University of Sussex - PhD Chemistry

EPSRC PhD in Chemistry: Debond-on-demand adhesives for more efficient recycling made from sustainable feedstocks using green synthetic methods (2022)

An EPSRC PhD studentship (42 months) is available from 1st October 2022, under the supervision of Dr Barny Greenland, Chemistry, School of Life Sciences.

What you get

The PhD position is fully funded by EPSRC. Funding includes full UK or International tuition fees, a research training grant (£1,650 per annum) and a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £16,062pa) for 3.5 years.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

Debond-on-demand adhesives for more efficient recycling made from sustainable feedstocks using green synthetic methods

Improving the sustainability of modern industry by increasing recycling and decreasing dependence on petroleum derived chemical feedstocks is one of the grand challenges of modern science. A key drawback of modern consumer goods (phones, laptops) is that they are comprised from numerous distinct materials (different plastics, metals and glasses) that are hard to disassemble from each other at the end of the lifecycle of the product. This means that they cannot be efficiently recycled and often simply go to landfill. Recently, a new class of glue had been produced which ‘unsticks’ on command allowing bonded materials to be rapidly disassembled. The Greenland Group at Sussex has been at the forefront of this new field which is termed: Debond-on-Demand adhesives. However, although the principle has been demonstrated, the environmentally friendly credentials of the adhesive itself have been poorly considered. This project will synthesise the first debond-on-demand adhesives from sustainable feedstocks using solvent free, green, synthetic techniques.

Working within the lively research environment of the drug discovery laboratories at the University of Sussex, this studentship will allow the candidate to gain experience of the full range of traditional organic synthesis and analysis techniques, whilst investigating the use of solvent free, green synthetic methods. Alongside polymer synthesis, analysis and strength testing, the PhD candidate will acquire futureproofed skills to successfully transition to a career as a future leader in science.


Candidates must have or expect to obtain a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree. An MSc degree will be advantageous. Your qualification should be in chemistry or a related subject area. You may also be considered for the position if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS (or equivalent) score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

Please check our Admissions page for further information:Chemistry PhD : University of Sussex


10 June 2022 23:45

How to apply

Please submit a formal application via How to apply for a PhD : PhD : Study with us : University of Sussex, and upload the following supporting documents:

  • Personal Statement (no research proposal required),
  • CV,
  • BSc/MSc degree transcripts AND certificates,
  • Two references on academic letterhead
  • English language proficiency documentation if required.

On the application system select Programme of Study – PhD Chemistry, and September 2022 entry date. Please ensure you state 'EPSRC DTP 2022' in the funding section and state the supervisor’s name when prompted.

Contact us

For enquiries about the application process, contact Emma Chorley:

For enquiries about the project, contact Barny Greenland:


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
10 June 2022 23:45 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: