The group is always on the lookout for dynamic, motivated individuals of exceptional ability who wish to work on the mechanical properties of crystalline hybrid materials, or want to explore the crossover between porous hybrids and the non-crystalline domain.

Particularly, we are always happy to discuss offering support applications for fellowships – please get in touch with Tom (

Available PhD Studentships

(1) Inorganic Glasses and MOFs: Exploring Materials at the Interface

Start date: October 2020, or January/October 2021

Duration: 3.5 Years

Supervisory Team: Dr Thomas D Bennett and Professor David A Keen

A fully funded, 3.5 year studentship (is available in the Hybrid Materials group, in the Materials Science and Metallurgy Department, University of Cambridge). This is for ‘Home’ rate students only. The flexibility in start date is due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus epidemic. Interviews may be held by Skype.

This post is generously funded by a project grant from the Leverhulme Trust, and seeks to develop new metal-organic framework (MOF) materials based upon existing glasses. Specifically, this ambitious, experimentally-focused project will involve the use of solvothermal and ‘green’ mechanochemical techniques to synthesize both inorganic, and hybrid materials. Structural characterization will be performed primarily through pair distribution function analysis and electron microscopy, and the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of advanced materials studied through thermal analysis, gas sorption analysis and nanoindentation.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to look at the research group website ( For further information about the project, please get in touch with Dr Thomas Bennett ( in advance of applying. Please send a CV (two pages maximum) and expression of interest before making a formal application.

The advert may be found here:

Competitive PhD Studentships

Speculative applications are also welcomed each year. The deadline for applying for project funding through University schemes is always at the start of December, please get in touch well in advance of this date.

Applications for support for the following schemes are particularly welcome:

China Scholarship Council

Commonwealth PhD Scholarship

Available Post-Doctoral Research Positions

(1) Inorganic Glasses and MOFs: Exploring Materials at the Interface

Closing Date for Applications: 5th May 2020.
Start date: October 2020, or January 2020

The post, funded by a Leverhulme Trust research grant, is available for 36 months. The position will ideally start on 6th October 2020, though the current situation regarding the Coronavirus epidemic means that flexibility is of course possible. This also means that interviews will be held via Skype.

This position is for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to work in Dr. Thomas Douglas Bennett’s research group (, on an ambitious project which looks at creating new composite glass-based materials alongside Professor David Keen (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory). The project will involve both inorganic and hybrid materials synthesis, state of the art characterization and physical properties measurements including gas sorption analysis and nanoindentation.

Qualifications required: Candidates should have a PhD, or should be about to graduate, and have a strong background in Chemistry, Materials Science or a closely related subject.

Experience Criteria: Expertise in the techniques of pair distribution function analysis and/or transmission electron microscopy would be highly desirable. A background knowledge of glasses, and/or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is desirable. You will be expected to integrate into a team of ca. 10 PhD and post-doctoral researchers, and be the daily point of contact for a PhD student on a related project. Good interpersonal skills are therefore required, alongside the ability to coordinate your own academic research and administrative activities.

Other responsibilities include: * Working with researchers from different disciplines, both within, and outside of the UK. * Co-ordinating activities with industry partners. * Analysing and interpreting the results of their own research, generating original ideas and leading the production of publications based on these. * Designing and conducting a coherent set of experiments and record their outcome. * Presenting information on research progress and outcomes to internal and external contacts, both academic and industrial.

The successful candidate will have access to state-of-the-art synthesis and characterization facilities, including an electron microscopy suite, FTIR, polymer characterization laboratory and gas sorption equipment.

The advert may be found here:

Competitive Applications for Post-Doctoral Research Positions

Details on various schemes you may apply for are given below.

  • College Research Fellowships (3-5 Years) become available from the end of August to January each year. Each college at Cambridge offers its own competition – details of which are usually found here.

Requests to act as the host institution for applicants holding, or wishing to apply for a China Scholarship Council (CSC) grant, should be discussed with Tom in the first instance. The group has a successful track record in this area.

Academic Visitors / Visiting Students

We are happy to welcome visitors to the group, for periods of two weeks for academic discussions. Year, or two-year long positions are also welcome, but must be handled on a competitive basis. Please do discuss with Tom well in advance.

Part III MSci Projects

The group offers around 2 projects each year, details on which can be found through the department website. Interested students are encouraged to contact Tom to discuss the projects.