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(A*STAR) New photoredox methods for sustainable arylation

Department of Chemistry

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Prof M Greaney , Prof D Procter No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project will develop metal-free photoarylation as a new way of building biologically active molecules with minimal recourse to precious metal catalysis. Building on fundamental discoveries in arylation in the Greaney laboratory, where sulfonamides are employed as aryl donors under exceptionally mild conditions, the project seeks to establish a new electron donor-acceptor model for widespread application in chemical synthesis. By capturing innovation in fundamental chemical reactivity we can establish new arene disconnections under unprecedentedly mild reaction conditions.

You will work in two thriving and well-equipped research laboratories - the Greaney research group at the University of Manchester, UK and the Seayad group at A*STAR, Singapore (Years 1 and 4 Manchester, years 2 and 3 Singapore). The studentship will offer comprehensive training in organic synthesis, emphasising photocatalysis methods, with applications to natural products and pharmaceuticals.

Entry Requirements:

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science, engineering or technology.

UK applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. International applicants (including EU nationals) must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English Language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project. Eligibility can be checked via the University Country Specific information page ( 

Some restrictions apply to applicants from certain Asian countries. In general, students from Europe, the Americas, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan are eligible to apply for the programme. Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, China and Malaysia.

If your country is not listed you must contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions Team providing a detailed CV (to include academic qualifications – stating degree classification(s) and dates awarded) and relevant transcripts. 

Following the review of your qualifications and with support from potential supervisor(s), you will be informed whether you can submit a formal online application.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website

Funding Notes

Funding covers tuition fees (UKRI rate) and stipend for four years. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme. Candidates will be required to split their time between Manchester and Singapore, as outlined on


Representative publications from the Greaney and Seayad groups:
1. Whalley, D. M., Duong, H. A., Greaney, M., A Visible Light-Mediated, Decarboxylative, Desulfonylative Smiles Rearrangement for General Arylethylamine Syntheses. Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 11493.
2. Sagadevan, A.; Charitou, A.; Wang, F.; Ivanova, M.; Vuagnat, M.; Greaney, M. F. ortho C-H arylation of arenes at room temperature using visible light ruthenium C-H activation. Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 4439.
3. Sagadevan, A.; Greaney, M. F. meta-Selective C−H Activation of Arenes at Room Temperature Using Visible Light: Dual-Function Ruthenium Catalysis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 9826. 10.1002/anie.201904288
4. Lim, J.; Sana, B.; Krishnan, R.; Seayad, J.; Ghadessy, F. J.; Jana, S.; Ramalingam, B. Laccase-Catalyzed
Synthesis of Low-Molecular-Weight Lignin-Like Oligomers and their Application as UV-Blocking Materials. Chem. Asian J. 2018, 13, 284. Chem. Asian J. 2018, 13, 284.
5. Tan, P. W.; Mak, A. M.; Sullivan, M. B.; Dixon, D. J.; Seayad, J. Thioamide-Directed Cobalt(III)-Catalyzed Selective Amidation of C(sp3)-H Bonds. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 16550.
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