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PhD studentship in: “Synthesis of Fluorinated Organo-rings and Derived Architectures”


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Monday 20 February 2023
Reference:  SCI2148

About the Project

Application deadline: Open until filled
Supervisor: Prof Simon Woodward (

Start date: Oct 2023

Project description

A 3.5-year PhD studentship is currently available in the Woodward research group to be filled as soon as possible for an October 2023 start.

The student will be based in the University of Nottingham (GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry, Jubilee Campus) and will be involved in research leading to a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry. More information about the project below.

Synthetic organic chemistry lays at the heart of Science and Technology and within this remit the formation of ring-shaped (macrocyclic) molecules is attractive. Such organic rings selectively envelope smaller molecular guests making them of high utility in supramolecular and device (‘molecular machine’/sensor) chemistries. Additionally, ring-molecules have a burgeoning use as scaffolds for medicinal and biological applications. 

Recently we have discovered a new, simple and general strategy allowing the preparation of large macrocyclic thioether rings containing multiple fluorine groups Chemical Science 2023:!divAbstract these are fantastic starting materials (accessible at gram amounts) for the preparation of additional new and exciting structures.  

The successful candidate will explore new avenues in this field of fluorinated organic rings, working on methods to allow their selective conversion into diverse functionalized organic rings (macrocycles) and other architectures for widespread applications. 

The student will work at the GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry, University of Nottingham, using state-of-the-art research facilities. The student will develop extensive skills in organic chemical synthesis and spectroscopy and receive substantial training in supramolecular, macrocyclic and physical organic chemistries: all fields which are increasingly popular in both academia and industry.          

The ideal candidate will hold a degree in Chemistry, or a closely related subject, and have developed a strong interest in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. The start date for this project will be Oct 2023 (please see eligibility below). The studentship will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been found, hence candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit our research group website ( and contact Prof Simon Woodward ( for more details or enquires about the project. 

Entry requirements

The position is available only for UK Home Students. Applicants should have, or expected to achieve, a 1st class or 2:1 Honours degree in Chemistry, Nat. Sci. or an equivalent chemically focussed degree. A 4-year integrated Masters (MSci or MChem), combined studies (BSc followed by MSc), or a BSc degree followed by substantial research experience will all be considered.

Funding Notes

Fully funded studentship to commence in Oct 2023. UK students – tuition fees paid and full stipend, tax-free, for 3.5 years at the RCUK rate (currently £17,668 per annum).

How to apply

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


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