We welcome applications and enquiries from candidates in the UK and overseas for both the MSc by Research and PhD programs which are available in all branches of chemistry.
The PhD programme usually takes 3-4 years to complete. Postgraduates make a vital contribution in research whilst developing a variety of skills in chemistry and transferable skills in other areas for example, oral and poster presentations both in Bristol and at conferences, report writing, team working, public engagement in science and health and safety.
The Graduate School offers a varied series of postgraduate lectures. There is an extensive research seminar programme with internationally leading scientists reporting their latest results in cutting edge research. Also available are special postgraduate courses run as part of the two Centres for Doctoral Training.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is awarded on the basis of the presentation and examination of a thesis and an oral examination (viva voce). Annual Progress Monitoring ensures satisfactory performance each year.
The MSc by Research programme usually takes 1-2 years to complete. The degree is awarded on the basis of the presentation and examination of a thesis and an oral examination (viva voce). An extensive programme of lectures and research seminars is available to all postgraduates.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. To make an application for a PhD or MSc in any branch of chemistry and /or the Bristol Chemical Synthesis Centre for Doctoral Training you should complete the on-line application form.
Please note that a research proposal is not required but you should indicate your general area of research interest (e.g. laser spectroscopy, organic synthesis, catalysis etc) and preferred supervisor(s) if known. It is not necessary to contact supervisors separately.
If you wish to apply to more than one programme e.g. a standard route PhD in Chemistry and the Chemical Synthesis CDT, please submit only one application and indicate on the form that you are interested in both.
For applications to the CDT for Functional Nanomaterials, please follow the instructions on their web-pages.
For enquiries regarding the Synthetic Biology CDT please email email@example.com
If you have any queries about completing the application form contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)117 928 8166.
We do not usually hold Postgraduate Open Days.
Candidates from the UK will be able to visit the Department once the completed application form has been submitted and 2 reference letters received. During the visit there will be opportunity to discuss research projects with several members of academic staff, to meet postgraduates and to see the facilities. Hence on completing the application form it is helpful if you indicate your general areas of research interests.
It is often not practical for applicants from the EU or overseas to visit the Department due to travel costs. Hence correspondence will be done through email and a Skype or telephone interview may be arranged.
For further information please contact the appropriate Postgraduate Admissions coordinator :-
If you are uncertain which of the above to contact, please email the Director of Graduate Recruitment: Dr Charl Faul
The School of Chemistry welcomes applications from enthusiastic and highly motivated students. Admission to the PhD or MSc by Research program is subject to the conditions set out by the University.
The standard entry requirement for the PhD program is an upper second-class honours degree (e.g. MChem, MSci) or equivalent is required. Applicants with a lower second-class honours degree (e.g. MChem, MSci) or an upper second-class honours BSc degree may be admitted if they can demonstrate good potential for research. The usual academic requirement for entry into the MSc by Research program is a first or upper second honours degree (BSc) or equivalent.
The School of Chemistry welcomes postgraduates from outside the UK and actively encourages applications from suitably qualified candidates. About 20% of our students are non-UK and we are delighted to have postgraduates from all round the globe. For information on international equivalent qualifications, please see our International Office website.
For applicants whose first language is not English, it is necessary to achieve a minimum score in an approved English language test specified in 'Profile F' of the University's English Language Requirements Policy.
Exceptionally, candidates may be admitted with the following English Language scores: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or TOEFL 86 overall with a minimum of 20 in Speaking and 18 in Writing, Listening and Speaking - successful applicants admitted on this basis will be required to attend approximately 30 hours of English language training, to be delivered over the course of their first year, to support them in their studies.
If you have not achieved this standard at the time of application do not despair. The University runs pre-sessional English Language courses and other Language Schools in Bristol offer similar courses allowing you to improve your English before starting working for your degree. These courses are at additional costs.
Living expenses: It is estimated that at least £10,000 per year will be needed for accommodation and living expenses.
Bench fees: £2 - 6K per annum depending on the research topic.
There are 3 distinct types of scholarship available:
Full Scholarship, which includes the cost of the overseas fee rate (approximately £17,000), an annual stipend of £13,700 and a contribution towards bench fees. There are two of these available.
