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49 PhD Degree-Fully Funded at University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England

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University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England invites online Application for number of  Fully Funded PhD Degree at various Departments. We are providing a list of Fully Funded PhD Programs available at University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England.

Eligible candidate may Apply as soon as possible.

 

(01) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: A Robotic Soft Matter Scientist: Transforming the Sustainability of Personal Care Products

The world needs to increase the sustainability of its consumer goods without compromising on quality. We have recently shown that by complexing certain active ingredients (the often-expensive molecules in a formulation that give improved performance) with metal ions, we can incorporate them into a product as solid particles in a way that drastically reduces waste.

In this project, you will develop an experimental platform that marries robotics with cutting-edge techniques in data science and computer vision. Your work will feed directly into Unilever’s Climate Transition Action Plan to achieve a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its formulations by 2030.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(02) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Accelerated Inorganic Materials Discovery Driven by Magnetic Resonance

This studentship will explore experimental and computational Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy approaches to probe the fast oxide ion transport (e.g., self-diffusion coefficients, diffusion pathways, dimensionality of motion) of oxide in inorganic materials aimed at establishing design rules for the discovery of next generation fast conductors. The project will (1) develop automated, programmable approaches to data analysis of the NMR measurables that access motion over several time- and length-scales, (2) exploit statistical modelling frameworks to quickly predict NMR properties with high accuracy, validated by experimental NMR measurements, and (3) harness these approaches to build and accelerate structural and diffusion models (e.g., compositional, positional disorders). Examples of current research effort focusing on NMR for oxide and lithium ion transport, and beyond are given.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(03) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Accelerating computational materials discovery with diverse toolsets for verification and optimisation

Two PhD studentships (1 chemistry, 1 computer science) are available that will tackle the challenge to develop and implement an automated robot-based workflow that will accelerate the materials discovery process. They build on our recent physical science progress in automated synthesis of extended inorganic solids [5] and computer science progress in the diffraction data analysis required to define discovery [6]. The two students will work closely together with a multidisciplinary supervisory team to develop and integrate the methods and tools towards an automated high-throughput workflow that will revolutionise the discovery of functional inorganic materials.

This project, suited to a student with a Computer Science or Mathematics background, will formally define the nature and consequences of the decisions that need to be made in the automated workflow and identify both the optimal combination of existing methods and tools to accelerate discovery and the gaps in capability that currently exist. The student will develop new methods and tools to address those gaps. Their project has the scope to span the entire process from initial suggestion of experimental targets through the autonomous assessment of experimental data produced by the automated workflow to the ultimate definition of experimental success in realising, rather than merely proposing, a new functional material. It offers the student the opportunity to both develop new methods and to participate in implementing them in a new workflow that will change how we find the materials that society will need in the future.

Deadline : 31 December 2024

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(04) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Accelerating energy landscape exploration through optimisation, approximation and parallelisation

Many heuristic methods (random walks, probabilistic selection, genetic algorithms) for energy landscape exploration in Crystal Structure Prediction (CSP) [1] are very important material discovery tools [2]. However, the future of CSP lies in efficient search methods with an explainable outcome and a mathematical guarantee [1,3].

The proposed project will bring new algorithmic approaches and focus on:

  • Improving performance guarantee of heuristic methods
  • Design of new unbiased search methods
  • Development and implementation of parallel algorithms to speed up the exploration.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(05) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Adrian Henri – Early Happenings in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s

The successful candidate will be expected to begin the studentship on 1 October 2024 over a 4-year period for full-time students, or over a 6-year period for part-time students, and will be required to spend time at both the University of Liverpool and Tate Liverpool, gaining access to resources and services across the two institutions. They will also be part of a wider cohort of CDP funded students across the UK.

This project will focus on the work of Adrian Henri, the Liverpool-based poet and painter who played a pioneering role in bringing happenings to Britain. Henri’s poetry made significant cultural impact through the publication of the ground-breaking anthology The Mersey Sound, showcasing his work together with Roger McGough and Brian Patten. The publication went on to sell over half a million copies and to become the bestselling poetry anthology of all time. Performance was key to Henri’s practice and he collaborated with musicians across different fields of music. This doctoral project seeks to contextualise and develop new insights into Henri’s practice, with particular focus on his development of happenings in the UK. There will be opportunities to develop experience within Tate Liverpool’s curatorial programme.

Deadline : 2 July 2024

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(06) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Advanced Information Storage

This PhD aims to investigate strategies for designing and producing a universal memory device in micro/nano scale that combines the best of both worlds: low-cost, non-volatile, high-density as a HDD, and robust, fast access as a RAM. This represents a collocation of memory and processing units, and underpins a number of emerging technologies such as MRAM and neuromorphic computing.

Deadline : 31 July 2024

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(07) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: An investigation of the neural basis of changes in tactile acuity during healthy ageing and its impact on emotional wellbeing

We will address this problem using a series of studies with the following objectives:

  1. Quantify contributions of peripheral and central mechanisms to age-related tactile acuity loss during active touch, including the investigation of peripheral mechanisms in healthy aging through sensory assessment and explore age-related differences in haptic exploration patterns. 
  2. Multimodal (e.g., EEG/fMRI) neuroimaging to quantify brain activity within key processing areas, highlighting differences between young and old populations to uncover age-related compensatory mechanisms in the brain.
  3. Explore the impact of declining tactile acuity on emotional wellbeing and relationship to the activity of proposed neural compensatory mechanisms. 

