PhD opportunity: Understanding the sensory perception of topically applied products. University of Nottigham, UK

The cosmetics industry relies on consumer’s evaluation of their products to understand if they are desirable. However, little research exists systematically exploring relationships between sensory perception of tactile properties, consumer liking, emotional response and physical rheology. This information is important as it can be used to inform new product formulations. Therefore, the aim of this PhD research is to investigate sensorial properties of topically applied skin creams in relation to their consumer liking, consumer emotional response and rheological properties. Predictive models will be generated from resulting data to inform industry regarding the practical feasibility of various formulations. The successful candidate will gain a multidisciplinary experience, learning aspects of sensory evaluation methodologies, product formulation and characterisation, consumer methods, emotional response evaluation and predictive modelling of emotional and sensory responses to stimulus. In addition, as part of the program, the student will be expected to participate in business skills and personal development training provided by the Boots Company. A placement of a minimum of 3 months will also be provided, giving the student the opportunity to choose their own technical and/or business training from across a number of business areas including, claims, regulatory, packaging innovation and consumer insights.

The project forms part of The Boots Company Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP), which aims to develop entrepreneurial, highly trained doctorate scientists with transferable research and business skills, who will make valuable contributions to the UK economy by tackling bioscience challenges of the future.

This CTP PhD opportunity is a partnership between the No7 Beauty Company, within The Boots Company PLC, and the University of Nottingham. The No7 Beauty Company’s collection of inclusive and innovative beauty brands including No7, Liz Earle Beauty Company, Botanics, Soap & Glory, Sleek MakeUp and YourGoodSkin stem from a rich heritage of over 85 years in beauty and skincare. We are powered by a deep understanding of our customers and their needs with science at the heart of the skin care solutions and services developed.

We believe that the maintenance of healthy skin for life is key in helping people lead healthier and happier lives and progress cannot be made in achieving healthy skin without cutting-edge research into skin biology, with direct access to consumers and patients Boots and No7 Beauty Company play a vital role in delivering scientific insights into the UK skincare market.

This studentship is a BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) with The Boots Company PLC and the University of Nottingham. This will provide a minimum stipend of £20,500 (BBSRC contribution £17,500 per annum + £3000 contribution from Boots PLC) and full payment of Home/EU tuition fees (currently £4,469 per annum). The successful applicant will be registered for the degree of PhD in the School of Biosciences. Applications are invited from both UK and non-UK residents. However, please be aware However, that the BBSRC requirements cap the number of PhDs that can be filled by non-UK residents at 30% per academic year.

How to apply

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Applications are invited to submit the initial screening questionnaire using Once you have been shortlisted, we will contact you to request a detailed CV, including expected or actual degree class, and minimum of two references, and invite you for the interview. Interviews will be held weeks commencing 19th and 26th January. For BBSRC monitoring purpose, please also complete the anonymised demographic information using the link

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