Partial Scholarship, which includes the cost of the home fee rate (about £9,000), an annual stipend of £13,700 and a contribution towards bench fees. There are 2 of these. N.B. This scholarship would mean that the awarded students would be liable for the remainder of the overseas fee (approximately £8,000).
Bench-fee Scholarship, which is an award to cover the bench fees for the duration of their PhD (maximum value of £24,000 over the duration of a PhD project).
Please indicate on the standard application form if you wish to be considered for any of the scholarships listed below. There is no separate application process.
The School of Chemistry is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to assist with bench fees to applicants with exceptional research potential. No closing date.
Scholarships are available to cover the entirety of the fees (including bench fees) + living expenses at the standard EPSRC rate for the full period of the PhD programme. No closing date.
The School of Chemistry welcomes students from China to apply for a scholarship through the CSC. Prospective candidates should apply to the University of Bristol as soon as possible as they will need to have received their offer before 20/03/2014. Once an offer letter has been received, they must apply to the CSC for funding (deadline 04/04/2014). Full details, dates and eligibility criteria can be found here: http://www.bris.ac.uk/studentfunding/financial-help/chinaschols.html
DEADLINE for Nominations to the School of Chemistry: Monday, 17th of February. If you are a European student wishing to study in Bristol, please contact us directly about potential Scholarships.
Everett scholarship – joint funding from industry and the SoC, earmarked for the field of colloid science
We aim to recruit more than 60 postgraduates each year across a broad range of research including to the 2 centres for doctoral training: Bristol Chemical Synthesis and Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials. Applications are welcomed in all areas of chemistry at any time of year.
In general we do not advertise specific projects. Below are highlighted just a few of the many available projects for which funding is currently available.
If you require further information about opportunities for postgraduate research please contact the appropriate Postgraduate Admissions co-ordinator:-
If you are uncertain which of the above to contact, please email the Director of Graduate Recruitment, Dr Charl Faul
Please note: When using our online Postgraduate Application System select 'Chemistry PhD' in Programme Choice.
Solving the methane mystery using isotopic fingerprints (Matt Rigby, Chemistry, and Ed Hornibrook, Earth Sciences)Methane is second only to carbon dioxide in its contribution to man-made global warming. In 2007, global methane concentrations suddenly began to increase, following a decade with little change, and they continue to grow today. However, due to the complexity of methane sources and sinks, the exact causes of this recent surge are difficult to untangle. Understanding the Earth’s methane cycle is critical for evaluating the effectiveness of emission reduction schemes, detecting changes in sources and sinks that are influenced by climate feedbacks, and predicting, and perhaps mitigating, future methane emissions. This project will develop our understanding of this potent greenhouse gas by improving our ability to extract information from atmospheric measurements of methane and its stable isotopes. This project will be jointly supervised by Matt Rigby (Chemistry) and Ed Hornibrook (Earth Sciences). Expressions of interest should be made to Dr Rigby or Dr Hornibrook before December 2013. Further details can be found here: http://mrigby.scripts.mit.edu/blog/?page_id=175
One PhD. studentship funded by the EPSRC is available to work with Professor Jonathan Reid on the optical manipulation, characterisation and dynamics of aerosol particles, in particular studying the impact of aerosols on the atmosphere. The studentship is funded for up to 42 months, starting anytime in 2014 and is available for UK or EU nationals. Please contact Professor Jonathan Reid for further information.
Protolife-inspired Chemical Systems (x3 positions available). Three University of Bristol sponsored postgraduate studentships are now available in the newly established Bristol Centre for Protolife Research (School of Chemistry) under the leadership of Professor Stephen Mann FRS. The research involves the design, construction and utilization of new types of synthetic protocells based on biomimetic self-assembly. Projects will be highly interdisciplinary and relevant to emerging areas of self-organized materials, systems-based nanoscience, artificial cellularity, synthetic biology and bioinspired engineering. The work also interfaces with questions concerning the origin of life and the transition of non-living systems into primitive forms of living matter. Please click here for further details. Informal enquiries may be addressed to S.Mann@bristol.ac.uk.