Deadline :  7 June 2024

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(08) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Analysis of the role of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells in methotrexate-induced liver toxicity

This project will utilise cryopreserved human LSECs to analyse the effect of MTX on endothelial cell physiology, intracellular signalling and gene expression. The project will also utilise a novel 3D multi-cellular liver microtissue composed of primary human hepatocytes, LSECs and human liver fibroblasts to allow analysis of MTX effects on multiple hepatic cells in a more physiologically relevant model. 

Deadline : 29 November 2024

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(09) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Automated experimental functional materials discovery for net zero technologies

This project, suited to a student with a Physical Sciences or Engineering background, will develop and implement a robot-based materials synthesis workflow that uses a suite of software tools to assist in the key decisions that an experimentalist must make to discover a new functional material. The student will acquire expertise in robotic synthesis platforms, materials synthesis and characterisation and in programming and software organisation, benefitting from the combined physical and computer science supervision. Their project will impact inorganic materials discovery in the most general way imaginable, for example building on our new family of electrolytes for solid state batteries [3].

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(10) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Automated Powder Coating Platform for Long-Life Lithium-ion Batteries

Li-ion cells age due to unstable electrode interfaces. To maintain cycle-life, coatings are applied to active materials to mitigate against degradation processes. The generation of coatings for each active material powder morphology and type has, thus far, been via an Edisonian approach. Thereby, opportunities exist to develop methods that can rapidly and autonomously optimise the chemistry, distribution, and thicknesses of these coatings to maximise cell performance.

An inorganic synthesis route for coating formation on Li-ion positive electrode powders, utilises a “Sol-Gel” synthetic procedure to form a nanoscale metal-oxide film. The synthesis of inorganic coatings comprises 5 primary steps: solid powder dosing, liquid component dosing, reaction heating/mixing, solvent evaporation/removal, and calcination. The PhD project goal is to combine these existing, and discrete, elements into a fully automated system using a robotic arm. The student will be trained at the interface between the physical and computer sciences to drive implementation of digital and automated methods in (electro)chemistry and frontier battery materials research.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(11) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Simulating Dynamic Battery Interfaces: In Search of Next Generation Lithium Batteries

The goal of this project will be to construct molecular dynamics models of electrode-electrolyte interfaces to resolve the microscopic mechanisms and kinetics associated with the transport of charge carriers across the interface. Leveraging state-of-the-art simulation methods and advances in force field design, we will explore the structure and properties of charged interfaces under various electrochemical conditions. Computational models will be complemented by electrochemical experiments conducted at the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy (SIRE) to screen the suitability of different electrolyte components for developing stable and efficient battery systems. The project will equip candidates with practical and technical skills to innovate solutions in this field, enabling them to contribute meaningfully to cutting-edge research and emerging high-power battery technologies, in collaboration with industrial partners.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(12) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Repeat Physical Traumas an initiator for motor neuron disease (MND): an insight from professional rugby

Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is a devastating condition affecting neuronal cells responsible for voluntary muscle movement. The risk of developing MND is 1 in 300, predominantly in individuals over 50. Strikingly, this prevalence is 15-fold greater in rugby players, at a significantly younger age-of-onset.

The mechanisms of peripheral neuronal deterioration central to MND are unclear, making treatments elusive. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are lipid bound vesicles secreted into the extracellular space. Studies have highlighted the critical need of skeletal muscle to produce EVs, where they mediate cell-cell communication, particularly supporting neuronal cells.  We have also shown that local and systemic inflammation can alter this communication.

Deadline : 20 June 2024

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(13) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Reliable modelling of non-Newtonian sludge flows using novel computational fluid dynamics

The project is interdisciplinary in two dimensions because it brings together experiments and simulations as well as solid and fluid mechanics.  The integration of concepts and technology across these boundaries brings a level of adventure to the project which is countered by building on well-established research in solid mechanics on quantitative comparisons of measurements and predictions using orthogonal decomposition[i],[ii] leading to validation metrics based on relative error[iii] and assessment of measurement of uncertainty[iv]; and in fluid dynamics using experimental techniques to understand turbulent flow regimes[v],[vi],[vii].  IAEA considers the use of CFD and associated validation data in various nuclear design issues and has identified gaps in verification and validation procedures[viii].  The goal of the project will be to develop techniques that allow volumetric, time-varying, flow data from both measurements and predictions to be represented as feature vectors that can be compared using the validation metrics already established in solid mechanics for dynamic events. 

