Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

D.Phil. opportunity with Professor Dermot O’Hare

Applications are invited for a D.Phil position in Inorganic Chemistry, for three and half years, available from October 2017 to work with Professor Dermot O’Hare in the Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK. The subject of the thesis will be “Development of new applications of layered double hydroxide”. This studentship is funded by SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd (Thailand).

Layered double hydroxides (LDHs), also known as hydrotalcites, exhibit rich solid state chemistry since both the composition of the metal layers and the intercalated anions can be varied. They have captured much attention in recent years due to their impact across a range of applications such as catalysis, optics, medical science and in inorganic-organic nanocomposites. Recently, we have reported the synthesis of a new family of dispersible, hydrophobic LDHs exhibiting very high surface areas and pore volume, nearly two orders of magnitude higher than conventional LDHs.

This studentship will involve synthesis, characterisation and testing of new layered double hydroxides for a range of applications.

The candidate is expected to have a strong interest in chemical synthesis, solid-state chemistry and characterisation, and keen to work in collaboration with industry. Experience in catalysis would be an advantage. The candidate should also have II:1 or above in their first degree or higher degree in Chemistry, or a related science discipline.

This studentship will cover College and University fees at Home/EU rate plus provide a maintenance grant at £14,553 per annum.

Closing date: Friday 10th March 2017

Candidates should submit a formal application via Oxford online application system: , quoting DOH17.

For enquires relating to the application and admissions process please contact: Aga Borkowska, Graduate Studies Administrator: , tel.:  +44 (0) 1865 272569.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Jean-Charles Buffet, SCG Programme Manager:

For a summary of the group’s current research interests please see:


iCASE Studentship with Syngenta: Expanding Cytochrome P450 profiling using Organic Synthesis for Activity Based Probes

Project description:
The aim of this organic chemistry-based project is to design, develop and synthesise novel activity-based probes to expand quantitative activity profiling of cytochrome P450 enzymes, in close collaboration with a proteomics specialist PhD student working at the Plant Science Department. Cytochrome P450 profiling will be applied to organisms that Syngenta uses to study the fate of agrochemicals and used to study the role of these enzymes in plant-pathogen interactions. Plants have >250 P450 enzymes that play key roles in the biosynthesis and metabolism of phytohormones, cell wall precursors, defence compounds, and agrochemicals [1]. P450s are interesting to study because of their diverse substrates, their elusive post-translational regulation and the large number of highly diversified P450s per organism. Several activity-based probes for P450s have been validated in medical biology and are based on ‘suicide substrates’ that become reactive upon mono-oxygenation and react with nucleophiles in the substrate binding pocket of P450s [2,3]. The aim of this project is to develop novel P450 probes, inspired by natural products and agrochemicals known to be substrates or inhibitors of these P450 enzymes. This project will be hosted in the Burton lab and at the Chemistry Department and will have organic synthesis at its core. The project involves close collaboration with a proteomics specialist PhD student working in the van der Hoorn lab at the Department of Plant Sciences, who will be identifying the target spectrum of existing P450 probes in plants and establish quantitative P450 profiling. Depending on interest, the candidate will identify the target spectrum of his/her own, novel probes in plants. The project includes regular meetings at the Plant Science Department and with Syngenta scientists, and a 3-month placement in the Chemistry Department of Syngenta at Jealotts Hill. The 4-year PhD position is for UK students only, and should start before October 2017.

Student profile:
Applicants should fulfil the UK Research Councils’ residency criteria and qualify for Home fees rate as well as having a university degree in chemistry. We seek candidates that are highly motivated to collaborate with scientists at the Plant Science Department and at Syngenta. The candidate should have organic chemistry experience, work experimentally accurate and have excellent communication skills in English. Experience in working with plants and/or protein biochemistry is not essential. This project will suit someone who wants to apply their organic chemistry knowledge to solving problems at the interface of chemistry and biology.

Expressions of interest should be sent to Professor Jonathan Burton before February 15, 2017. Please send a strong motivation letter stating why this is an interesting topic and why you have the right attitude and expertise to make progress in this field, along with your CV and names of three references. For more information, please see and or contact or

[1] The Arabidopsis Book e0144 (2012); [2] Chem. Biol. 14:1043-51 (2007); [3] JACS 131:10692-700 (2009).

