Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Faraday Institution funded D.Phil. studentship in cathode development and optimisation for high-power sodium-ion batteries.

Looking for a battery related career that contributes to creating a sustainable future? Keen to join a dynamic community of pioneering battery researchers seeking to find solutions to support a fully electric future?

The Faraday Institution Cluster PhD researchers receive an enhanced stipend over and above the standard EPSRC offer. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits, mentorship, internships, as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills, and aspirations. Read more and take a look at the bespoke training programme on offer.

High-power sodium batteries will be a game-changer. Made from abundant non-toxic elements, sustainable and safe, these batteries will expand the global availability of high performance batteries and open up new technological opportunities.

A fully funded 4-year studentship (DPhil) is available in the Department of Chemistry (Inorganic) at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Prof Bill David FRS working on cathode development and optimisation for high-power sodium-ion batteries. This DPhil, which will begin on the 4th January 2022, is part of NEXGENNa, a large interdisciplinary collaborative project focussed on sodium-ion batteries and funded by the Faraday Institution, a £42 million initiative to accelerate the electric vehicle revolution by overcoming the related battery challenges. The project brings together researchers from five UK universities and STFC to develop a new generation of high performance sodium-ion batteries.

NEXGENNa is focussed on accelerating the development of sodium-ion battery technologies by taking a multi-disciplinary approach that ranges from fundamental chemistry studies through to scale-up and cell manufacturing. The target of NEXGENNa is to put on the path to commercialisation a safe and sustainable sodium-ion battery with high performance, low cost and long cycle life.

The doctorate studentship will centre on sodium-ion cathode materials that are optimised for sustained high-power battery performance. Our technological challenge is to produce cathode materials that rapidly charge and discharge with excellent capacity retention. Our objective is to significantly exceed 1000 cycles.

This DPhil project will suit a graduate in chemistry or materials science who has a drive for research and enthusiasm in battery and energy storage technologies. Applicants must have, or expect, a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in Chemistry, or a related discipline such as Materials Science. A background in inorganic materials synthesis, materials characterisation (e.g. spectroscopy and thermodynamic measurements, and X-ray and neutron diffraction) would be advantageous. Computational and programming skills are desirable.

The successful candidate will be based in the Department of Chemistry (Inorganic) and will collaborate with the other member institutions of the NEXGENNa consortium: the University of St Andrews, University of Cambridge, University College London, Lancaster University and STFC.

For further details, please click on the link below:

https://www.faraday.ac.uk/opportunities/phd-studentships/

Find out more about the David Research Group and our research at:

https://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/people/bill-david#/  

The Faraday Institution Cluster PhD researchers receive an enhanced stipend over and above the standard EPSRC offer. The total annual stipend is approximately £20,000 (plus London weighting, if relevant) plus an additional training package worth £7,000. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits, mentorship, internships, as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills, and aspirations https://faraday.ac.uk/education-skills/phd-researchers/.

Application

In order to apply, candidates are required to do the following:

  1. Complete a Faraday Institution expression of interest form: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2K76M6V
  2. Submit an application comprising the following three documents:
  • cover letter summarising your research interests and suitability for the position
  • full curriculum vitae
  • contact details of two people who can provide a letter of reference

via email to graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk  (please CC: bill.david@chem.ox.ac.uk ), quoting: BD/Faraday/2022.

Application deadline: 12.00 noon UK time on Friday, 29 October 2021

Start date: 4 January 2022

For enquires relating to the application and admissions process please contact:

Aga Borkowska, Graduate Studies Administrator:

Email: graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk  

Tel.: +44 (0) 1865 272569

For informal enquiries regarding the research project please contact:

bill.david@chem.ox.ac.uk

Information about the programme of study is available at: DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry
Please note that submission of a formal DPhil application will be required at a later stage.

Diversity

The Faraday Institution is committed to creating a dynamic and diverse pool of talent for the fields of battery technology and energy storage. The University of Oxford is a Bronze Athena SWAN holder and the Department of Chemistry is a Silver award holder in recognition of its efforts to introduce organizational and cultural practices that promote gender equality and create a better working environment for all. The University of Oxford is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive learning and working environment where discrimination is not tolerated, where all members of the University can flourish and reach their full potential; where we engage with and learn from our community and where we affect positive change within the University and wider society. This is integral to our mission and vision as a globally leading university.

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