We have three funded, industry-linked, PhD studentships available for study commencing as soon as possible and up until October 2023.

New Methods to Access Enantioenriched Heterobicylic Scaffolds

This project will explore new applications for chiral magnesium amide-mediated asymmetric deprotonation of prochiral ketones. Access to enantiomerically-enriched novel bicyclic substrates possessing enol phosphate motifs will allow transformation into chiral, sp3-rich heterobicyclic frameworks through an iterative cross-coupling-oxidation-heterocycle formation sequence, enabling the rapid construction of a broad range of novel heterobicyclic scaffolds of potential pharmaceutical interest. As part of the overall programme of work, computationally-driven methods will inform catalyst design, direct reaction scope, and investigate reaction mechanism. The studentship is funded in collaboration with world-leading pharmaceutical company, GSK, for a duration of 4 years.

Computationally-Guided Catalytic Methods for C-C Bond Formation

This project will explore new methods for directed C-H activation and C-C bond formation, based on our established class of iridium(I) complexes, which are state-of-the-art in ortho-C-H activation. Recent work has employed this catalyst class in a limited range of substrates within the proposed transformation. This project will develop a theoretical understanding of the process, including substrate and ligand parameterisation, to design new catalyst systems that will considerably broaden the scope of this process, and allow access to new heterocyclic scaffolds of pharmaceutical interest. The studentship is funded in collaboration with world-leading pharmaceutical company, GSK, for a duration of 4 years.

‘Tuned Iridium Catalysts to Deliver an Array of Synthetic Efficiency and Selectivity’

This project will specifically expand upon Kerr’s iridium-based catalysts for application in a portfolio of important transformations in organic synthesis and of direct relevance to the pharmaceutical industry. More specifically, Kerr has been heavily involved in the development of new iridium-catalysed methods for C-H activation, including applications in hydrogen isotope exchange, hydrogenation, and C-C, C-O, and C-N bond formation, areas which are now primed to be appreciably extended. The studentship has links to industry partners with a duration of 3.5 years.

How to apply:

Applicants must have, or expect to obtain, a strong MChem (or equivalent) degree as a requirement of the funding. Additionally, the position is well suited to students with significant experience in Synthetic Organic Chemistry obtained either through industrial placement or as part of an MChem/MSci research project. Please submit your application by e-mail to Dr Laura C. Paterson (laura.c.paterson@strath.ac.uk), which should include:

  • Cover letter, detailing your experience and motivation for PhD studies; 
  • CV with the details of two referees;
  • Full transcripts from your undergraduate degree and any additional higher degree studies; and
  • Other pertinent information (e.g., publications, awards, and other distinctions)

The successful applicant will join our extremely motivated and industrious research team, and will receive elevated levels of training in the areas of preparative chemistry, organometallic-based synthesis, reaction mechanism, computational methods, and the associated analytical/spectroscopic requirements. Industrial partners will also provide key training opportunities as aligned to the individual projects.

%d bloggers like this: