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Faculty of Engineering

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Complex Particulate Products and Processes



Complex formulated particulate products in agrochemicals, catalysts, coatings, fine chemicals, foods, healthcare, home & personal care, and pharmaceuticals industries are a major component of the UK economy. Product developments in these areas always require intensive team-working between researchers with a mix of science and engineering skills.

The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Complex Particulate Products and Processes will address these skills requirements directly by providing innovative problem-led (and industry relevant) training to both scientists and engineers working in multidisciplinary research teams focussed on the design, development and manufacture of the next generation of high quality and high added-value innovative particulate products.

Companies backing the CDT include the multinational consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G), agrochemical developer Syngenta, petroleum additives manufacturer Infineum and major drug companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

This exciting opportunity to undertake a 4 year funded integrated PhD and MSc in Complex Particulate Products and Processes will include both an original and substantial research component, equivalent to a PhD, alongside formal research and transferable skills training.

Duration: 4 years
Start date: 1 October 2015
Application deadline: 1 December 2014
Number of places: 9 EPSRC funded places available for 2015 entry
Course structure: Download


All students within the CDT will be enrolled onto a 4-year integrated MSc/PhD degree programme that will include both an original and substantial research component, equivalent to a PhD, alongside formal research and transferable skills training.

Key features of the training on offer include:

1. Four linked skills training modules focused around particle product innovation including technical training and skills development.
Modules are constructive, sequential and interlinked requiring student-led education that provides interest and motivation to learn through solving and reporting relevant real-world problems.

2. Two research skills training modules.
Provide key skills associated with literature review, experimental and computational skills, data collection, statistical analysis, presentation and discussion.

3. A PhD planning and development period.
Industry partners pitch research topic ideas to CDT students: after a reflection period, CDT students pitch a fully developed research project proposal back to potential sponsors.

4. Clustered PhD projects – researchers working in teams.
PhD researchers work in interlinked teams across a larger project mentored by academic staff, each providing a key component needed to provide a more holistic solution to the problem at hand. Encourages and underpins peer-to-peer research learning and multidisciplinary problem solving learnt in early stage of integrated programme. Pre-competitive research projects allows free discussion and sharing of ideas across cohort and also opens up access to SME engagement.

5. A minimum 3 month placement for all students.
All students will be required to undertake a minimum 3 months of placement work at either an industry partner facility or an international laboratory, or both.

6. Annual cohort research conferences.
Cohort-led and cohort-organised research meetings.

7. University wide – larger cross-CDT training activity.
Taking students beyond their immediate cohort, providing early-stage key skills training across a wider group.

Supporting partners
The following partner companies have a long record of supporting PhD research at Leeds and will be working with and supporting our CDT students.

- AstraZeneca
- GlaxoSmithKline
- Pfizer
- P&G
- Infineum
- Syngenta

Academic staff
Particle Technology is a key strength at Leeds. Strategic investments by the University led to the development of the Institute of Particle Science & Engineering (IPSE). IPSE is now a recognised world-leading research centre with over 130 researchers with unrivalled access to state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities.

The core of the supervisor team, 16 academic staff, is from IPSE: This group is enhanced by 22 staff with complementary interests from the Institute for Materials Research, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Institute of Process Research & Development, the School of Chemistry, the Centre for Technical Textiles, and the Food Colloids group. These 38 academics have a combined current research portfolio of > £46M (£22M EPSRC; £11M EU/TSB; £2M industry; £11M charities). This CDT proposal brings together this leading-edge academic expertise with shared interests in particle science & engineering across molecular and synthonic design, materials characterisation, process analytics, process engineering, and the physical sciences.

The research environment for particulate materials is underpinned by a world-leading research infrastructure that you will be able to access as a result of the strategic investments by the University of Leeds over the last 15 years to a value of over £42M.


A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,100 in Session 2015/16), together with a maintenance grant (TBC) paid at standard Research Council rates and a Research Training Support Grant.

Generally, UK students will be eligible for a full award and other European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying academic fees and RTSG only, except in cases where residency in the UK has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the programme of study.

Places are available for students who have their own funding.

Entry requirements

A degree equivalent to a UK upper second class honours (2:1), or higher, or a Masters degree (Distinction) in a relevant engineering or science discipline.

How to apply

To apply please complete a formal application for Integrated PhD study (click on ‘Apply online’)

Instructions for filling out the form:

- Select ‘Research Postgraduate’ for type of form.
- Please select ‘Integrated PhD with MSc in Advanced Particulate Materials FT’ as the course. Note that successful applications will be transferred to the CDT in Complex Particulate Products and Processes after processing.
- Start date is 1st October 2015.
- Please enter 'CDT Complex Particulate Products and Processes' in the 'Research Area' section. You may include a research proposal if you have a specific project you wish to follow, however this is not required at this stage.
- Please include a CV and transcripts of your first degree.

Application deadline: 1 December 2014

Selection will be determined by:
- Formal application, CV and transcripts of first degree.
- Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a formal interview.

For admissions enquiries please contact our Graduate School Office,

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Frans Muller