PhD Studentship – Photocatalysis with Enzymes for Future Energy Technologies

Reference: MA01945

Closing date: 22 November 2013

We invite applications for a PhD studentship to work in the Reisner group on the development of the field of photocatalysis and photoelectrochemistry with enzymes for the generation of renewable fuels. The student will design photoactive materials and systems where enzymes such as hydrogenases and photosystem II are used to generate H2 and O2, respectively, from water sustainably during irradiation with sunlight. A focus is on the study of the largely unexplored interfacial electron transfer at the photoelectrode-enzyme and electrode-photocatalyst interface.  The project will improve our understanding of how to couple short-lived light absorption and charge separation with slow chemical catalysis and thereby provide a guide for the design of photocatalytic systems with relevance to future energy technologies.

The PhD student will work in a collaborative, international and multi-disciplinary research environment ranging from chemical biology, materials chemistry to spectroscopy, electrochemistry and photo(electro)catalysis. Particularly relevant to the project are recent publications on photoelectrochemical water oxidation with photosystem II (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 8332-8335 & J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 10610-10613) and photocatalytic H2 generation with hydrogenases (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2013, in press; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201306214). Further information about the work of the Reisner group (including a list of research articles) is available at:

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first-class honours degree (and preferably a Masters) in a scientific discipline that is relevant to the project. The studentship provides a maintenance grant and tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. Non-EU nationals can be considered only if they already have the means to cover the fees differential for overseas students.

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The studentship is available for 42 months from October 2014. Applicants should send by email a cover letter, CV, detailed academic transcript and the contact details for two professional referees to Mrs Inger Lomax, Department of Chemistry (email:

Please quote reference MA01945 in the subject line of your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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