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Imaging of Varnish Layers Using OCT at National Gallery

The development of ab-initio and force-field models to analyse the fading of historical artists’ paint

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022 / 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


Light is necessary for the display and analysis of heritage assets, however, the interactions between heritage materials and light can affect the way that heritage materials degrade. Though general preservation strategies are known, a detailed understanding at the atomic level of why these strategies are effective and how they might be improved is lacking.

In this research project, theoretical and computational investigations will be performed which will develop models of the fading. These processes occur on large spatio-temporal scales which necessitate molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to describe the dynamical processes in these systems.

A combined approach will be used with existing experimental teams specialising in spectroscopic, vibrational and optical techniques who are currently performing cutting-edge experimental investigations. It is anticipated that the computational models will be used to support existing analysis protocols of these data, and the successful candidate will be able to contribute to and work with vibrant and expanding experimental teams.

Supervisory team

Director of Studies, Ian Shuttleworth

Second Supervisor, Haida Liang

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, please visit our how to apply page.

How to apply

We are looking for motivated, engaged individuals to join our doctoral community. If you are interested in applying for one of the proposed Studentship projects, visit the "how to apply" page to access our application portal: please note, you will need to use the ‘NTU Doctoral Application 21/22’ form.

As you are applying for a project, your application should clearly outline which of the projects advertised you wish to apply in Summary of Proposed Research Topic. In Research Proposal and Personal Statement, please give up to 1,500 word statement of why you are interested in the project you are applying for and how you would engage with the research proposed. Think about the outline and research aims for the project and how you would approach them, as well as showing your understanding of the field and how the project will contribute to or challenge existing research. Your statement should focus on the framework of the project, to give the panel a clear idea of your understanding of the research project/topic. You will also need to include a bibliography or reference list for any work you cite.

Your skills, experience, motivation for pursuing doctoral study, and interest in the field should be included as part of your 500 word Previous Experience and Personal Statement.

Please note that only applications to the advertised projects will be accepted as part of this funding call; do not use your application to propose your own research project.

The application deadline is Friday 18 February 2022.

View all the projects in the Cultural Heritage Research Peak Studentships Scheme.

Fees and funding

This project is fully-funded by the Cultural Heritage Research Peak Studentships Scheme.

Guidance and support

Please see our application guide for prospective candidates. You can also find a step-by-step guide and make an application on our how to apply page.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418