Nanoscale Electrochemistry and Healthcare Systems

Electrochemistry is an enabling science that addresses key problems of major societal relevance, spanning from energy conversion (e.g. fuel cells and solar cells) and energy storage (battery and water splitting technologies), to the development of advanced analytical tools for environmental monitoring and point-of-care medical diagnostics.

This PhD project aims to draw together different spectrum of interfacial science using nanoscale electrochemical approach (i) for the investigation of physicochemical processes at living cells (eg. brain cancer cells) and functional biomaterials (ii) establishing principles and methods to understand the interfacial heterogeneous process or mechanism of the cells and materials (iii) developing strategies to enhance the performance of functional materials for healthcare devices (eg. biosensors and cancer therapy).

This project will provide a platform that will address an important general problem in biotechnology, provides a great opportunity for considerable advances in fundamental measurement science and surface/interfacial science, modelling of electrochemical systems and also develop functional devices for the applications of biomedical device.

This is an ideal project for a PhD student who enjoys problem solving and interdisciplinary research, involving chemistry, biotechnology, microscopy, modelling, and data analysis. There will be a chance to learn many desirable scientific skills of wide applicability, embracing electrochemical methods, microscopy, instrumentation, surface chemistry, scientific programming and data visualization, as well as key transferable skills.

This project is suitable for students with a background in the Life Science, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, Data Science, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence. The successful applicants must have (or expect to obtain) at least the equivalent of a UK first or upper second-class degree in a relevant discipline/subject area. The studentship can commence either now or in September 2024, with the possibility of an earlier start based on your availability. Funding may be available on a competitive basis to exceptional student of any citizenship. Applications are welcome to those able to support themselves or with funding already arranged. Such applications will go through the same level of academic assessment.

Further Information: 

How to apply: Please submit your application by clicking on the 'Click Here to Apply Now' button and choosing an appropriate start date.  Please ensure that you include Dr Sharel's name and the project title in your application. Your application should consist of:

• Your CV and publications list (if applicable)

• Your full contact details

• A statement about your research interests

• A copy of the certificate for your Undergraduate Degree and Masters Degree (if applicable)

• Contact details for at least 2 referees

The next stage of the application procedure is an interview with the principal supervisor and another member of Edinburgh academic staff. You are encouraged to apply early before the close of the application window.

You will be notified of the outcome of the interview as soon as possible, normally within 4 weeks.

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Essential Experience:

• BSc and/or Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Data Science, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence

• a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent)

• Excellent spoken and written English and good communication skills (please see here for further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants)

• Experience using modelling and simulation techniques

• Literature surveys, documentation and reporting


Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU and International students - open to all UK and non-UK students globally. Applications are also welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: