PhD Opportunities

The School of Chemistry has opportunities available to work on sodium-ion batteries with Dr. Rob Armstrong, Professor John Irvine and Professor Russell Morris at the University of St Andrews. These studentships will be fully funded by the University of St. Andrews for UK and EU applicants and are linked to a Faraday institution funded project. NEXGENNA led by St. Andrews. The relatively low cost of sodium ion batteries makes them potentially attractive as a next generation technology, particularly for static energy storage applications and low-cost vehicles. The St Andrews activity in this consortium relates to both positive and negative electrodes and to scale-up activities

Layered sodium transition metal oxides for sodium-ion batteries. This studentship with Dr. Rob Armstrong will focus on investigating layered materials as candidate positive electrode materials. Work will involve synthesis, characterisation including diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and microscopy, and electrochemical evaluation.

Scale-up of sodium-ion batteries. This studentship with Prof. John Irvine will focus on the scale up of sodium-ion batteries and will involve working closely with industrial partners in the consortium. This will include the scale-up of synthesis and pouch cell fabrication and evaluation.

Organic negative electrode materials for sodium-ion batteries. This studentship with Dr. Rob Armstrong and Prof. Russell Morris will focus on the synthesis and characterisation of novel conjugated dicarboxylates for use as negative electrodes and their testing in electrochemical cells.

Applications are invited from outstanding UK and EU students, who hold a first or upper second-class degree or equivalent. Successful candidates will receive an annual stipend in line with RC-UK rates and payment of their tuition fees. Applicants should be available for interview on selected dates.

Contact for further information or initial enquiries to Dr Rob Armstrong at, Professor John Irvine at or Professor Russell Morris at

Applications can be made through the University of St Andrews online application form at

Electrochemical Switching of Emergent Nanoparticles for Promotion of Catalysis – PhD Student

The constrained production of nanoparticles is a very powerful and extensive phenomenon that we have recently elaborated.  The dispersion, stability, versatility and coherence with the substrate impart quite significant properties to the well-ordered array of emergent nanoparticles. Emergent nanomaterials provide very significant surface-particle interactions and promise new dimensions in catalysis and in electrochemical devices. Exsolved metals can react to form compounds whilst maintaining the integrity of the nanostructural array and this offers much potential for further elaboration of the concept. Recent progress has shown that this process can be driven electrochemically in fuel cell type devices and that thermally produced emergent base metal oxide structures can compete successfully with commercial platinum group metal catalysts for NO and CO oxidation. Here we seek to utilise electrochemical means to develop carefully controlled emergent nanoparticle arrays that we can utilise in different catalytic applications.

Contact for further information or initial enquiries Professor John Irvine at

Applications can be made through the University of St Andrews online application form at