PhD Fellowship of EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

STINTS ESR4:  Multi-scale and multi-physics modelling of skin hydration

Unilever R&D Colworth, UK and University of Surrey

Applications are invited for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) of EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) to be hosted at Unilever R&D Colworth in the UK. The position is for a fixed-term of 3 years and the successful applicant is expected to register for PhD at the University of Surrey. This is one of the cohort of 13 ESRs of STINTS (, an EU Innovative Training Network of MSCA participated by 6 leading European universities, 2 global industrial companies and 8 associated industrial partners. The main aim of STINTS is to develop new scientic insight into the complex biomechanical,biophysical and biochemical pathways affecting skin integrity and barrier function, following the exposure of the skin to prolonged pressure and shear forces that ultimately results in skin response at cellular level. Specifically, the research objective of this ESR is to develop experimental and in-silico methods to investigate how prolonged pressure and shear influence skin hydration and transdermal water loss. The effects of skin care creams will be also investigated. Understanding skin hydration and transdermal water loss is critical for the mechanical integrity and barrier function of the skin.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with a multi-disciplinary supervisory team in a vibrant setting of both academic research and industrial R&D. Unilever is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fast moving consumer goods, with an annual turnover exceeding €50 billions.  The company’s brand portfolio includes household names such as Dove, Lux, Omo, Lipton and Wall’s. Unilever’s products are sold in over 180 countries around the world. Unilever R&D Colworth is one of Unilever’s six principal global R&D laboratories. Located near Bedford, Colworth in the UK, it is the home to Unilever’s Refreshment category, Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre, and Digital R&D. The University of Surrey is one of the world’s leading institutions for research excellence. Located in Guildford UK,  the university was named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times in 2016 and was awarded a Gold award in the recent Teaching Excellence Framework. The Department of Chemical and Process Engineering (CPE) is the longest established chemical engineering department in the UK and is currently ranked 5th in UK according to the Guardian League Table.

Applicants with physics, chemistry and engineering science background may apply. Skills in chemical engineering, physical chemistry and computer modelling are advantageous.

Eligibility: Applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for an ESR under the Horizon 2020 ITN Programme; in particular, they should be eligible to be appointed as an ESR in the UK by satisfying the following criteria:

  • to have less than four years research experience after Undergraduate/Masters graduation (this is cumulative research experience and does not include management/industrial or other work experience)
  • to not hold a PhD degree (PhD candidates under 4 years of registration and before completion may apply)
  • to have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for less than 12 months (cumulative) in the three years prior to their recruitment.

Further information of the Marie Curie ESR eligibility and mobility rules can be found at:

All benefits of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researchers will apply, including generous salary, mobility allowance and family allowance.

To apply, please send your latest CV, a covering letter and at least two reference recommendations to Professor Guoping Lian at

The closing date for application is 1st March 2018.