Green Approaches to Polymer Synthesis

Green Synthetic Approaches to Advanced Polymer Material Synthesis via Polymerizable Eutectics

Degree type


Closing date

24 September 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

The synthesis of commodity and specialty polymers underpins numerous sectors in the global economy, on the order of millions of tonnes per annum. Many of these materials are prepared using traditional organic solvents, resulting in the generation of significant amounts of hazardous chemical waste. As a consequence, alternative synthetic pathways that adopt the principles of green chemistry are highly desirable. This project will investigate the use of deep eutectic solvents, an emergent class of designer solvents that can be prepared from non-toxic, readily available and biodegradeable starting materials, specifically in the domain of polymer synthesis [1]. We have recently developed synthetic pathways to prepare polymer hydrogels with unique thermal and mechanical properties by this method [2]. These eutectics will be investigated in areas such as controlled polymer synthesis, photopolymerization and the design of porous substrates, with a view toward potential application in areas such as chemical separations, additive manufacturing and controlled release.

[1] Polymers, 2021, 13, 447, DOI: 10.3390/polym13030447

[2] Polymer Chemistry, 2021, 12, 243, DOI: 10.1039/d0py01159b

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Stuart Thickett


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Applicants must have been awarded a first class Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant area of research in the chemical sciences or chemical engineering

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate research and analytical skills

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Stuart Thickett, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience