Doctoral Training Centre in Functional Nanomaterials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Chemistry


The training of a new generation of scientists in the area of Functional Nanomaterials is of great national urgency if robust interconnections are to be forged between fundamental nanoscience and real life applications, and coupled to economic and societal benefits. We will establish a frontier doctoral training centre (DTC) that will be transformative in addressing challenges presented within the context of the EPSRC theme on Nanoscience through Engineering to Application. Specifically, the Bristol Functional Nanomaterials (BFN) DTC will pioneer an integrated and sustainable doctoral programme consisting of 50 postgraduates who will be housed as a unified cohort in dedicated and bespoke space within a new purpose-built facility: the Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information (NSQI), representing an 11M infrastructure commitment by the University of Bristol, and opening in Autumn 2008. The established interdisciplinary network of academics, supported by ongoing University investment, will make BFN a vibrant world-class training environment.The high-calibre and motivated postgraduates recruited to BFN will be educated initially through a 1-year taught and practical programme in the principles and practice of nanomaterials science and engineering, with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches, applications, and associated societal issues. They will participate in novel and ground-breaking Exploratory Training Assignments, an Extended Project, and a PhD project that connect basic research in the bottom-up fabrication of nanomaterials to the manufacture and application of these materials as novel products and functional components. Novel training protocols will instil the highest level of scientific and technical competence, whilst maintaining a breadth of vision and commitment to interdisciplinarity, and a focus towards the promotion of nanomaterials into real-life uses. Specifically we will develop an innovatory online training resource, the Nanomaterials Science Dynamic Laboratory Manual (NS-DLM), a new benchmark for doctoral training in this field, and the Personal Development Passport, to ensure true interdisciplinarity and encourage a culture of self-guided decision-making and peer-learning.


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