Self-funded PhD students only

Project code



School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Open all year round

This is a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD studentship. This project is supervised by Dr Eugen Barbu.

Finely dispersed particulate systems play an important role in pharmacy and medicine. Their design, manipulation and usage require an approach that brings together fundamental concepts from chemistry, materials science, engineering, pharmacy, biology, medicine and nanotechnology.

This project will develop novel core-shell nanoparticulate systems that will be investigated for potential use in chemotherapy and biomedical imaging. You'll prepare and characterise nanoconstructs based on natural and/or synthetic polymers in combination with inorganic components (such as gold or super-paramagnetic metal oxides).

You'll also explore the biological interactions of these nanoconstructs with animal/human cells in vitro, and feed the results back into the design process.

This project is suitable for self-funded applicants with a very good degree in material/pharmaceutical sciences, bioengineering, chemistry or pharmacy and a keen interest in nanomaterials and their pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.

The work will include:

  • training in synthetic chemistry, material characterisation and analytical techniques (such as FTIR/NIR, Raman, NMR spectroscopy; HPLC, SEC, GC-MS), thermal analysis (TGA, DSC), nanoparticle formulation and characterisation (DLS, NTA), microscopy (fluorescence, AFM/SEM), tissue culture, live cell imaging and flow cytometry
  • collaborating with many different departments across the university, including Biological Sciences, Physics and Engineering.
  • access to a skills development program run by our Graduate School

This project will be carried out within the Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Research Group as part of the Institute of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (IBBS).

The experimental and analytical skills you develop during these studies will prepare you for further work in either academia or industry.


Self-funded PhD students only. PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

Please note: all students must also pay additional bench fees of £9,000 p/a.

2020/2021 entry (for October 2020 and February 2021 entries)

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a

International full-time students: £16,400 p/a

International part-time students: £8,200 p/a

PhD by Publication

External candidates £4,407 p/a

Members of staff £1,680 p/a*

2021/2022 entry (for October 2021 and February 2022 entries)

PhD and MPhil

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a* 

International full-time students: £17,600 p/a

International part-time students: £8,800 p/a

All fees are subject to annual increase.

PhD by Publication

External Candidates £4,407 p/a*

Members of Staff £1,720 p/a*

If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.

*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021. 

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

  • A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject.
  • Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Make an enquiry

For administrative and admissions enquiries please contact

How to Apply

To start your application, or enquire further about the process involved, please contact Dr Eugen Barbu (, quoting both the project code PHBM4721019 and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.

You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.

Interview date: TBC

October start

Apply now

February start

Apply now

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