Join the group

  • Find current job opportunities in the research group.

    We currently have no research positions advertised. Specific open vacancies will be advertised here when they come available.

    Applying for an externally-funded independent Research Fellowship?

    We welcome enquiries from highly qualified candidates who are looking for a host department for a fellowship application, including for those funded by EPSRC, JSPSRoyal SocietyRoyal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

  • Apply for our World-leading St Andrews PhD Scholarship by 1st March 2021.

    The growth of resistance to antibiotics means that antimicrobial resistance (AMR), including bacteria, fungi and viruses, could overtake cancer as a cause of death. Finding novel approaches to combat (multidrug resistant) bacteria has therefore become very important. This project will explore an the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) to kill bacteria and other pathogens. PDT is a treatment which uses light in combination with a light-sensitive drug to generate reactive oxygen species that then kill neighbouring cells. It is used in many parts of the world to treat common skin cancers (e.g. basal cell carcinoma). So far, PDT has used large and expensive hospital-based light sources, notably lasers, filtered lamps or large arrays of LEDs. These cumbersome light sources have limited its use to specialized centres that have the particular equipment required. In this project we will explore organic light-emitting diodes as compact, lightweight and wearable light sources for PDT, together with a new technique to measure their effectiveness.

    This World-Leading St Andrews studentship is a collaboration between the Schools of Medicine and Physics and Astronomy and will be supervised by Dr Robert Hammond, Professor Stephen H. Gillespie, and Dr Ben Parcell (School of Medicine) and Professor Ifor D. W. Samuel (School of Physics and Astronomy).

    Further details on how to apply.

    Applications are requested by March 1st, 2021.

  • Apply for our Global St Andrews PhD Scholarship by 27th February 2021.

    Organic semiconductors combine novel semiconducting optoelectronic properties with simple fabrication and the possibility of making lightweight, flexible devices. The purpose of this project is to make a new generation of organic semiconductors lasers, using a new class of light-emitting material. The project will involve studying the photophysical and lasing properties of the new materials and then develop lightweight flexible lasers made from them.

    This Global St Andrews PhD project will be supervised by Professor Ifor Samuel and Professor Graham Turnbull (University of St Andrews) and Professor Uli Lemmer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). The successful student is expected to spend half the PhD in Karlsruhe, and the other half in St Andrews.

    Full description of the project and further details on how to apply.

    Applications are requested by February 12th, 2021. ***now extended to 27th February, 2021***

  • Apply for this IBioIC funded PhD Scholarship.

    “Dial a wavelength” for exploiting the algal cell factory

    Microalgae are of value in a wide array of applications including pharmaceuticals and food supplements. Most algae use light energy and CO2 for growth, providing valuable by-products whilst sequestering waste CO2. They are of increasing interest as components of the Circular Economy as sustainable solutions for food, energy and water security. Photobioreactors can be used to grow algae, making use of surplus electricity from renewable power generation, however, new smart-lighting systems are needed that can optimise production.

    In this project a novel smart lighting system will be developed for photobioreactors that can adapt both intensity and wavelength during a growth cycle to target strains and specific bioproducts. LEDs will be combined with a custom-designed optical system and electronic control to achieve efficient light delivery throughout the growth reactor. The impact of illumination and wavelength will be assessed initially in laboratory-scale growth tests before subsequent scale-up and integration in industrial photobioreactors.

    This multi-disciplinary project will be supervised by Professor Graham Turnbull, in collaboration with Profs Linda Lawton and Christine Edwards at Robert Gordon University, and with Xanthella Ltd in Oban. The PhD Studentship is funded by the IBioIC Collaborative Training Partnership, and the appointed student will be part of the IBioIC CTP training programme.

    The main activities of the project will be designing and building the lighting system and algal growth tests. It will also include a substantial industrial placement at Xanthella. Training on algal culture and compound analysis will be undertaken at RGU, and once laboratory-scale tests have identified suitable growth methodologies, the lighting system will be adapted for integration with Xanthella’s commercial photobioreactors.


    Please direct informal enquiries to Graham Turnbull

    Apply for this project and IBioIC scholarship through the University’s PhD application portal.  (opens in new tab)

  • View all our advertised PhD projects, funding information, and how to apply.

    We welcome applications from well-qualified candidates to study for a PhD.  We have  PhD projects available across our research activities, with topics ranging from materials physics to optoelectronic devices, and their applications including in biophotonics, sensors, and communications.

    View a list of all our advertised PhD projects  (opens in new tab)

    Further information on funding, and how to apply for a PhD at the University of St Andrews, is available on the School of Physics & Astronomy Postgraduate Research Courses page (opens in new tab)