EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training
in Molecular-Scale Engineering
- a Centre for Nanotechnology
CDT student
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The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Molecular-Scale Engineering brings together internationally-leading researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield to train high calibre science and engineering graduates in the control of molecular organization and function at the nanometre scale.

Our Centre is dedicated to training doctoral scientists in new technologies for molecular scale engineering. It provides a carefully structured programme of taught, cross-disciplinary training, with hands-on access to state-of-the-art instrumentation, and the opportunity to pursue doctoral training with world-class academics working at the forefront of molecular scale engineering. A bespoke programme of cohort-building activities together with transferable skills and personal development has also been designed to complement the scientific and engineering training.

Course structure

The Universities of Sheffield and Leeds have over a decade of experience in jointly delivering Masters and Doctoral level training. Of particular importance are our nanofolio programmes in nanotechnology, the longest established and most successful in the UK, and we will draw upon these extensive resources for this Centre including extensive training in the basic elements of nanotechnology, nanofabrication and bionanotechnology.

We have designed a customized taught programme over two years interleaved with increasing PhD research, which combines lecture-based delivery with a challenging programme of laboratory-based training to immerse students in cross-disciplinary thinking.

New and distinctive elements of training include:
• an introductory residential conference, to help students orient themselves in the new field and get to know other members of the cohort and the academic staff involved in the Centre;
• an extensive advanced laboratory course, that will include, for all students, hands-on training in clean-room techniques, atomic force microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, for example;
• laboratory ‘rotations’ to enable students to sample different areas of research in the actual research environments before committing to their PhD programme of research;
• a programme of training that is not simply an MSc followed by a PhD, but which is instead a PhD with Integrated Studies;
• ‘student-centred’ learning programmes, in which a course of study is tailored to meet each student’s individual needs;
• a formal training element in transferrable skills, and a personal development plan;
• the opportunity for industrial placements with companies whose business relies upon molecular-scale engineering, and international placements in world-leading laboratories in the field;
• student conferences and a Summer School featuring international leaders in the field.

Because of the geographical proximity of Sheffield and Leeds, commuting between sites is straightforward, and is a proven model in our previous collaborative programmes. All necessary travelling expenses are provided by the programme.

Each student’s PhD research programme will be developed in conjunction with the student during their first year at the Centre, and will be based at either Sheffield or Leeds depending on the particular research project and required facilities.

Download a training plan.

For informal enquiries about the Centre, and for queries about the application process, please contact Professor Giles Davies (g.davies@leeds.ac.uk) or Professor Graham Leggett (Graham.Leggett@sheffield.ac.uk).