Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford
DPhil Studentship in Experimental Physical Chemistry
Dynamic control of nano-confined liquids

Start date between 10/2017 – 03/2018


Applications are invited from students interested in studying for a DPhil (Oxford’s doctoral degree, equivalent to PhD) under the supervision of Susan Perkin in the Surface Forces Research Laboratory, Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Oxford.
The vision of the research group is to discover how liquids behave at interfaces and in nano-scale films or pores.  We carry out delicate experiments to uncover physical principles and generate greater understanding.  Our science is of fundamental relevance to many areas of application such as state-of-the-art energy storage devices and nanomechanical systems. Currently we have particular focus on liquids containing a high density of ions; either ionic liquids or other highly concentrated electrolytes or polyelectrolytes. Their properties are of great interest technologically but often cannot be explained with existing theories.  Supported by funding from the ERC we now seek applications from keen and dedicated students wishing to work with our team. The nature of the project is flexible but likely to involve experiments to control adhesion and friction across liquid nano-films using electric and magnetic fields.
Applicants should have an undergraduate or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Physics, Chemistry), an interest in experimental work, problem solving and creative thinking. The University of Oxford provides world-class facilities for research and skills training; the College system in Oxford also ensures that graduate students are immersed in an international and academically broad community outside of their doctoral studies.
This studentship will cover College and University fees at Home/EU rate plus provide a maintenance grant at a UK Research Council rate – currently £14,553 per annum.
More information about the research group can be found on the group website (, and interested students are encouraged to contact Susan Perkin for more information:  After informal discussions, applicants will be required to submit a formal application using the online system found at
Queries related to application process should be directed to: