Development of Biomimetic materials PhD Scholarship

PhD Scholarship Opportunity

  • Project: Development of biomimetic materials by the 1D self-assembly of glycopeptide-functionalized perylende bisimide dyes

An exciting opportunity has arisen within the School of Science and Technology at the University of New England (UNE). We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to conduct research into the development of self-assembled biomimetic materials with potential applications in nanoscience and medicine. The successful candidate will work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary research team on a project spanning organic synthesis, physical chemistry and chemical biology. The 3-year scholarship is part of a collaborative research project between Monash University, RMIT University and the University of Ottawa (Canada). The PhD project will be hosted by UNE, Armidale, NSW Australia.

Perylene bisimides (PBIs) are supramolecular dyes that have drawn considerable interest in nano- and biotechnology research, with potential applications ranging from organic electronics (OLEDs, semiconductors and photovoltaics), energy storage and tissue engineering. These organic materials undergo facile and tuneable 1D self-assembly through  p-p stacking to derive organic materials with highly desirable optical and electronic properties. However, the fabrication of PBIs exclusively in water remains highly challenging owing to poor aqueous solubility. Access to bio-functionalized PBIs that mimic natural materials through self-assembly events in water is extremely rare, yet highly desirable. In this project, the applicant will design and synthesize a completely new class of biofunctionalized PBIs and examine their self-assembly and optical properties, with a view to develop new supramolecular materials as functional cryoprotectants, therapeutics and organic electronics.

The applicant should have a strong interest and background organic synthesis and supramolecular chemistry, and have experience in the synthesis and characterisation of small molecules. They project will involve a number of analytical and advanced physical characterisation techniques, including UV-Vis spectroscopy, DLS, SANS/SAXS and TEM/SEM. The applicant should also possess excellent communication skills, be adaptable and well-organized, and be willing to report to supervisors and collaborators on a regular basis.

The scholarship provides a tax free stipend of $26,682 per year (2017) for three years. The candidate will be provided with international and local conference opportunities, professional development and networking.

Scholarship Terms and Conditions

When to apply: Scholarship applications are open until filled and candidates would need to be prepared to commence as soon as possible.

To apply or enquire: Please send an email to Dr Brendan Wilkinson with a statement of your background and interest in the project, your Curriculum Vitae, and a copy of your undergraduate academic transcripts.

Email: or phone: (02) 6773 5653