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(14) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Predictive molecular models of high-performance elastomers in demanding environments

The project will create a suite of such predictive models by building on the world-leading experimental and computational tools developed in the Boulatov group to study mechanochemistry of polymers in complex environments (e.g., Nature Chem. 2023, 15, 1214; Nature Commun. 2022, 13, 3154, Science 2017, 357, 299). This collaboration with a leading engineering company offers a highly-motivated student a unique opportunity to gain expertise across the range of disciplines that enable contemporary materials science, and to learn how to integrate rigorous academic research with application-focused industrial R&D in the design and application of high-value-added polymers.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(15) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Non-thermal plasma as a chemical reagent: elucidating mechanism and exploring NTP for pharmaceutically relevant electroreductive reactions

A key missing piece is mechanistic investigations; our prototype has the advantage of minimal evaporation and ready customisation to include analytical equipment. In this PhD, the student will be co-supervised by Prof Anna Slater (flow and supramolecular materials) and Dr Christophe Aissa (organic chemistry, University of Liverpool) and collaborate with Prof James Walsh (plasma physics, University of York), and Dr Timothy Easun (ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy, University of Birmingham) to:

  • elucidate the mechanism of the imine condensations that we have established proceed cleanly in 5 minutes under NTP conditions;
  • investigate the potential of NTP in electroreductive organic chemistry, focusing initially on reactions important for the pharma industry
  • develop methods to probe reaction rates (e.g., radical clock), and hence produce a framework by which NTP reactions can be mechanistically understood, benchmarked against photocatalytic and electrosynthetic methods, and optimized.

Deadline : 10 January 2025

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(16) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Non-Metal Organic Frameworks for proton and ion conduction

We have recently developed a novel class of porous materials, non-metal organic frameworks [1], that display remarkable proton and ion conduction properties. This is relevant for energy technologies such as batteries. Because this class of materials is totally new, there is a very wide chemical space that could be explored. In this project, we will use robots to accelerate the exploration of this space and develop automated methods to probe the properties of the most promising materials. The student appointed will work across the research groups of Prof. Andrew Cooper (Materials Innovation Factory) and Prof. Laurence Hardwick (Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy) and gain a unique blend of skills spanning chemical synthesis, property measurements (e.g., proton conductivity), robotics, and programming. A background in chemistry is essential; experience in programming or automation technologies would be an advantage, but training will be provided to match the candidate’s skillset.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(17) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Microstructure-flow interplay in 3D printing: linking structure, rheology and printability of bespoke and commercial formulations

In this PhD project, the candidate will expand our fundamental understanding of complex fluids (such as yield stress and elastoviscoplastic fluids) for DIW and other applications using Large Amplitude Oscillatory (LAOS), Fourier Transform (FT) rheology,[4] the Sequence of Physical Processes (SPP) and recovery rheology (strain decomposition approaches). The candidate will investigate the behaviour of a wide range of complex fluids, from formulations for DIW made in our lab (such as ceramics for THz and energy applications) to commercially available materials for a variety of applications. The rheology studies will be complemented with structural techniques where appropriate, for example using rheo-microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). To complement the experimental aspects of this work, there is additional scope within the project to model complex fluids for DIW using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Deadline : 12 June 2024

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(18) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Microbial Induced Electrochemistry at the Local Site and Single Cell Level

This PhD project brings together expertise in nanoscale surface science and local scale electrochemistry, cell-surface interaction probes, microbiology and imaging across physical and biological sciences to study the electrochemical process that occurs both at the local site and single cell level and at the population level.

The appointed student will gain multidisciplinary skills and expertise in advanced characterisation techniques, including surface spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy, local electrochemistry and bio-imaging approach, leveraging the unique capabilities at our Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces, Surface Science Research Centre and the Centre of Cell Imaging, both equipped with state-of-the-art techniques.

Deadline : 15 June 2024

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(19) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Maritime autonomy for safe, fuel efficient port operations

The project aims to establish robust functional allocation for effective human-machine operation of autonomous vessels. The advantage of a human-agent partnership is that each element has its own strengths and weaknesses, and together they have the potential of being more effective than the sum of their parts. Whilst there is good understanding of the Allocation of Function, there is little guidance on communication and designing for shared mental models. Trust in autonomy is also immerging as a challenge for Human-AI implementation; factors associated with trust can be categorized as human influences (e.g., individual differences in terms of personality, experience), machine influences (e.g., robotic platform, levels of automation, failure rates, false alarms), and environmental influences (e.g. task type, operational environment, shared mental models).

Deadline :  1 July 2024

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(20) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Knowledge-based Design of Dental Surfaces to combat Oral Biofilms

The PhD combines interdisciplinary science and global innovation. Unilever is one of the biggest Beauty & Personal care companies in the world, with a broad and diverse portfolio of brands, e.g. Signal, Dove, Rexona, Vaseline, Lifebuoy, serving billions of consumers across the globe. The Open Innovation Hub for Antimicrobial Surfaces at the University of Liverpool is at the forefront of translating scientific advances into innovation and is one of the four core partners of the £23M National Biofilm Innovation Centre (NBIC) (www.biofilms.ac.uk). The student will enrol in NBIC’s Doctoral Training Centre which trains interdisciplinary PhD researchers at the Interface of Physical and Life Sciences to understand the behaviour of microbes at surfaces that are central to the global challenges of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Health, Food Security, Clean Water and Energy.

Deadline : 15 June 2024

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(21) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Impact of flooding and erosion from extreme rainfall on EDF’s fleet of nuclear power stations

The location of nuclear power stations make them vulnerable to a projected rise in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall. Whilst major advances have been made in the prediction of coastal flooding and erosion risk, and in the assessment of the vulnerability and climate resilience of nuclear stations to these hazards, no such major advance has occurred for flooding and erosion hazards from extreme rainfall.  Thus no predictive modeling framework exists for freshwater flooding and erosion that can support sustainable, resilient management of nuclear power stations.

