Merxin PhD studentship opportunity

Programme Description

The University invites applications for a PhD student to join our Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP) scheme, a 1-year industrial placement followed by a 3-year PhD studentship funded jointly by the European Regional Development Fund, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Merxin ltd.

Start date: October 2019

Duration: 4 years

Company: Merxin Ltd

Stipend: Starts at £14,553 per annum plus approved expenses. Students will also receive a maximum contribution towards their individual tuition fees; equivalent to the Home/EU student fee in each year of registration.

The project

Merxin are designers and suppliers of generic and customized inhaler device platforms, creating, developing and supplying device platforms for evaluation through to commercial supply. Quality, reliability and efficacy are core values of Merxin to help improve the health of patients. Find out more information.

Drug delivery to the lungs for therapeutic benefits is changing; biomolecules, environmental protections are making demands on the technology landscape. Fine and soft mist inhalers are increasingly used to replace pMDIs, nebulisers and DPIs. These have been tuned to work with aqueous formulations with low viscosity. New molecules are requiring non-aqueous formulations where existing devices are not suited. The understanding of aerosolisation mechanisms of viscous liquids is limited.

This project will investigate how to aerosolise high viscosity liquids in safe and reliable ways as well as address the question: “How can formulations with high viscosity be aerosolised for efficient lung delivery of therapies?”

Supervisor Information

  • Professor Darragh Murnane, University of Hertfordshire
  • Dr Laura Urbano, University of Hertfordshire
  • Mr. Adam Stuart, Merxin



  • A minimum of a 2.1 in a relevant undergraduate (BSc) qualification from a recognised institution in Pharmaceutical Science; Material Science; Physics; Mechanical, Biomedical, or Chemical Engineering; or a related discipline
  • Experience of using quantitative research methods, to include raw data collection and analysis, e.g. laboratory investigations.
  • Experience of computational data modelling, including use of software such as LabView, Mathlab, Python and/or OpenFoam
  • Experience of research, development and writing content for multiple users, including presenting academic data to a lay audience and generating documentation which adheres to the appropriate regulatory standards
  • Flexible and adaptable to change
  • Team working and excellent inter-personal skills
  • Ability to travel across the country (offices in King’s Lynn)
  • Strong organisational skills and ability to work on own initiative
  • Commitment to reflective practice and ongoing learning and development
  • Interest in product development and research
  • Ability to deal with sensitive material with strict confidentiality


  • A minimum of Merit in a relevant Postgraduate (MSc) qualification
  • Candidates with industrial/translational experience.
  • Experience of analytical sciences, (e.g. pharmaceutical product performance testing)
  • Experience of product design and prototyping (e.g. medical engineering)
  • Proficiency in CAD (preferably using SolidWorks) and CFD


Application Process

For further information and to apply for this role please email The deadline for applications is the Sunday 11th of August 2019.

For Informal enquires please contact Professor Darragh Murnane at  Please note that applications sent directly to this address will not be accepted.

Interview Dates: Provisionally Monday 16th of September 2019

If you do not receive an invitation to interview, then you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.