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People and culture are fundamental to research and innovation, we aim to create a supportive and inclusive research culture for excellent research.

We are Hiring!

We are looking for candidates of postdoc research fellows and PhD students to join our UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to work on the nanofluidic energy absorption of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) (Publication). You will join a highly interdisciplinary team across engineering and chemistry here in Birmingham, and our collaboration network of world-leading groups in the MOF community.

Funded Postdoc Position (Closing on 08 Dec 2023, Advert on, Linkedin, Birmingham)

We are seeking applications from crystallographers with an interest in nanoporous materials (e.g., MOFs, COFs, zeolites). You will lead the synchrotron experiments in the group and use in-situ crystallography to understand the water adsorption and structure transition of hydrophobic nanoporous materials at high pressure; you may then use such knowledge to design materials for desired behaviour through chemical synthesis or modification. For this position, crystallography expertise (ideally Rietveld refinement) is essential and synthesis experience is desirable. The candidate can start as soon as possible and the position will be available until December 2026 with the potential of extension further. Informal inquiries are welcome and we reserve the right to close the application early once a sufficient number of applications have been received.

Ph.D. Position (Closing on 25 Feb 2024, Advert on FindaPhD)

Nanoporous materials such as Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are having their applications in mechanical energy absorption. For example, MOFs can offer extremely small hydrophobic pores that are comparable to the size of water molecules, squeezing liquid water into these tiny nanopores can create large solid-liquid interfaces and dissipate huge amounts of mechanical energy. Flexible MOFs can also have structural transitions under mechanical pressure to absorb energy. Mechanical energy absorption through these mechanisms can be amplified by their large surface area and porosity, leading to much higher efficiency than conventional materials.

This research is highly interdisciplinary, so we invite applications from candidates across all relevant areas, including but not limited to:

  • Chemistry: Nanoporous Material Synthesis (MOFs, COFs, zeolites, polymer, silica), Crystallography, Mechanochemistry

  • Physics: Nanofluidics (nanoscale water), Molecular Dynamics, Thermodynamics

  • Materials: Colloids (nanofluid), Gel, Polymer

  • Mechanics: Solid Mechanics, Rheology, Impact Mechanics, Vibration, Dynamics, Acoustics

  • Engineering: Mechanical Design, Mechatronics, Energy Sustainability

Applicants should have a good degree (equivalent to a UK First or at least a 2:1) in one of the disciplines above. Those wishing to apply should email Yueting ( with a CV. 

About us

How will you find our group?

WE HAVE FUN: We are a group of people from different disciplines and backgrounds, but we have one thing in common: curious, enthusiastic, and open-minded, prefer creative thinking and pursue the unknown by trying new things!


WE ARE DIFFERENT: This is a place where everyone is comfortable expressing their diversity and being proud of who they are! We aspire to work in an inclusive way, and champion Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). We look forward to having people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in our group, as different perspectives and approaches create truly innovative ideas!

WORD CLASS FACILITY: We host fantastic equipment in mechanical testing and material synthesis and processing, we are always open to investing in new topics that any group members propose as long as it is interesting science!

What you will have?

DEVELOP YOURSELF: We aim to create the best environment for you to thrive and achieve your full potential! We recognise the importance of continuous professional and career development and that you may pursue a wide range of careers across different employment sectors. You will have at least 10 days per year for professional development and we hold regular reviews to help you identify and address your need in professional and career training, e.g., leadership, media, communication, entrepreneurship, and public engagement!

DEVELOP YOUR RESEARCH: You will have your say in what you want to do! You will be supported to develop your own research identity and become an independent researcher! We are working in an exciting new field where you can develop your own research!   

BUILD YOUR NETWORK: We do not work alone! We collaborate with people from different disciplines to tackle challenging questions, and we enjoy collaborations as we like to bring people together to achieve a shared vision and see people benefit from it. You will broaden your horizons outside your core discipline, and build your network. We work with people from a whole range of different disciplines and cultural backgrounds,  conferences, events, schools including those outside your own disciplines, visits, and placement in collaborators group. 

Where you will be? 

BIRMINGHAM: Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK and is well-known for its diversity and welcoming culture to people from all around the world. The University of Birmingham is a Top 100 world’s leading university with its Birmingham 2030 aspiration to be the Top 50 in the near future. Sitting in the West Midlands, you have easy access to various industries and national events. In addition, we also have a fantastic local MOF community (mainly in the School of Chemistry). Here is some info about Birmingham: Discover Birmingham, Videos, and Facts.   

THE UNITED KINGDOM: The UK is well-known for its healthy working environment, diverse workforce,  good work-life balance, and supportive research culture especially for early-career researchers. I am sure that you will enjoy the research and life here!


How to join?

DO NOT HESITATE: Just an email to Yueting with your CV! Don't worry if it looks like you are having a differnet background from us, we want you to be different! We expect to have regular openings every year, so you do not have to wait for a specific opening advert from our group, just get in touch! 

Competitive PhD Studentships

There is a wide range of scholarships available to study in Birmingham. You can search the Postgraduate scholarship and funding database, and submit your PhD application on the Departmental Graduate Studies Page. You usually need to have 1st Class or high 2:1 to be competitive for these scholarships. Prospective applicants should email Yueting prior to application to gain support and guidance on competing for scholarships.

Many international applicants struggle to find suitable studentships, we listed some of them below and you can also consult this International PhD Funding page:

Competitive Postdoc Fellowships

Yueting's research has been supported by multiple prestigious fellowships, including KC Wong Fellowship and UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. We recognise the importance of such fellowships to early career researchers, so we are highly motivated to support you to apply for fellowships to become fully independent and move on to your next career stage. Importantly we do have relevant experience to advise on fellowship applications!

We are open to interdisciplinary collaborations, so even if you are coming from a different field, we will consider your application by looking at whether our group can provide the best environment and support for you to develop yourself and your research: we want you to be in the right place! 

Below are some examples of well-known fellowship schemes from junior postdoc to more senior ones. Some of them will have to start with an internal selection in our university therefore prospective applicants should email Yueting as early as possible to discuss research proposals. 

Visiting Opportunities

We always welcome visitors to come and collaborate! Prospective applicants should email Yueting.

We usually expect the visitor to secure their own funding for their stay in the group, we are happy to support your application for institutional or government scholarships such as CSC scholarship. We will support your research by covering all the research costs during your stay in our group and provide development opportunities including but not limited to attending conferences and high-quality professional and career training.

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