Innovative and new ways to self-assemble biomaterials

Start date

1 October 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

UKRI and/or University of Surrey

Funding information

We are offering the UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 per year) with an additional bursary of £1,700 per year for full 3.5 years for exceptional candidates. In addition, a research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is also offered. Full home or overseas tuition fees (as applicable) will be covered.


Do you want to work at the forefront of synthetic biology and active matter physics? This interdisciplinary project offers a unique opportunity to develop new innovative and sustainable biomaterials, which could have application in the field of biomedicine.

Inspired by the active and responsive behaviour of biological materials in nature, we aim to develop bio-inspired materials that mimic the unique multifunctionality and ability of living matter to self-assemble, self-repair, self-regenerate, respond and adapt to the environment in autonomous way. To this end, the student will use experimental bottom-up approaches to combine biological building blocks such as proteins from the intracellular space with engineering techniques to reconstruct synthetic active networks of biopolymers and motor proteins. By tracking and analysing the dynamics of these components, the student will characterise the interactions in such networks to understand their active dynamics and the phenomena of biological self-assembly from the nano to the macro scale. This can lead to controllable bioinspired living structures that will promote the engineering of the next generation of biomaterials that could be used in biomedicine.

Within a cooperative and nurturing setting, the student will acquire proficiency in experimental wet lab techniques essential for constructing these active systems. Additionally, they will explore a spectrum of microscopy methods, including confocal and epifluorescence, enabling visualization, tracking, and analysis of these systems. The student will take up the challenge of contributing to a more sustainable future by developing completely new technologies for the production of biocompatible materials that could be applied in biomedicine.

Eligibility criteria

Open to both UK and international candidates.

Up to 30% of our UKRI-funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Physics PhD programme.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Physics PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Isabella Guido

Studentships at Surrey

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