Postgraduate research opportunities

Novel approach to control pharmaceutical crystallisation using heterogeneous nucleation

This project will take experimental and/or simulation approach to understand how to manipulate surface dipole layers and dispersion interactions to control nucleation rate and the direct formation of a particular polymorph.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


7 January 2020


31 August 2020


3.5 years


Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

Project Details

Control of crystallisation is essential in many applications across food (e.g. chocolate and ice cream), chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. Nucleation is the first step in formation of crystals but is a poorly understood phenomenon. It is well known that nucleation tends to occur at interfaces between the solution and container or vessel holding it or impurities within the solution. This project will investigate crystal nucleation at solid or liquid interfaces, and can be experimental, simulation, or both. The student will gain research experience in a variety of techniques, including high-throughput nucleation rate measurements, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, and molecular simulations.

The student will contribute to a lively and creative research environment and regularly communicate their work within the research team. In addition to undertaking cutting edge research.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Karen Johnston and Prof. Jan Sefcik in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering and will be closely linked with the Future Manufacturing Research Hub in Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation (CMAC), a world-class centre for manufacturing research and training working in partnership with global industry partners to transform current manufacturing processes into the medicine supply chain of the future (

The studentship is open to UK/EU candidates (subject to EPSRC studentship eligibility), who have (or expect to achieve) a good undergraduate degree in a relevant science/engineering discipline, and who are highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research. To apply please complete an online application. The studentship is available from October 2020.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Funding Details

This PhD project is fully funded for 3.5 years. Students from UK are eligible to apply.

Contact us

Miss Ewa Kosciuk

+44(0) 141 548 2835

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this project here – please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

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