Marsden PhD Scholarship – Structure and Reactivity in Nanostructured Ionic Solvents

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 01 Dec 20192

Closing date: 02/12/2019
2nd December
Value of Award: Full tuition fees plusStipend $27,500 per annum
No. of awards: One
Tenure: Up to three years, subject to satisfactory progress.

A Marsden funded PhD scholarship including all tuition fees and a tax-free stipend is available to work with Dr Cameron Weber in the School of Science at the City Campus of the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in Auckland, New Zealand.

Chemical reactions require that reacting molecules are in physical contact. Nanoscale segregation of molecules into compartments can provide control over the order and rate at which they react. This enables reactions featuring complex or incompatible compounds to be performed selectively and simultaneously, an effect that is widely exploited in biological systems. This project will explore the use of the inherent nanostructure of ionic solvents that exhibit well-defined nanoscale domains to control the outcomes of chemical reactions through compartmentalisation effects. This will include the design and synthesis of new classes of nanostructured ionic solvents and the investigation of their nanostructure using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques. The kinetics and selectivity of model organic reactions will be used to assess the reactivity and dynamics of molecules and ions within nanostructured ionic solvents and these findings used to perform conventionally incompatible reactions using a one-pot approach. It is expected that the outcomes of this project will contribute towards the design of chemical syntheses that proceed with unprecedented efficiency as well as the development of these solvents for green chemical applications such as biomass processing and the remediation of hazardous waste.

Selection criteria:
  • 1.  Applicants must have completed a MSc or a BSc (Honours) degree in chemistry, with first class Honours or equivalent, and with a focus on synthetic or physical organic chemistry. 2.  Experience in the synthesis or use of ionic liquids is desirable but not essential. 3.  The successful candidate will demonstrate enthusiasm and have an outstanding academic record and be prepared to conduct the doctoral study at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) based in Auckland, New Zealand. 4.  Applying for a scholarship and admission into AUT are separate processes at AUT. Applicants must fulfil all conditions for admission to the Doctoral Programme in AUT. These can be found on the AUT University website 5.  Requirements for the Doctoral programme include having completed the required academic qualifications for direct entry and meeting the requirements for English language proficiency. Minimum English language requirement for international applicants – IELTS scores of 6.5 overall with 7 in writing and all other bands 6.0 or higher.  A high proficiency in English is essential. Note: The award of this scholarship is conditional on acceptance into the AUT doctoral programme.  International applicants should contact [email protected] for advice regarding the admissions process for international students.

General Information:

How do students apply?
Applicants must apply by email to Dr Cameron Weber at [email protected] attaching: - A cover letter describing your research experience and your interest in this project - A curriculum vitae. - Academic transcripts and certificates for any previous tertiary study completed at a university other than AUT. - Two academic referee statements sent directly by the referee and in confidence to Dr Weber by the closing date.

Decision makers
Selection will be based on demonstrated strength in the following: - the applicant’s academic record  - past research experience and publication record (if appropriate) relevant to this project - the referees’ statements

How and when do students learn of the decision?
As soon as possible after the closing date. The Selection panel’s decision will be final; if suitable applicants are not available the panel will not award the scholarship. The position may then be re-advertised.

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?
1. The stipend cannot be released until the successful applicant is enrolled in the PhD programme at AUT. 2. The start date will depend on the completion of AUT enrolment and obtaining a student visa (if required).  The scholarship is to be taken up no later than March 2019 unless otherwise negotiated. 3. The successful applicant must be prepared to commit full-time to their programme of research. 4. The successful applicant will be required to sign an AUT Research Scholarship Contract. Please refer to the Regulations for all conditions.

Additional information
CLOSING DATE:  Applications will close on Sunday, 2nd December 2018. If an appropriate candidate is not identified the scholarship may be reopened.

Who else has information about this award?

For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact:

Auckland University of Technology

Phone: +64 9 921 9837

Email: [email protected]

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