Deadline : 1 July 2024

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(22) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Identifying challenges and opportunities for sustainable parasite control in Thoroughbreds

This project integrates parasitology, social and veterinary science to deliver impactful, evidence-based strategies specific for sustainable parasite control. The project will use a mixed methods approach to explore grazing practices and patterns of anthelmintic use on studs and training yards, and identify the behavioural drivers, beliefs, and barriers around parasite management. Using behaviour change science approaches such as systems mapping, we will identify the impact of different stakeholders and influences on behaviour, elucidating key “touchpoints” and opportunities for bringing about behaviour change. This will be delivered through several objectives: 1) identify current anthelmintic use and pasture management, 2) explore stakeholder pressures, and influences on parasite control measures, 3) conduct faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRT) on stud farms and 4) capture participants’ response to, and decision-making around receiving FECRT results. By working directly with stakeholders, challenges, and opportunities specific to their enterprises will be identified, prompting more sustainable means of parasite control, and optimising the health and welfare of Thoroughbreds and the wider horse population.

Deadline : 16 June 2024

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(23) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: High-Throughput Soft Matter Characterisation for Formulation Discovery

Direct Ink Writing (DIW), extrusion-based 3D printing, is a rapidly developing processing technique for additive manufacturing of advanced, functional materials into complex designs. Integral to the successful discovery of new materials for DIW is the ability to rapidly screen chemical parameter spaces of precursor “ink” formulations. This project will experimentally develop and implement automation protocols for rheometry and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to establish a library of carbohydrate-based cytocompatible polymers (e.g. alginates) and crosslinking chemistries (divalent ions, thiol-ene click) suitable for bioprinting. This will facilitate the high-throughput measurements required to screen green, multicomponent formulations with complex flow behaviours which are both challenging to formulate and characterise. New digital tools will be developed to process the large datasets generated and implement our novel data analyses [e.g. Physics of Fluids, 2023 35, 017113]. In doing so, new insights into relationships between materials chemistry, formulation microstructure, rheology, and macroscale “printability” will be established [J. Mater. Chem. A., 2020, 8 (31), 15646-15657].  

This project will utilise the newly refurbished Complex Fluids Laboratory in the School of Engineering (as part of Dr García-Tuñón’s 4 year £1.6M UKRI Future Research Leaders Fellowship), interdisciplinary expertise as well as state of the art characterisation equipment in the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF). 

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(24) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: High-throughput first-principle simulations of charge transport in organic semiconductors

This project focuses on application of first-principle, fully quantum simulation methods such as Hybrid Monte-Carlo to study charge transport in a vast class of quasi-2D molecular organic semiconductors (rubrene, pentacene, and >4000 other materials). The goal is to make the simulations as realistic as possible based on our seminal work [1], and to use realistic simulations to automatically search for high-mobility, technologically promising compounds within digital structural databases of organic molecular crystals. Molecular semiconductors are promising candidates for large-area electronic devices (solar panels, lighting). They feature an unusual charge transport mechanism that is driven by dynamical disorder, and that is of general theoretical interest. The project is cross-disciplinary in nature and has many intersections with Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics simulations in high-energy physics.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(25) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: High-throughput exploration of multicomponent metal organic frameworks (MOFs)

New porous materials are important for advances in key technologies such as carbon dioxide sequestration and storage or catalysts for clean manufacturing. The assembly of multiple metal and organic linkers in the well-defined and complex crystal structures of multicomponent metal organic frameworks (MOFs) will deliver materials with enhanced properties. However, at present we do not have the experimental tools with the scale and speed to efficiently explore the vast chemical space available. This project will harness recent advances in robotics to efficiently explore the discovery of new multicomponent MOFs. The student will design and execute experiments on state-of-the-art robotic synthesis platforms, develop the required measurement approaches to extract and analyse data from the arrays of materials.

Deadline : 31 December 2024

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(26) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: High-throughput discovery of new materials as functional coatings on glass for net-zero applications

This studentship will develop and implement a high-throughput magnetron sputtering workflow for optoelectronic materials discovery as thin film coatings on glass. The functionalisation of glass and glazing with coatings is at the forefront of technological advances in the transition to net-zero, such as energy saving glazing, display technologies and grid-scale photovoltaic devices. To maintain the pace of advancements in these technologies, and to open up new opportunities and markets, new materials with superior optical and electronic properties are required as thin films. Arrays of compositionally variable samples will be deposited onto substrates for automated powder X-ray diffraction and further property measurements, building on our existing workflows for array deposition and diffraction measurement of films. The project will involve the design and engineering implementation of automated measurements, e.g. sheet resistance, optical transmission, ellipsometry, on the sample arrays, and associated digital tools for data analysis at scale. The group has a track record of developing and implementing high throughput workflows for materials discovery [1-3] and in thin film optoelectronic materials [4] and this project builds on that expertise. This project is sponsored by NSG/Pilkington, a global glass manufacturing company with a leading position in coated glass products.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(27) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Heat, Health and Human Geographies: Exploring Caribbean Responses to Urban Heat Stress through Creative Ethnographic Methods

The PhD will provide a qualitative, ethnographic exploration of heat and health and will be supported to expand these methodologies into creative and artistic research practice with support from Melting Metropolis Research Artist, Bryony Ella. 

