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PhD Studentship: Multifunctional Metal Organic Framework Catalysts for Organic Transformations

University of St Andrews - School of Chemistry

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Saint Andrews
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Cover tuition fees, stipend and a training support fee
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th March 2019
Expires: 6th June 2019

Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) have great potential within heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals synthesis, which derives from their high and controllable porosity and their great chemical versatility. This multi-disciplinary fully-funded PhD project, which is a collaboration with Glaxo Smith-Kline (GSK), builds on our recent discovery that certain MOFs can readily be decorated with ‘tagged’ molecular catalysts or catalytic ligands (Prasad et al. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 15309). We aim to explore new tandem transformations that make use of the multi-functional MOF catalysts we are preparing, and to determine the structure-performance relationship for these catalysts by quantitative approaches. This timely development of new materials can make a significant impact upon the synthesis of pharmaceutical intermediates.

The successful candidate need not already have the broad range of skills and experience that will be called on, but will possess a strong interest in carrying out research across different research areas. As well as researching the synthesis, structural characterisation and performance testing of MOF catalysts, the candidate will gain experience in modelling the kinetic results.

All aspects of the project will be supervised by an experienced academic and industrial team. As well as being an enjoyable and fascinating area of current research, this iCASE PhD will provide an ideal stepping-stone towards a career in either academia or the chemical industry. The School of Chemistry provides an excellent environment for research and study.  The research will take place in both a synthetic chemistry and catalysis laboratory (M. L. Clarke) and a materials research laboratory (P. A. Wright) and will include project meetings and extended research visits to GSK Stevenage. The School has extensive NMR (solution- and solid-state) and MS facilities, and a range of materials characterisation techniques, including diffraction, electron microscopy, porosimetry and access to molecular modelling. Details of study at St Andrews University can be found at and

This iCASE award is available for UK students who should hold or expect to obtain a 2.1 Chemistry Masters degree or above. The start date is from September 2019. Funding will cover tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum. Funding is available for up to 4 years.

Informal enquiries can be made by emailing the academic supervisors, Paul Wright and Matt Clarke ( and

The formal application procedure can be found at:

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