PhD Studentship in Nanotechnology Synthetic Transmembrane Molecular Machines

Supervisors: Dr Scott L. Cockroft

This is a tax-free stipend covering tuition fees and living expenses at the standard EPSRC rate

(commencing at ~£13,726 per year from autumn 2013-early 2014 for a period of 3.5 years).


Interfacing  biological  and  synthetic  components  provides  opportunities  for  the  creation  of molecular devices with applications in nanotechnology. The Cockroft group is developing single- molecule methods for constructing membrane-bound DNA and protein-based supramolecular devices.1

This  PhD  project  seeks  to  develop  the  first-ever  synthetic  transmembrane  molecular machines and to study their operation at the single-molecule level. The interdisciplinary nature of this project will provide training in a broad range of methods spanning the fields of chemistry and biophysics:

• DNA/organic synthesis of water-soluble molecular machines

• single-molecule detection using patch-clamp electrophysiology

• theoretical background in supramolecular chemistry and single-molecule biophysical techniques


Applicants should possess a steady hand and express a keen interest in DNA/organic synthesis, supramolecular chemistry and molecular machines. Applicants  should be in  possession of  (or expecting to obtain) a first class or upper-second class degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or other cognate discipline. To apply, email a copy of your CV to, via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Please include a brief description of previous research experience, and the contact details of two referees. 

The deadline for applications is  5pm (UK time) on 31 July 2013.  We cannot guarantee that late applications will be considered.

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Further information: Informal enquiries should be directed to

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4758,

1A. “A Single-Molecule Nanopore Device Detects DNA Polymerase Activity with Single-Nucleotide Resolution” S. L. Cockroft, J. Chu, M. Amorin, M. R. Ghadiri. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 818–820 (2008) Featured in:

Nature: “S upramo lec ular  Chem istry :  Embrac e the Base”

Nature Nanotechnology: “Na nopo r es: D etecting  DNA”

1B. “Biological Nanopores for Single-molecule Biophysics” M. Long, S. L. Cockroft. ChemBioChem.

1, 25-34 (2010)

To apply click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

*** Please note the University of Edinburgh vacancy website may be down for periods of time on 27 June 2013 for maintenance.
This will not affect any un-submitted applications which have been partially completed and saved by applicants. 
Once the site is back on-line candidates will be able to complete and submit applications.***

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