination with the inorganic ones into frameworks in order to achieve 2D layered materials. The materials will display high electric conductivity with low thermal conductivity. Thermoelectric properties will be tested as part of the project, which will help optimise the materials’ composition and structure to obtain superior heat-to-current conversion. The project will involve a level of materials’ processing, including but not restricted to the synthesis of thin films.

The successful candidate will gain skills and knowledge in a broad range of techniques and scientific areas because of the interdisciplinary nature of the project, including elements of chemistry, materials science and physics. More importantly, the candidate will be involved in a cutting-edge research project with real-life applications.

The successful candidate will have first or 2.1 degree (ideally an MSc degree but in exceptional cases BScs will also be considered), a background in (synthetic, physical or inorganic) chemistry, materials science, or (condensed-phase, or applied) physics, with demonstrated experience in having worked in a laboratory (ideally in a wet laboratory), experience with framework materials (ideally metal-organic frameworks) or thermoelectrics is desirable but not essential.

EPSRC Research Studentship Details

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees) applicants must have: 

  • settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and
  • been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to October 2020. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences and
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (This does not apply to UK nationals).

(See: for more details)

  • Full Time programme only.
  • Applicant required to start in September 2020.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (set as £17,285 for 2020/21).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).

Supervisor Contact Details
For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Petra Ágota Szilágyi
Tel: 020 7882 7948

Application Method
To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Materials Science programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS EPSRC DTP PAS2’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.