PhD international awards in Multi-scale Modelling at De Montfort University Leicester

  • Phd
  • Tuition fees + £15,285 stipend
  • 11 January 2021

**Project description
**Dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) is a prerequisite to absorption and clinical efficacy when drugs are administrated orally. APIs with poor water solubility have slow dissolution rates, leading to erratic and incomplete absorption and low bioavailability. Within the last two decades, co-crystallisation has emerged as an essential strategy to tackle this challenge. A pharmaceutical co-crystal is a multi-component crystal, comprising two or more compounds (one compound is API and the others are co-formers) that are solid under ambient conditions. In spite of the approved benefits of the physicochemical properties of the co-crystals, e.g. improved solubility and dissolution rates, the process of transforming co-crystals into commercial drug products by meeting the in vivo requirements of pharmacokinetics is not straightforward. Advanced digital design techniques based on predictive models have the potential to facilitate the decision making of co-crystallised API formulations, and accelerate the product reaching the market quickly and cost-effectively.

This multidisciplinary project, funded by the EPSRC in collaboration with five industrial partners, will develop a unique multiscale modelling tool, spanning micro to macroscales, to design and manufacture better quality co-crystal products. The successful PhD candidate will work with Professor Mingzhong Li [] at De Montfort University (DMU), to explore different experimental and modelling techniques, such as atomic force microspy (AFM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), molecular dynamics modelling (MD), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and population balance modelling (PBM).

De Montfort University Leicester
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De Montfort University Leicester

De Montfort University Leicester is a public university in the city of Leicester, England.

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Applicants must:

  • Possess a UK honours degree in Pharmaceutical Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or other relevant subject, with at least a high upper second class (2:1) or equivalent, and a Master's Degree, with at least a high merit (65%) or equivalent.
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of the English language. Please see section 5b here for further details on meeting our English language entry criteria.

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DMU is offering a fully-funded 3-year PhD scholarship for this work, commencing on 1st April 2021. The stipend is pegged to the UKRI rate, currently at £15,285 per annum.


Stage 1: Please send the following documents to Professor Mingzhong Li ( by email:

  • A CV which clearly indicates your undergraduate and Masters degree results. If Masters degree results are provisional/expected, then please indicate.
  • A research proposal of 1,000 words in which you set out the intended disciplinary background(s) of the study, a specific research question that the PhD study will address, an overview of the research methods, and a discussion of how the study addresses the core themes of the overarching research problem (as outlined above).
  • A statement of interest (500 words) to indicate why you are interested in the PhD and demonstrating you have the desired qualities and experience for the study.

Deadline: 11 January 2021

Step 2: Should you be successful in being considered for this studenship, Professor Li will invite you to apply and submit a full application via the DMU Admissions Portal.

Deadline for full DMU Admissions application: 1 February 2021

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