PhD Position: Food Science and Nutrition

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PhD Position:

Structure formation and functions in hybrid lipid-polymer electrospun membranes

Location:  Leeds University, Leeds, UK
Schools: School of Food Science and Nutrition
Application deadline: Friday 25 February 2022
Project start date: Saturday 1 October 2022
Country eligibility: International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding: Competition funded
Source of funding: Doctoral training partnership
Supervisors: Dr Amin Sadeghpour Dilmaghani
Additional supervisors: Prof Brent Murray, Dr Evi Paximada, Dr Lee Roberts
Reference:  PGR-P-1181

The aim of this project is to investigate the structure-related functions of biomimetic lipid-polymer hybrid nanofibre membranes. The nanofibers morphology will be controlled during electrospin processing and by incorporation of lyotropic liquid crystalline (LLC) phases. Namely, bicontinuous cubic phase comprised of intertwined channels network, hexagonal phase with tubular-shaped structures or planar lipid self-assemblies will be incorporated within the polymer fibres. Nanomechanical properties will be investigated by in-situ X-ray scattering, tensile and complementary imaging techniques. The project will then explore interactions of adipocytes and skeletal muscle cells with the nanofibre membranes and their control of cellular growth and patterning. The work will therefore contribute to innovative engineering of functional materials for a wide range of applications, including biomedical scaffolds, implants, coatings and cultured meat products.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the University’s website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is Structure formation and functions in hybrid lipid-polymer electrospun membranes  as well as Dr Amin Sadeghpour as your proposed supervisor.

You will need to apply for programme code “PHP-ENVE-FT” which is EPSRC DTP Environment.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English language requirements (below).

We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Entry requirements

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The applicant may also have MSc degree in food science & nutrition, physical & environmental sciences, biomedical engineering, or related area.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

Funding on offer

This 3.5 years EPSRC DTP award will provide full tuition fees, a stipend at the UK research council rate (UK Sterling 15,840 for 2022/23), and a research training and support grant.

Contact details

Please contact Dr Amin Sadeghpour (a.sadeghpour@leeds.ac.uk) if you wish to discuss the project details.

Any enquiries about the application procedure can be sent to ENV-PGR@leeds.ac.uk which will come to this Graduate School Office Admissions Officer.

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