Fast simulation for translocating polymers through nanoscopic pores

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students with the required entry requirements

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: This opportunity will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore recommended.

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: PhDs can start in either January 2021, May 2021 or September 2021. entry point will be determined by the point of application and decision.

PI: Professor Damien Foster.


The Research Centre for Data Science (CDS) provides a hub to develop cutting edge research in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Future Computing Technologies and Statistical and Computer Modelling. The centre has a vocation to push the boundaries of both fundamental science and practical applications.

Project details

Nanopores are used by the biological cell to exchange proteins and used by toxins to destroy the cell. Nanopores, both biological and synthetic, are used by experimentalists to study the conformational behaviour of polymers and proteins where the portion of polymer within the pore may be analysed by measuring the variations of electric current induced by applying a fixed voltage across the pore.

This thesis project aims to understand the translocation process based on a simple mesoscopic modelling method coupled with information-theoretic methods. Tailoring nanopores structure to improve sequencing resolution and speed could form the basis of cheap testing and early detection of viral infections, giving directly information on the specific sequence of the infecting virus.

The project can either focus on very fundamental aspects of systems far from equilibrium and their modelling, or on intensive and novel computer simulation methods, depending on the strengths and interests developed by the candidate.

It would suit a candidate interested in statistical physics, biophysics or computational modelling.


This project is offered on a self-funded or externally funded basis. We particular welcome applications from candidates with funding from their home governments or sponsorship from companies.

For the academic year 2020/21:  English, Welsh and EU students can apply to borrow up to £26,445 to help cover the cost of their PhD.  Find out more about PHD Loans.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills. All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College which provides support with career development activities.

The candidate for this project will work in the Centre for Data Science amongst other researchers employing similar data science techniques to a wide variety of problems and applications. With access to cutting edge techniques and high performance computing resources, the Centre for Data Science is an ideal place to pursue a PhD in Data Science, Machine Learning, or Artificial Intelligence.

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Manage cookie settings
Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021