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PhD studentship in Protein Physics and Nanofluidics

Fluidic Analytics

In collaboration with Fluidic Analytics, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications is inviting applications for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship commencing in October 2017.

The 4-year PhD studentship is available at the Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge. The student will be enrolled in the Sensor CDT which has a yearly intake of around ten students. The first year involves a highly interdisciplinary programme consisting of lectures, practicals and research projects covering a wide range of technologies and applications in sensing and imaging. Successful completion of the first year will lead to a Master of Research qualification (MRes) and optimal preparation for the PhD phase in years 2-4.

The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Tuomas Knowles, in collaboration with Professor Ulrich Keyser. The successful applicant will be working to develop nanofluidic approaches for selective trapping and characterisation of protein molecules and their complexes. Proteins underpin virtually all functional roles within a living cell, and form the active complexes through self-assembly, a process which is key to biological function, yet remains challenging to characterise using conventional biophysical methods. The objective of the present project is to explore the use of ultra-small volumes in nanometre scale channels to isolate specific proteins and measure their physical properties. The project will be undertaken both in the context of fundamental biophysics as well as with the view to explore applications in medical diagnostics. The project is partly funded through a collaboration with Fluidic Analytics Ltd; a dynamic Cambridge University spin off company that seeks to transform the manner in which proteins are characterised in the laboratory and in the clinic.

The successful applicant should have a strong academic background in Physics or Physical Chemistry or Engineering or a related discipline. Prior experience with microfluidics is not required. The candidate will be expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment.

For informal enquiries please contact Prof Tuomas Knowles (

To apply for this studentship visit:

Please note that, due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only available to UK and EU applicants.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday, 7 March 2017.