The successful proposal will include two intersecting components:  

  • Ethnographically explore the unequal impacts of high temperatures on communities and individuals. Drawing on fields of such as science and technology studies and climate psychology the project will critically analyse individual and socio-political responses to environmental change.
  • Collaborate with Research Artist Bryony Ella to develop creative research methodologies and co-create an artistic output reflecting on key themes that emerge from fieldwork. The format of this will be decided by the PhD student in collaboration with supervisors and will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of creative, place-based research.

Deadline : 28 June 2024

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(28) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Funded PhD studentship opportunity in vibroacoustics

The PhD research is expected to be in the general area of engineering acoustics concerning sound and structure-borne sound transmission that is relevant to the automotive, space, aeronautical, marine or construction industries. The research topic should focus on prediction modelling for vibroacoustics or structure-borne sound alongside experimental validation. Applicants are welcome to propose a research topic or to develop one of the following topics: substrate-borne vibration intensity in layered media on land/sea, Transient Statistical Energy Analysis with structure-borne sound sources, or direct and flanking transmission with sandwich panels. If you wish to discuss the topic informally, please contact Prof. Carl Hopkins (email:  [email protected]).

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(29) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Exploring tyrosine metabolism as a source of oxidative stress

Objective 1: To explore and develop key techniques for phenotypic assessment (analytical techniques including liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, mass spectrometry imaging, EPR spectroscopy and motor-cognitive assessment in mice)

Objective 2: To measure severity of oxidative disease in the HGD/NRF2 double knockout (DKO) compared to single-knockout and wild-type control mice. Phenotypes include the metabolome, brain pathology and central nervous system biochemistry.

Deadline : 1 March 2025

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(30) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Exploring the interactions between host and bacterial kinase signalling networks

Pathogenic microorganisms are rapidly developing resistance to our current arsenal of antimicrobial therapies at a rate that vastly outpaces our ability to create new treatments. Infections related to antibiotic resistant bacteria globally rank amongst the leading causes of death, with recent projections estimating that they will surpass deaths by cancer by 2050.  Consequently, antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic organisms is recognised to be one of the top 10 health problems facing humanity, according to the WHO. As such, there is an urgent need for alternative chemotherapeutic intervention strategies to counteract the challenges posed by multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria.

Bacterial responses to extracellular stimuli (including the decision to transition to a more virulent phenotype) are largely governed by two-component signalling systems (TCSs), involving phosphoryl-transfer from sensor histidine protein kinases to a respective aspartate-containing response regulator. However, advances in meta-genomic sequencing has revealed that ‘eukaryotic-like’ Ser/Thr kinases (eSTKs), which contain structurally homologous catalytic domains to human kinases, are ubiquitous in prokaryotic genomes. Although the functions of these eSTKs are poorly understood, it is clear they are associated with bacterial physiology and pathogenicity. Given the established ‘druggability’ of the protein kinase fold, eSTKs are enticing novel targets for small molecule antimicrobial inhibitors.

Deadline : 1 July 2024

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(31) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Explaining structure-property relations in the materials space

This project aims to explain important materials properties from geometric invariants of crystal structures. Crystalline materials can be represented by invariants that distinguished different phases and polymorphs of all periodic materials in the Cambridge Structural Database and all known homometric structures with identical diffraction.

These structural invariants [1] are provably invertible to a full 3-dimensional structure for all generic crystals and implemented by our industry partner Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.

The next frontier is to understand the structure-property relationships by mapping important properties (energy, conductivity, adsorption capacity etc.) in the materials space as mountainous landscapes on a geographic-style map parametrised by the structural invariants.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(32) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Experimental Discovery of New Ionic Conducting Materials Towards Net-Zero Technologies

The project is based in the Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool. The project will make use of tools developed in the multi-disciplinary EPSRC Programme Grant: “Digital Navigation of Chemical Space for Function” and the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, that seek to develop a new approach to materials design and discovery, exploiting machine learning and symbolic artificial intelligence, demonstrated by the realisation of new functional inorganic materials. Examples include the first tools to guarantee the correct prediction of a crystal structure (Nature 68, 619, 2023), and to learn the entirety of known crystalline inorganic materials and guide discovery (Nature Communications 12, 5561, 2021). We recently developed machine learning models based on the largest dataset of experimentally measured Li ion conductivities to yield an easy to use tool that assist experimenter decision in material target selection (npj Computational Materials 9, 9, 2023). You will thus gain understanding of how the artificial intelligence and computational methods developed in the team accelerate materials discovery, and be able to contribute to the development of these models, which are designed to incorporate human expertise.

