Multi-scale and multi-physics modelling of skin hydration

A fully funded PhD studentship in the area of skin care design, with opportunity to work with researchers from 6 leading European universities, 2 global industrial companies and 8 associated industrial partners.

Start date
1 October 2019
3 years
Application deadline
Funding source
EU Innovative Training Network of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), via Unilever
Funding information

A directly funded project for EU students where a funding amount of £18,000 is available.


Applications are invited for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) of EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) to be hosted at Unilever R&D Colworth in the UK. The position is for a fixed-term of 3 years and the successful applicant is expected to register for a PhD at the University of Surrey. This is one of the cohort of 13 ESRs of STINTS, an EU Innovative Training Network of MSCA, participated by six leading European universities, two global industrial companies and eight associated industrial partners.

The main aim of STINTS is to develop new scientific insight into the complex biomechanical, biophysical and biochemical pathways affecting skin integrity and barrier function, following the exposure of the skin to prolonged pressure and shear forces that ultimately results in skin response at a cellular level. Specifically, the research objective of this ESR is to develop experimental and in-silico methods to investigate how prolonged pressure and shear, influences skin hydration and transdermal water loss. The effects of skincare creams will be also investigated. Understanding skin hydration and transdermal water loss is critical for the mechanical integrity and barrier function of the skin.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary supervisory team in a vibrant setting of both academic research and industrial research and development. Unilever is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods, with an annual turnover exceeding €50 billion. The company’s brand portfolio includes household names such as Dove, Lux, Omo, Lipton and Wall’s. Unilever’s products are sold in over 180 countries around the world. Unilever R&D Colworth is one of Unilever’s six principal global R&D laboratories. Located near Bedford, Colworth in the UK, it is the home to Unilever’s Refreshment category, Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre, and Digital R&D.

Related links
Skin Tissue INTegrity under Shear

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for an ESR under the Horizon 2020 ITN Programme. In particular, they should be eligible to be appointed as an ESR in the UK by satisfying the following criteria:

  • to have less than four years research experience after Undergraduate/Masters graduation (this is cumulative research experience and does not include management/industrial or other work experience)
  • to not hold a PhD degree (PhD candidates under 4 years of registration and before completion may apply)
  • to have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for less than 12 months (cumulative) in the three years prior to their recruitment.
  • Have an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

Further information of the Marie Curie ESR eligibility and mobility rules can be found online.

How to apply

Applicants need to fill out the online application form via the Chemical and Process Engineering Research PhD course page.

Applicants need to upload your CV, English test results, degree certificates, transcripts and two reference letters for the application. 

In the application please indicate that you have talked to Prof Guoping Lian and that you intend for your PhD will be funded by the EU Innovative Training Network of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

Application deadline

Contact details

Guoping Lian
35 BC 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 683530

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