PhD Studentship in Organic Chemistry: A Radical Translocation Strategy for the Direct Functionalisation of C–H Bonds

University of Nottingham - Organic Chemistry

Location: University Park

Dr James Cuthbertson, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham.

A fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship starting in October 2018 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 sustainable chemical processes, current research is focussed on the development of catalytic methods that enable the direct functionalisation of simple and readily available starting materials.

This project aims to develop new strategies for the regioselective generation of alkyl radicals, and to explore the use of these strategies, in combination with transition metal catalysis, to enable the direct functionalisation of C–H bonds. In particular, the project will focus on the development of novel cross-coupling processes for the construction of C–C bonds. The applications of the chemistry in the synthesis of bioactive natural products and pharmaceuticals will also be explored.

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.

The proposed research will provide training in a broad range of areas of organic chemistry including transition metal catalysis, photochemistry, and target synthesis. Furthermore, training in a variety of analytical techniques including NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, 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.

How to Apply:

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr James Cuthbertson (

Formal applications should be made online through the University of Nottingham’s online application system.

The post will remain open until filled.

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Midlands of England