EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital and Automated Materials Chemistry

The global need for researchers with capabilities in materials chemistry, digital intelligence and automation is intensifying because of the growing challenge posed by Net Zero and the need for high-performance materials across multiple sectors. The disruptive nature of recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and emerging quantum computing offers timely and exciting opportunities for PhD graduates with these skills to make a transformative impact on both R&D and society more broadly.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital and Automated Materials Chemistry is therefore offering multiple studentships for students from backgrounds spanning the physical and computer sciences to start in October 2024. These students will develop core expertise in robotic, digital, chemical and physical thinking, which they will apply in their domain-specific research in materials design, discovery and processing. By working with each other and benefiting from a tailored training programme they will become both leaders and fully participating team players, aware of the best practices in inclusive and diverse R&D environments.

This training is based on our decade-long development of shared language and student supervision between the physical, engineering and computer sciences, and takes place in the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF), the largest industry-academia colocation in UK physical science. The training content has been co-developed with 35 industrial partners and is designed to generate flexible, employable, enterprising researchers who can communicate across domains.

Links to full project information and contact details

Non-Metal Organic Frameworks for proton and ion conduction

Automated experimental functional materials discovery for net zero technologies

Computationally driving automated functional materials discovery for net zero technologies with machine reasoning and decision-making

Development of bespoke algorithms for autonomous optimisation in flow

Digital discovery of new photocatalysts for photoredox catalysis

Predictive molecular models of high-performance elastomers in demanding environments.

Computational identification of catalytic covalent organic frameworks

Accelerated Inorganic Materials Discovery Driven by Magnetic Resonance

Accelerating energy landscape exploration through optimisation, approximation and parallelisation

Automated Powder Coating Platform for Long-Life Lithium-ion Batteries

Computational exploration of substrates and interfaces for thin film solar cells

High-throughput discovery of new materials as functional coatings on glass for net-zero applications

Digital Exploration of Novel Polymeric Materials for Structural Composites

Digital Routes to Next Generation Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells

Simulating Dynamic Battery Interfaces: In Search of Next Generation Lithium Batteries

High-Throughput Soft Matter Characterisation for Formulation Discovery


The research projects are designed to be cross-disciplinary and, accordingly, co-supervised by typically 3 scientists from academia and/or industry. Each project contains at least a digital element (robotics, automation or computed aided material development – data or computation based) and a materials chemistry element (synthesis or advanced characterization methods).


The award is primarily available to UK students (applications from international students will be considered) and will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 4 years (£18,622 pa in 2024).

Please apply by completing the online postgraduate research application form here.

Applications should be made no later than 30th April-2024 and they are considered when received.

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