PhD Studentship in Energy Materials Polyoxometalate-Based Electrocatalysts for Anodes in Electrolytic Water Splitting
Newcastle University Department of Physics and Engineering
United Kingdom

The studentship covers full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and an annual living allowance of £15,009. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: September 2019 for 4 years.

Application closing date: 28 June 2019.


The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project described below at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training.


This project will develop catalysts for electrocatalytic water splitting to produce hydrogen for sustainable energy solutions, using polyoxometalates (POMs) of vanadium, molybdenum and tungsten as alternatives to expensive precious metal catalysts. Several POMs have shown high activity, and in this project POM-based electrocatalysts will be used for the oxygen evolution reaction in a new type of reactor. Combining POM synthesis, reactivity and electrochemical studies with cell testing, the project will build upon recent results in POM chemistry (Errington) and electrolyser engineering (Mamlouk), in collaboration with Dr. K. Johnson (solid state NMR, Durham University) and Professor J. R. Galan-Mascaros (ICIQ, Tarragona), to establish optimum electrolyser conditions and anode configuration.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Name of supervisor(s)


Newcastle University: Dr John Errington (Chemistry) and Dr Mohamed Mamlouk (Engineering)


Durham University: Professor Karen Johnson (Chemistry)

Eligibility Criteria


The applicant is expected to have a 1st class honours degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or a related subject. The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

How to apply


You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.


All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

  • click on programme of study
  • insert 8208F in the programme code section and click search
  • select Programme name ‘PhD Energy Materials’
  • insert renu192in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code renu192and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.



For further details, please contact:, School of Natural and Environmental Science, Newcastle University.

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