Deadline : 31 July 2024

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(33) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Experimental discovery of new Inorganic Materials for Net Zero Technologies

This PhD project will tackle the synthesis in the laboratory of inorganic materials with unique structures that will expand our understanding of how atoms can be arranged in solids. The selection of experimental targets will be informed by artificial intelligence and computational assessment of candidates, working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to maximise the rate of materials discovery. The resulting materials will be experimentally studied to assess their suitability in a wide range of applications, combining our broad materials characterisation expertise with that of our international industrial and academic collaborators. The student will thus both develop a strong materials synthesis, structural characterisation and measurement skillset, and the ability to work with colleagues across disciplines in a research team using state-of-the-art materials design methodology. The success of this approach is demonstrated in a range of papers involving the discovery of a new lithium solid electrolyte for all solid state batteries (Science 383, 739, 2024), solid electrolytes with high electrochemical stability (Journal of the American Chemical Society 143, 18216, 2021), lithium conducting oxide argyrodites that demonstrate enhanced stability over sulphide materials (Journal of the American Chemical Society 144, 22178, 2022), and the realisation of the lowest ever thermal conductivity of any inorganic crystalline material (Science 373, 1017, 2021). We have recently developed a high throughput solid state synthetic workflow which will further accelerate the discovery of new inorganic oxide materials (Chemical Science 15, 2640, 2014), closing the workflow where initial target selection is informed by artificial intelligence.

Deadline : 31 July 2024

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(34) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: EPILEPSY RESEARCH INSTITUTE DTC PROJECT: The BASE PhD project: Beliefs, Antiseizure medication, and Side effects: A longitudinal study with those newly diagnosed and their significant others

This PhD project aims to examine the utility of a cognitive model of self-regulation in predicting:

1)            Adverse effects as reported by people with epilepsy;

2)            Adverse effects as reported by their significant others (e.g., a close family member or friend);

3)            Preference to discontinue current treatment; and

4)            Health service utilisation.

·        The cognitive model to be examined is called the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model of emotional experience. It is a transdiagnostic model of emotional experience that has been applied to a myriad of other experiences.

Deadline : 28 June 2024

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(35) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: EPILEPSY RESEARCH INSTITUTE DTC PROJECT: Longitudinal assessment of cognitive difficulties through the early stages of epilepsy: clinical and imaging predictors

This project will determine the dynamic nature of cognitive impairments through the early stages of human epilepsy and identify the clinical and imaging predictors of cognitive impairment. The primary hypothesis is that cognitive impairments will be established at the time of diagnosis in some patients, will worsen over time, and will be predicted by measurable changes in brain structure and/or function.

Deadline : 28 June 2024

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(36) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: EPILEPSY RESEARCH INSTITUTE DTC PROJECT: Decision making regarding the risks and benefits of ASM treatment: how do people with epilepsy make these decisions?

There is evidence that sexual and reproductive health counselling is often omitted or performed poorly for people with epilepsy. Fragmentation between neurology and other sexual/reproductive health providers is found for women with epilepsy (WWE) and men with epilepsy (MWE). WWE are reported to prefer their neurologists to initiate discussion on the topic and for discussion to start in adolescence. There is limited evidence of the sexual and reproductive needs of men with epilepsy and how best to meet their needs.   

The information needs of WWE and clinicians caring for women have been researched, and guidelines are in place. However, repeated patient surveys completed by the three main epilepsy patient organisations in the UK reveal that for women, knowledge deficits continue and there are reports of information not including the content recommended in practice guideline. Little is known of the sexual and reproductive health information needs of men and clinicians caring for men. There are new requirements for both men and women taking valproate during their reproductive years, likely to affect treatment decision-making, including the uncertainty of risks to male fertility and potential longer-term effects on children born to males taking valproate at conception and for women through pregnancy. The impact of receiving this information on ASM decision-making is unknown.

Deadline : 28 June 2024

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(37) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Electrochemically switchable materials down to the single molecule level

This project will study the electrochemical properties of materials down to the single molecule level and it will investigate how electrochemical (redox state) switching of the molecules can change useful materials properties. This studentship is part of £7.1 million EPSRC-funded Programme grant “Quantum engineering of energy-efficient molecular materials (QMol)”, https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/X026876/1 , which involves the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool, Oxford and Imperial College, and the group of Professor Richard Nichols at the Department of Chemistry, The University of Liverpool. This PhD project at Liverpool University (Department of Chemistry) will focus on electrochemistry for molecular/organic electronics and thermoelectrics and will include the measurement of the electrochemical and electrical properties of molecular materials from single molecules to self-assembled monolayers and bulk multilayer structures. Techniques to be used in the project include electrochemical methods, scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscopy (STM and AFM), surface spectroscopies and nanofabrication. The QMol Programme Grant aims to realise a new generation of switchable organic/organometallic compounds, with the potential to fulfil societal needs for flexible energy harvesting materials, low-power neuromorphic computing, smart textiles and self-powered patches for healthcare.

Deadline :  1 August 2024

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(38) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Discovery of Functional Inorganic Materials for Net Zero Applications using High-Throughput Synthesis

The project will involve the preparation of precursor slurries and solutions for dispensing and mixing on robotic platforms before reacting at high temperatures for characterisation on high-throughput powder X-ray diffractometers and other analytical techniques. The project will involve close collaboration with computational chemists to suggest compositional spaces to explore, to predict new structures and aid in the understanding of the properties of the new materials discovered in the arrays using tools developed in the multi-disciplinary EPSRC Programme Grant: “Digital Navigation of Chemical Space for Function” and the Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design, that seek to develop a new approach to materials design and discovery, exploiting machine learning and symbolic artificial intelligence, demonstrated by the realisation of new functional inorganic materials. You will thus gain understanding of how the artificial intelligence methods developed in the team accelerate materials discovery, and be able to contribute to the development of these models, which are designed to incorporate human expertise.

