Synthesis of bespoke biodegradable conductive materials for wearable e-textiles


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Arts, Technology and Environment, UWE Bristol.

The studentship will be funded by UWE Bristol for three years.

Ref 2324-APR-CATE11

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 April 2024.

The closing date for applications is 11 March 2024.

Studentship details

We are looking for a bright, highly motivated and committed student for PhD research in materials and polymer chemistry, which will investigate into developing bespoke and fully-biodegradable electrically conductive materials (for printed track) and encapsulating materials for sustainable wearable e-textiles applications.

Multifunctional e-textiles offer a transformative solution with added electrical, thermal, and optical functionalities to interface with the human body, enabling continuous monitoring, collection, and communication of physiological parameters. However, one of the major challenges remains in area of material sustainability. This PhD project is designed to develop sustainable conductive inks that can be inkjet-printed onto biodegradable textile substrate. This whole system will be designed in a fashion that they can easily be disintegrated, recycled or degraded into non-toxic organic molecules in certain conditions at the end of their life. Hence, The PhD project will also investigate the alternative degradation, disintegration (physical/chemical) of developed e-textiles, recover/reclaim chemicals, and investigate methods (risk mitigation) to chemically degrade materials or reuse parts (such as electrical components used for Bluetooth) that are not degradable.  PhD students with a strong background in chemistry, polymer science and a keen interest in experimental work to join us in a range of exciting new problems in this emerging area of wearable e-textiles.

This PhD studentship will be a part of EPSRC New Investigator award that will develop Sustainable wearable e-textiles for remote monitoring of atrial fibrillation patients. The student will be working in a group that offers a close-knit vibrant environment for highly motivated individuals in cutting edge scientific discovery and technological innovation areas. Graphene Applications Lab (at CFPR) already has facilities for material synthesis, ink formulations, surface engineering and necessary characterisation tools for this project.

Interest in wearable sensors is also highly welcome, as PhD projects in our group have a significant contribution of experiment, data analysis and computational work in the area of wearable e-textiles.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Shaila Afroj at


The studentship is available from 1 April 2024 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2.1 honours degree or a master’s (or international equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering related discipline.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2324-APR-CATE11.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 11 March 2024.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 18 March 2024. If you have not heard from us by 15 March 2024, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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