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EPSRC funded PhD Studentship in Diamond Science and Technology (PhD Studentship)

Reference Number: R2205
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Level of Study: Postgraduate Research
Regions: EU (Non UK), UK
This funding opportunity is now closed for application

The Diamond Science and Technology (DST) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) involves a consortium of eight UK universities (Warwick, Aberystwyth, Bristol, Cardiff, Imperial, Newcastle, Oxford, and Strathclyde, forty academic partners) and over thirty companies, along with many international partners. Students will undertake a purpose designed MSc (Year 1) in Diamond Science and Technology based at Warwick University, but taught by academics from partner universities and industry. As part of the MSc students will undertake two, ten week mini-projects at two different universities (or industrial partner) which link to the theme of their chosen PhD (years 2-4). You are strongly encouraged to contact the lead PhD supervisor to discuss the project before making an application.

Project title: Novel multiphoton microscopy of living cells using nanodiamonds

Optical microscopy is an indispensable tool in cell biology, and is still the only practical means of obtaining high spatial and temporal resolution within living cells and tissues. Solid state inorganic nanoparticles hold a great promise as optical labels in the quest for microscopy with superior photostability and reduced toxicity. Recently, nanodiamonds (NDs) have gained world-wide attention due to their inexpensive large scale synthesis, particle sizes down to few nm, high bio-compatibility and the simple and versatile surface bioconjugation of organic chemistry [1]. Their application in optical microscopy of living cells is however still at an early stage.

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate a new imaging modality with NDs as optical labels that will enable the observation of living cells with a superior combination of photostability, absence of phototoxicity, high three-dimensional spatial resolution and molecular specificity. The technique will visualise NDs via coherent nonlinear light-matter interaction effects, namely electronically resonant Four-Wave Mixing (FWM) and vibrationally resonant Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering (CARS) [2]. In a recent pilot study we have demonstrated CARS of single NDs in the 100nm size range, and deduced a sensitivity limit down to the 20nm size. The purpose of this project is to push the technology further into imaging small NDs inside living cells, and use specifically-designed surface bioconjugation such that NDs are internalised via targeted endocytic pathways. [1] V. N. Mochalin, O. Shenderova, D. Ho, and Y. Gogotsi, Nature Nanotechnology 7, 11 (2012); [2] A. Zumbusch, W. Langbein, and P. Borri, Progress in Lipid Research 52, 615 (2013).

Supervisors: Prof. Paola Borri, Dr. Oliver Williams, Dr. Phil Davies

Start date: MSc in Diamond Science and Technology: October 2014 (Warwick University) followed by PhD in Biosciences: Ocotober 2015 (Cardiff University)


One studentship is very generously funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The full award will cover full tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and a stipend at Research Councils UK (RCUK) announced levels (for 2013/14 £13,726 p.a., updated annually).


Residency: To be eligible for this full EPSRC award (stipend and fees) a student must have: Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).

Academic criteria: Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a 2.1 degree or higher in either Physics, Chemistry or a related discipline.

How to Apply

You must apply to both Warwick for the MSc using the Warwick Online Application Form - state MSc in Diamond Science and Technology - and Cardiff University's Doctor of Philosophy (Biosciences) (October 2015 Start), using the Cardiff Online Application Form, stating "Novel multiphoton microscopy of living cells using nanodiamonds " in the research project title and "EPSRC funded PhD Studentship in Diamond Science and Technology" for funding.

The deadline for all applications is 31 July 2014

Cardiff University reserves the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Further Information

For further information please visit the Centre for Doctoral Training in Diamond Science and Technology website