Deadline : 31 December 2024

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(39) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Digital Routes to Next Generation Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells

This project will develop an automated computational workflow for the discovery of new electrolyte and electrode materials for solid oxide cells. The workflow will combine crystal structure prediction for composition stability determination and computational modelling of key properties including oxide conductivity and mechanical stability. This physical modelling will be supported by machine learning from databases already available to the project team and from the arising modelling data, extending to the use of large language models. Machine learning techniques such as supervised learning and semi-supervised learning will potentially be employed to learn complex representations from both labelled and unlabelled data and to predict material properties. Generative models, such as generative adversarial networks and diffusion models, will potentially be used for generating new material compositions with optimised properties. The student will have the opportunity to synthesise and evaluate the new materials as well as developing computational skills, thus developing a broad expertise base. They will work with an interdisciplinary team at Liverpool and Ceres Power to maximise the impact of the project. This new approach builds on recently established capability from the team [1,2] applied in this exciting new direction for net zero technologies.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(40) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Digital Exploration of Novel Polymeric Materials for Structural Composites

Structural composites materials are used in a vast number of applications from aerospace to sport and recreation. Their polymeric constituent is in the majority of cases made by materials formed by epoxy-aromatic amine chemistry while there are many alternative chemistries, which are, in principle, capable of similar or better performances and can be more sustainable. The chemical space to explore is so vast and the current technologies so well developed that it is impossible to find viable alternatives in reasonable time with conventional methods. The goal of this project is to develop digital tools comprising AI methods, cheminformatics, high-throughput virtual screening, to explore the potential of novel polymeric materials in these applications. The project will give the opportunity of interacting with our industrial partner, a multinational research-intensive organization, and be involved in the experimental testing of the predictions. The supervisory team will include experts in AI/Cheminformatics (Prof. Neil Berry), Polymer Chemistry (Dr. Tom Hasell) and Materials Engineering/Composite Materials (Dr. Esther Garcia-Tuñon).

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(41) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Digital discovery of new photocatalysts for photoredox catalysis

Photoredox catalysis has come to the forefront in organic synthesis as a powerful strategy for the activation of small molecules [1]. Photocatalysts convert visible light into chemical energy by engaging in single-electron transfer with organic substrates, thereby generating reactive intermediates for bond forming reactions under mild conditions. The design and discovery of efficient organic photocatalysts is a major challenge and has drawn significant interest in recent years. In this project, the student will use a high-throughput virtual screening approach developed by the Troisi group [2] to search chemical databases to identify new potential organic photocatalysts with similar optoelectronic properties to existing state-of-the-art photocatalysts. The candidate molecules from this search will be purchased and their photocatalytic activity validated in a range of photoredox catalysed reactions using electrochemical techniques and optimised using robotic platforms [3] in the Materials Innovation Factory. Successful implementation of this approach will open up exciting possibilities for the development of inexpensive, sustainable, and scalable alternative photocatalysts for use in pharmaceutical drug development programmes.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(42) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Development of nanoparticle-adjuvant and antigen-matching autogenous vaccine for Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and comparative evaluation against other MG live and inactivated vaccines

The PhD would suit someone with a keen interest in microbiology and molecular biology. Studies may include the followings:

  • Epidemiological investigation of avian mycoplasmas circulating in UK poultry farms using culture, isolation and identification/differentiation using conventional and molecular techniques.
  • Genomic analysis of the most prevalent Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) isolated from the poultry farms in UK, and expression of immunodominant surface proteins from that mycoplasma isolate/stain in an coli expression system.
  • Preparation of CHT NPAs/NCMPs experimental vaccine for each protein, and a mixture of all three (3-in-1) recombinant vaccines.
  • Evaluation of the inhibitory effect of each vaccine candidate on pathogenic MG using tracheal organ culture (TOC).
  • In vivo evaluation of the protective efficacy of each of the NPA vaccine and ‘combination’ of all the NPA vaccines in a) specific-pathogen free (SPF) chickens, b) commercial layer hens.
  • To cross compare the results of above (5) against other available MG vaccines in UK.
  • Determination of underlying protective immune mechanisms following MG in vivo vaccination and in vaccination-challenged birds.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(43) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Development of integration bridges between the clinic and the laboratory

The Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) is part of a network funded by Cancer Research UK and the NIHR, facilitating early phase cancer trials. The data from bench research in our centre and elsewhere is stored via Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), clinical information is stored separately during the trials to preserve patient anonymity and ensure blinding to outcomes when performing analyses.  After the trials clinical data is archived but the samples remain in our post trials tissue bank for future research exploiting ever expanding technology and scientific discoveries.

Deadline : 31 July 2024

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(44) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Development of enzymes for the sustainable synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant amides under aqueous conditions.

This highly multi-disciplinary project will combine biocatalysis, molecular biology, and computational biology.  You will receive training in all aspects of the project in world class research environment with access to state-of-the-art facilities for biocatalysis (Dr Carnell, Department of Chemistry), computational Biology (Professor Daniel Rigden, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology) and gene synthesis and screening (Liverpool GeneMill).  You will work within a highly motivated group engaged in the development of enzymes for industrial biotechnology. You will present your work at regular interdisciplinary research group meetings and at national conferences.

