Postgraduate research opportunities

Coarse-grained Simulation of DNA

The PhD project will focus on coarse-grained modelling of soft biological materials such as DNA and potentially also the prokaryotic cytoskeleton. It will use large-scale computer simulations, state-of-the-art software and HPC facilities. Funding is available from 1st October 2019 for 3.5 years.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


30 April 2019


42 months



UK first-class honours (1st) or upper second-class honours (2:1) Master degree or equivalent degree in Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Applied Mathematics or a related subject.



Scholarships (fees and stipend) for 3.5 years is available on a competitive basis for Home/UK/EU students from 1st October 2019. Please contact the supervisor Dr Oliver Henrich ( for details.

Project Details

Funding for a 3.5-year PhD project at the Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow is available from 1 October 2019 for Home/UK/EU students.

During the last decade a number of mesoscopic, coarse-grained models of DNA have emerged, which can provide significant computational and conceptual advantages over atomistic models, leading often to three or more orders of magnitude greater efficiency. These models become indispensable for studying phenomena in the millisecond range and beyond, or when long DNA strands of tens of thousands of base pairs or more have to be considered.

This PhD project will focus on coarse-grained modelling of DNA and RNA and potentially also other soft biological materials like the prokaryotic cytoskeleton. Possible research directions range from DNA supercoiling or DNA-based nanomaterials to model development and can be chosen according to the student’s interests and skillset.

The applicant will join an exciting new interdisciplinary PhD programme as part of Strathclyde’s “Transformative Technologies for Future Nanomedicines” CDT, a collaboration between four Science and Engineering Departments. Access to Strathclyde’s newly upgraded HPC facility ARCHIE-WeSt and the UK’s National Supercomputing Service ARCHER will be provided. The PhD student will be based in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, which offers many attractions and ideal access to the Scottish Highlands and West Coast.

The applicant should hold a Master degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Applied Mathematics or a related subject, awarded with an equivalent of a UK first- class honours (1st) or upper second-class honours (2:1). Previous experience with numerical simulation methodologies including Langevin dynamics and advanced sampling methods, knowledge of a general-purpose programming language such as C/C++ as well as scientific software development would be highly beneficial.

Funding Details

Strathclyde Doctoral School CDT “Transformative Technologies for Future Nanomedicines”

How to apply

Informal enquiries can be made to the supervisor Dr Oliver Henrich (

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. Interviews will be held either in person or via Skype. The official start of the project is 1st October 2019.

To apply, please fill in the online form and send a cover letter (1 page), CV (up to 2 pages) and the contact details of 2 personal references to Dr Oliver Henrich (