Understanding the role of nitrogen in enhancing the growth of CVD diamond (Professor Mike Ashfold) A 4-year Ph.D. studentship is available through the recently announced Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Diamond Science and Technology to undertake research in the group of Professor M.N.R. Ashfold FRS in the School of Chemistry at Bristol.The mission of this CDT, which draws on the expertise and knowledge of staff in eight UK universities a wide range of industrial companies is to train a new generation of material and interfacial scientists, with an interdisciplinary skill-set that matches the requirements required to make transformative scientific breakthroughs and exploit the significant industrial opportunities provided by diamond science and technology. The successful applicant will spend year 1 (starting in October 2014) gaining a broad training in diamond science and technology while working towards an MSc degree (with fellow CDT students) at the University of Warwick. Thereafter, the successful applicant will move to University of Bristol and undertake 3 years of research aimed at understanding key aspects of the plasma chemistry that underpins diamond growth by chemical vapour deposition methods. The studentship is co-funded by Element Six Ltd , and will involve extensive collaboration with other teams within the CDT, with the York Plasma Institute and with plasma modellers at Moscow State University.
The studentship, which is available from 1 October 2014 for a period of 48 months, is restricted to UK and EU nationals. Application submission is a two-step process: You must apply to BOTH Warwick for the MSc using the Warwick Online Application Form - state MSc in Diamond Science and Technology - and your host institution for PhD studies. Further information can be provided by email@example.com
You are strongly encouraged to contact the lead PhD supervisor to discuss the project before making an application: Prof Mike Ashfold (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NERC Industrial CASE studentship: Comprehensive determinations of dissolved organic matter (DOM) at the molecular level to underpin enhanced river water quality assessments (Prof Richard Evershed FRS) The overarching aim of the project will be to develop the use of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICRMS) to determine DOM at the molecular level, then use the protocols devised to examine the behaviour and significance of DOM compounds in freshwater ecosystems. The techniques developed will have immediate benefits to the UK water industry by providing a high resolution approach to DOM characterisation. There will be wider interest in the methods and results due to increasing recognition of the role of DOM in ecosystem and human health worldwide. The research is highly complementary to NERCs Mactronutrient Cycles Programme, and will use the Defra DTC platforms for fieldwork. The molecular level understanding of DOM will yield enormous benefits for characterising agricultural and human sources and devising catchment management plans. Understanding the relationship of DOM chemistry to eutrophication is highly relevant to compliance protocols involving diffuse pollution from sewage treatment works and septic tanks. In headwater catchments stream DOM chemistry is relevant to assessing mitigation strategies. The student will gain from the multidisciplinary nature of the project which involves collaborations between researcher at the University of Bristol (Schools of Chemistry and Geographical Sciences) and the Food and Environment Research Agency. The studentship is for 48 months beginning in October 2014 and is open to UK nationals. The annual stipend will be enhanced by the industrial partner contribution. Further details can be found here. Please contact Professor Richard Evershed FRS with any queries
NERC funded studentship: Tracing the cycling and leaching of fertiliser N from agricultural land to water courses using novel environmental metabolomic and 15N-stable isotope approaches A 3.5 year NERC funded PhD studentship (jointly supervised by the Universities of Bristol (Evershed) and Bangor (Jones)) is offered to investigate the molecular level transformations of organic nitrogen in agricultural soils using novel 15N isotopic approaches. Soil cores from sites in the UK will be used to establish lysimeters which will be treated with a range of 15N-labelled amendments typical of those applied to agricultural soils. All samples will be analysed for their 15N-content using bulk approaches to provide a 15N-isotope mass balance. Soils and leachates will then be screened by fluorescence spectroscopy then investigated at the molecular level using Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FTICR-MS) and gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio MS (GC-C-IRMS) to determine the qualitative and quantitative differences in organic N leached from different soils under the different amendments. The data obtained will be used alongside conventional approaches for assessing N mineralization in soil (e.g. isotopic pool dilution). The behaviour of the 15N-label in the lysimeter experiments will assessed in short (hours to days) and long (weeks to years) time course incubations to investigate a range of effects, e.g. diurnal, seasonal, etc. The impacts of co-additions and plant cover on the nature of leached organic N will also be assessed. The student will join a team of researchers working on the NERC large grant "Characterisation of the nature, origins and ecological significance of dissolved organic matter in freshwater ecosystems" project led by Professor Johnes, University of Bristol. The studentship is open to UK or EU students (the latter qualify for tuition fees only).
For further details please contact Professor Richard Evershed
Updated 3 June 2014 by the School of Chemistry
School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TS, UK. Tel: +44 (0)117 928 8201