Applicants interested in working in the Nanophysics and Soft Matter Group are encouraged to contact directly the academic staff member with whom they would like to work. Informal enquiries regarding future possibilities, or from those applicant eligible or wishing to apply for their own funding (e.g. through fellowship schemes) are encouraged to contact Dr Henkjan Gersen. Our current research pages and recent publications give a good idea of the current projects within the lab.
The best route is often through independent fellowships such as the following:
Applications through these schemes would be encouraged from the right applicant. In which case we will offer guidance and assistance in writing fellowship applications. Please contact Dr Henkjan Gersen if you are interested in exploring this option.
Overseas applicants might seek funding through the Marie Curie Actions or their own national agencies. Those interested in joining the group should contact Dr Henkjan Gersen.
The Group is heavily involved in the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN). This centre will in the first instance run for 5 years and applications will be accepted annually. The application cycle starts in Autumn each year. As a forefront group in Nanophysics, we are a core part of this centre and will be accepting students throughout its 5-year initial duration. Further information can be found on the BCFN webpages. Please note that fully funded positions in this programme are currently only open to UK applicants.
On top of the above options through the BCFN, the Nanophysics and Soft Matter Group is continuously looking for students of the highest international standards for whom PhD positions outside the BCFN are available through studentships from the School of Physics or external funders. Students are encouraged to contact the relevant member of staff directly or express an interest to Dr Henkjan Gersen who coordinates the recruitment of postgraduate students within the group and can put you into contact with the right academic(s) or arrange visits.
Details of all other PhD student vacancies in the group, typically open to UK and EU students only, can be found on our vacancies page and at www.findaphd.com.
Funding for EU and non-EU overseas students can unfortunately be complicated. Some information on overseas scholarships can be found at http://www.phy.bris.ac.uk/pgadmissions/funding.html#overseas. Students with independent funding are welcome to contact the group at any time by contacting Dr Henkjan Gersen.
There is currently a possible PhD studentship available at the life-sciences interface in open competition through the universities MRC Doctoral Training Programme MRC-DTG
This specific project jointly between biochemistry and physics would work on:"Analysis Of Integration Between Membrane And Cytoskeleton Dynamics Using Advanced Light Microscopy" - Supervisors: Professor David Stephens (Biochemistry, FMVS) and Dr Henkjan Gersen (Physics, FS).
The project is part of a 4-Year PhD Programme in Dynamic Cell Biology by the Wellcome Trust. The focus of this programme is the analysis of dynamic processes in cells which includes work in the Stephens group on membrane trafficking and the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Note that the application deadline for this potential project is the 16th of January.
To apply for this project please select ‘Faculty of Medical and Veterinary Sciences’ and ‘Biochemistry (PhD)(4-yr)’. Please also identify 'MRCDTG' as your fee payer in the Funding section of the online application.
More details of the project: The intricate relationship between endomembranes and cytoskeletal filaments governs the spatial organization, morphology, and function or organelles. Multiple cellular functions that coalesce around Golgi membranes are governed by small GTPases of the Rho family, Cdc42 being the most significant Rho GTPase at the Golgi. Recent years have seen the emergence of the septins as a critical component of this system; Cdc42 is known to dictate septin filament organization. Septin filaments act in concert with microtubules to direct trafficking around the Golgi. Septins also dictate the formation and function of primary cilia, a “cellular antenna” that integrates key signalling pathways essential to normal organism development and tissue function.
Through selective disruption of Cdc42, Golgi, or septin function, we will define how the classical structure of the Golgi apparatus is defined by septin filaments and vice versa. Septins adopt a highly conserved structural organization within filaments that can be detected by polarization fluorescence microscopy, allowing the subunit architecture of septin filaments to be analysed in an intact cell context. This advanced bioimaging approach will form a core training aspect of the work and would suit a biomedical science graduate with a keen interest in imaging or a biophysics graduate with a strong interest in cell biology. The project bridges the Biochemistry and Physics departments at the University of Bristol. You would be based in the Stephens lab in the School of Biochemistry within newly refurbished cell biology laboratories and the project will involve considerable mammalian cell biology using gene silencing and advanced light microscopy.
The Gersen lab, located a short distance away, will provide training in development and application of novel optical microscopy methods, notably fluorescence polarization. Successful PhD training is ensured through links to existing cell biology and nanoscience students in both labs as well as international collaboration. Informal enquires to David Stephens (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Henkjan Gersen (H.Gersen@bristol.ac.uk) are welcome.
Within our research area we are able to take on students to do a Master of Science by Research (MRes) for those that either fund themselves or who can find a sponsor to aid them. Applicants interested in this are encouraged to either contact directly the academic staff member with whom they would like to work or contact Dr Henkjan Gersen.
A one-year MSc programme is also offered by the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, with which the group has close ties.