Deadline :28 June 2024

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(45) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Development of bespoke algorithms for autonomous optimisation in flow

A key challenge in materials science is how to efficiently and sustainably arrive at the optimal conditions for material production. Flow chemistry’s unique control, spatio-temporal resolution, wide process windows and efficient heat/mass transport enables the selective, high-yielding, and scalable production of a wide range of molecules and, more recently, materials [1]. Algorithms have been used to autonomously optimise chemical processes, e.g., well-understood two-step reactions in flow. The production of materials offers complex optimisation problems, but it is difficult to know which approach (e.g. SNOBFIT, Bayesian optimisation, TSEMO) will perform best, even for simple problems. Thus, there is a need to develop bespoke optimisation algorithms for this application. In this PhD, design-of-experiments will be compared with self-optimising methods in terms of experimental efficiency for a range of organic materials under investigation in the Slater group. Algorithm choice and iterative development will be carried out to optimise the efficiency at which a) cost, product yield, and sustainability are optimised and b) a process model is generated.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(46) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Development of a novel AI model for cardiovascular disease risk prediction by analysing retinal vascular structure and functional changes in blood flow

The Department of Eye and Vision Sciences at the University of Liverpool is inviting PhD candidates who are highly motivated in developing novel risk prediction model of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by analysing retinal images, contributing to a better understanding of relationship between the cardiovascular disease and the functional changes in blood flow.

The retina is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body critically supported by ocular blood flow, while CVD is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. We aim to develop advanced AI models for analysing the dynamic retinal function, providing a comprehensive analysis of blood flow changes. Multi-modality data will be employed in this project, including imaging data (e.g., color fundus photography, fundus fluorescein angiography) and non-imaging data (e.g., electronic health records). The research will delve into the intersection between AI and healthcare, developing new approaches to revolutionise our understanding of the relationship between retinal vascular structure, blood flow dynamics, and CVD.

Deadline : 31 August 2024

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(47) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Developing industrial AI support tools for processing legal cases in medical negligence

Two PhD positions are available within a project that is co-created between the University of Liverpool and Fletchers Solicitors, a Law firm specialising in clinical negligence and personal injury law. As one of the UK’s largest firms in the sector, Fletchers have vast experience from handling legal cases over many years. Each one of their cases is made up of thousands of (unstructured) files – primarily word documents, PDFs and emails. As a result, interpreting their historical caseload and extracting new insight is incredibly challenging, which means that despite their vast experience as a firm, their lawyers often only have their past cases and understanding of the law to guide their decision making and work. Additionally, they spend a lot of time reading or reviewing files, writing drafts, or extracting key information from large bodies of text – as a ‘no win, no fee’ business, spending time only in the ‘right’ places is key to their success.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(48) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Developing a simulator for a zero power nuclear reactor experimental facility for innovative

Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) are a next-generation nuclear reactor technology outlined by Generation IV International Forum, fulfilling sustainability, economics, safety, and proliferation resistance goals. The  interest in MSRs attention from industry and research communities has significantly increased in recent years due to the numerous safety and operational benefits. MSRs have the potential to close the nuclear fuel cycle, significantly reduce the amount of nuclear waste produced, and even operate on spent nuclear fuel from existing nuclear reactors, while opening the opportunity for significantly reducing the fuel cycle and the production cost of energy.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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(49) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Developing a framework for regulatory conformance of innovative experimental nuclear

Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) are a next-generation nuclear reactor technology outlined by Generation IV International Forum, fulfilling sustainability, economics, safety, and proliferation resistance goals. MSRs have drawn significant attention from industry and research communities in recent years due to the numerous safety, operational, and sustainability benefits. MSRs have the potential to close the nuclear fuel cycle, significantly reduce the amount of nuclear waste produced, and even operate on spent nuclear fuel from existing nuclear reactors, while opening the opportunity for significantly reducing the fuel cycle and the production cost of energy.

Deadline : 30 June 2024

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About The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England –Official Website

The University of Liverpool (abbreviated UOL; locally known as The Uni of) is a public research university in Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its Royal Charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees, and is also known to be one of the six ‘red brick’ civic universities, the first to be referred to as The Original Red Brick. It comprises three faculties organised into 35 departments and schools. It is a founding member of the Russell Group, the N8 Group for research collaboration and the university management school is triple crown accredited.

Ten Nobel Prize winners are amongst its alumni and past faculty and the university offers more than 230 first degree courses across 103 subjects. Its alumni include the CEOs of GlobalFoundries, ARM Holdings, Tesco, Motorola and The Coca-Cola Company. It was the UK’s first university to establish departments in oceanography, civic design, architecture, and biochemistry (at the Johnston Laboratories). In 2006 the university became the first in the UK to establish an independent university in China, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, making it the world’s first Sino-British university. For 2021–22, Liverpool had a turnover of £612.6 million, including £113.6 million from research grants and contracts. It has the seventh-largest endowment of any university in England. Graduates of the university are styled with the post-nominal letters Lpool, to indicate the institution.

 

 

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