- Type of research degree
- Application deadline
- Ongoing deadline
- Country eligibility
- International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
- Competition funded
- Dr David Head
- School of Computing
- Research groups/institutes
- Computational Science and Engineering
There is growing interest in the importance class of materials known as hydrogels, which are formed by the aggregation of small building blocks until they gel (or percolate) across the sample. This imbues the sample with rigidity, but also leaves pores which can be useful for e.g. drug delivery, diffusion of metabolites/nutrient for tissue engineering applications, and so on. Biopolymer-based hydrogels, such as those built from proteins which are a subject of experimental research in the School of Physics, are particularly appealing for healthcare applications due to their high biocompatibility.<br /> <br /> The mechanical properties of hydrogels are often crucial to their function. For instance, materials for wound healing must have a minimum strength, and substrates for tissue engineering can alter the cell types that derive from embedded stem cells. However, understanding and predicting the mechanical (and time-dependent mechanical, or viscoelastic) properties of hydrogels is challenging because of the way they form. Not only are they disordered, but they are typically fractal up to a characteristic size, both of which reduce the range of modelling tools that can be brought to this important class of material.<br /> <br /> This PhD project will be about developing mathematical and/or computational models to predict the viscoelastic response of hydrogels and/or general fractal materials, using the non-invasive characterisation to understand trends and make predictions for future materials and applications. The style of project will depend on the applicant's abilities and interests, but may take the form of (a) Developing molecular dynamics code, or similar, to simulate the formation of fractal structure with hydrogels, and use the same code to predict the resulting gel's viscoelasticity, along with other important metrics such as porosity. This mainly computational project will likely include contact with the nearby protein hydrogel experimental group in Physics. Alternatively, (b) Develop a range of schematic fractal systems in an attempt to fully characterise and elucidate the relationship between fractality and viscoelasticity. Mathematical and/or computer tools will be used to predict the viscoelastic response and explain the observed trends. This more mathematical project will apply to hydrogels, but also fractal-cut materials such as kirigami.<br /> <br />
<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University's website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Computing FT</strong></em> and in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Modelling hydrogels and fractal materials</strong></em> as well as <a href="https://engineering.leeds.ac.uk/staff/542/Dr_David_Head">Dr David Head</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul> <p> </p>
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 criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.
The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in writing and at 6.0 in reading, 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.
<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> –The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a> is available to nationals of China (open from October 2023). The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a> is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not </strong>covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>
<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e: <a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">p</a><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr David Head by email: <a href="mailto:D.Head@leeds.ac.uk">D.Head@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>