PhD Studentship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry: Development of Photochemical and Electrochemical Strategies for the Functionalisation of Unactivated Alkenes

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Deadline: 07 Mar 2022

Closing Date
Monday, 7th March 2022

Location: University of Nottingham

Supervisor: Dr James Cuthbertson (

Funding for: UK Home Students

Start Date: October 2022

Hours: Full Time

Project Description

A fully-funded 3½ year PhD studentship (starting in October 2022) is available in the Cuthbertson research group. The group is based in the GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham.

Research in the Cuthbertson group is broadly based in the areas of organic synthesis and catalysis. As a result of the ongoing drive towards the design and implementation of more sustainable chemical processes, current research is focussed on the development of new methods to enable the direct functionalisation of simple and readily available starting materials.

The successful candidate will explore new photochemical and electrochemical strategies to enable the functionalisation of unactivated alkenes. Through the merger of these techniques with transition-metal catalysis, we aim to develop broadly applicable alkene difunctionalisation processes that will provide access to structurally diverse building blocks in a straightforward manner. Once developed, the applications of the chemistry will be demonstrated through the synthesis of bioactive molecules including natural products and pharmaceuticals.

The proposed research will provide training in a range of areas of organic chemistry including photochemistry, electrochemistry, transition metal catalysis, organometallic chemistry, and target synthesis. Furthermore, training in a variety of analytical techniques including NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, and HPLC/GC will also be provided. The student will develop additional skills through participation in group meetings and problem classes, as well as attending seminars that are regularly held in the School of Chemistry.

Applications are invited from candidates who have, or who are expecting to obtain, a first Class or 2(i) chemistry degree (or equivalent). The project will be ideally suited to candidates who have a strong interest in organic chemistry and catalysis, alongside excellent written and oral communication skills. Experience in reaction development, catalysis, and/or total synthesis is highly desirable.

Prospective applicants can contact Dr James Cuthbertson ( for more details or enquiries about the project.

Funding Notes

Fully funded 3½ year PhD studentship available to UK Home students. Tuition fees paid and full stipend, tax-free, for 42 months at the RCUK rate (currently £15,609 per annum).

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and CV to Dr James Cuthbertson ( detailing your previous research experience and current research interests.

Formal applications will then be made online through the University of Nottingham’s online application system:

The post will remain open until filled.

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