Funding Notes:
The PhD position is funded for four years by the Industrial Partnership Studentship Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (IPS-CASE) of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). BBSRC eligibility criteria apply (View Website). Successful students will receive a stipend of no less than the standard RCUK stipend rate, currently set at £14,296 per year, which will be supplemented by the industrial partner.

3-year DPhil studentship available in Prof. Mark Moloney's Group

There is a DPhil studentship (Research Council, DTP-sponsored 3 year studentship) available in the research group of Professor Mark Moloney from September / October 2017.  The project relates to the synthesis and evaluation of activity of mimics of natural product systems as novel antibacterial agents. The work will be strongly synthesis focused, but also require some microbiology and interaction with external collaborators.  More information about the Moloney research group is available (, and interested students may contact Mark Moloney directly for more information:

To be eligible for this funding, candidates must meet the UK Research Councils’ residency criteria.

Closing date: Friday, 10th March 2017

Queries related to application process should be directed to:

3-year DPhil studentship available in Catalysis and Polymer Chemistry supervised by Prof. Charlotte Williams

A DPhil studentship is available, for October 2017 start, supervised by Prof. Charlotte Williams and involving research in areas of polymerization catalysis, polymer chemistry and organometallic chemistry.  The studentship is fully funded for 3 years, the candidates must however meet the UK Research Councils’ residency criteria.

Interested candidates should consult the relevant webpages ( and group publications to learn more of the research areas.  Candidates wishing to apply for the studentship should contact Prof. Williams by email ( and include a CV, covering letter and names of referees.  

You will also need to submit an application for entry to the DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry programme through the University of Oxford’s Graduate Admissions website:

Deadline for applications: Friday, 20th January 2017

Queries related to application process should be directed to:

Reference: CW17

Doctoral Studentship in Experimental Physical Chemistry

(Electromagnetic effects on confined liquids)

Autumn 2017 start

Applications are invited from students interested in studying for a DPhil (Oxford’s doctoral degree, equivalent to PhD) under the supervision of Professor Susan Perkin in the Surface Forces Research Laboratory, Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Oxford.

The vision of the research group is to discover how liquids behave at interfaces and in nano-scale films or pores; we aim to uncover physical principles and generate greater understanding relevant to a range of applications including energy storage, lubrication and friction, adhesion, and nanomaterials. Much of our efforts over recent years involved ionic liquids; pure salts that are liquid under ambient conditions. Another recent innovation in the lab is a unique instrument for measuring the interaction force between two graphene sheets across liquids. The majority of our work involves delicate experimental measurements using the Surface Force Balance; an instrument for detection of interaction forces (normal and lateral) between two smooth solid surfaces across a liquid medium.

This studentship is supported by funding from the ERC.

Applicants should have an undergraduate or Masters degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Physics, Chemistry), an interest in experimental work, developing challenging experimental setups, problem solving and creative thinking. In return, students will be given the opportunity to develop skills in mechanical and electrical instrumentation; chemistry of surfaces and fluids in confinement; data analysis and interpretation; theory of electrolytes and surface interactions. The University of Oxford provides world-class facilities for research and skills training; the College system in Oxford also ensures that graduate students are immersed in an international and academically broad social community outside of their doctoral studies.

More information about the research group can be found on the group website (, and interested students are encouraged to contact Susan Perkin directly for more information:

Applicants will be required by Oxford University to submit a formal application using the online system ( in time for 20th Jan. 2017 Please see: .

Queries related to application process should be directed to:

Unilever Graduate Scholarship in the Sciences - St. Cross College

St Cross College invites applications for this scholarship from students who will begin studying for a DPhil research degree in the sciences at the University of Oxford in the academic year 2017-2018 and who list St Cross College as their first choice college on their Graduate Admissions application.

The Unilever Scholarship in the Sciences has a value of £3,050 and is tenable for three years coterminous with College fee liability. The successful scholar will be guaranteed to have a room in College accommodation (at the standard rent) for the first year of their course. Preference will be given to those studying for degrees in engineering or biochemistry. Applications should be received by Friday 19th May 2017.

The Scholarship is tenable at St Cross College only. An application form can be downloaded from this site, or requested by email. Written requests should be sent to the Academic and Admissions Assistant, St Cross College, St Giles', Oxford OX1 3LZ.