PhD Scholarships in the School of Science

Location
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Salary
$26,288-$29,288
Posted
13 Oct 2016
End of advertisement period
30 Oct 2016
Ref
555896
Contact
Sandy Chen
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

PhD Scholarships in the School of Science, RMIT University
Applications are invited for three cutting edge PhD research projects at RMIT University. RMIT is a global university of technology, focused on creating solutions that transform the future for the benefit of people and their environments.

Value and duration: The scholarships are valued between A$26,288-$29,288 per annum for up to 3.5 years.
Eligibility: To be considered for scholarship you must:
1. Hold (or be currently completing) a research-inclusive Masters degree, OR hold (or be currently completing) a first class honours degree in a relevant discipline.
2. Meet RMIT's entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy.
3. Be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident,

How to apply and further information. Please send a 1 page letter of motivation with a copy of your CV to the contact for each project.

Closing date: 30th Oct 2016

A. NH&MRC funded project with Dr Brett Cromer & A/Prof Toby Allen.
An exciting opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an NHMRC-funded project investigating the molecular mechanisms of general anaesthetic action. The project will focus on neurotransmitter-gated ion channels that mediate inhibitory signals in the brain (GABAA receptors) and are major anaesthetic targets, as well as a structurally well-defined bacterial homolog. The outcomes of the project will provide an in-depth understanding of the action of general anaesthetics and provide a rational basis for the development of safer anaesthetics, particularly for use in infants.

Project: Molecular mechanisms of general anaesthetics - a rational basis for safer anaesthesia.
The project is part of a collaboration between lead investigators Dr. Brett Cromer and Associate Professor Toby Allen, using a combination of cutting-edge experimental and computational approaches. Other collaborators in Brisbane and Paris will contribute to analysis of channel structure and dynamics. The successful candidate will primarily use experimental techniques of protein chemistry, molecular biology and electrophysiology to investigate how anaesthetics interact with and modulate ion channel function. In addition to an excellent academic record and demonstrated research capability, experience in any of these areas will be an advantage.

Applications and further information: Dr. Brett Cromer, brett.cromer@rmit.edu.au

B. Two ARC funded projects with A/Prof Daniel Gomez.
An exciting opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an ARC-funded project investigating plasmonic photochemistry: the use of metal nanoparticles to enhance the light energy capture, the charge separation and transfer at chemical interfaces. The project focuses on the design of metal nanostructures with targeted optical properties for applications in photochemistry, including the synthesis of high-value chemicals and chemical fuels. The expected outcome of the project is a detailed mechanistic understanding of the role of nanoparticle size, geometry and environment on their photochemical properties.

Project 1: Photochemistry with plasmonic super-absorbers of light.
Imagine a future chemical industry where chemical reactions are powered directly by sunlight! Using a combination of theoretical modelling, clean-room technologies and wet chemistry, the successful candidate will create nanostructures that are capable of absorbing nearly all incident visible light (super-absorbers), study their optical properties, and with collaborators in CSIRO, develop applications of these materials in synthetic organic chemistry. The project is part of a collaboration between RMIT University and CSIRO, and it involves the fabrication and synthesis of nanomaterials (RMIT), characterisation of their structural and optical properties and the discovery of novel photochemical reaction pathways (CSIRO). We seek chemistry/physics graduates interested in any of the following: synthesis, nanofabrication, spectroscopy.

Project 2: Nanoantennas for photocatalysis.
Using a combination of state-of-the-art nanofabrication in a clean room environment, and surface chemistry, the successful candidate will decorate the surface of metal nanoparticles with transition metal complexes. These complexes are known to be good photocatalysts but suffer from low absorption cross sections towards incident visible light. This problem can be overcome with metal nanoparticles which can act as nanoscale antennas to effectively capture and direct light to transition metal complexes. The project is part of a collaboration between RMIT University and CSIRO and it involves the fabrication and synthesis of nanomaterials (RMIT, MCN), characterisation of their structural and optical properties and the discovery of novel photochemical reaction pathways (CSIRO). We seek chemistry/physics graduates interested in any one of the following: synthesis, nanofabrication, spectroscopy.

Applications and further information: Daniel Gomez, Daniel.Gomez@rmit.edu.au

C. ARC project with Dr Joel van Embden.
An exciting opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD candidate to work in the field of solution-processed solar cells. At present, the manufacturing of solar panels involves expensive high temperature and high vacuum processes. The current bottleneck to achieving cheaper solar power is the ability to design new methods of manufacturing solar cells. The ability to print a solar cell in air at mild temperatures is unparalleled in its capacity to significantly reduce the cost of solar cell manufacture. This project will focus on the fabrication and characterization of novel solar cells using solution-based processes. We seek chemistry/physics graduates who are interested in any of the following: nanomaterial synthesis and characterization, thin film deposition, solar cell fabrication. Candidates with exceptional academic records may be eligible for a $5000 p/a scholarship top-up.

Project: Functional "solar inks" for printed inorganic solar cells.
The project is multidisciplinary and allows for exploration and innovation across a number of areas in the field of nanomaterials and device fabrication. Specifically, the project involves: (i) The synthesis of semiconductor inks using either metal-organic precursors or semiconductor nanocrystals; (ii) Exploration of thin film deposition techniques such as spin-coating or spray-coating; (iii) Investigation into innovative thermal, chemical, and gas treatment procedures to transformation of these thin films into efficient solar light absorbing layers; (iv) Characterization of these thin films using various spectroscopic techniques; (v) The fabrication of high efficiency solar cell devices. ?

Applications and further information: Joel van Embden, Joel.vanembden@rmit.edu.au