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Catch and Release Catalysis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, August 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath focuses on developing new molecules, materials, processes and systems from the lab right through to industrial application, with an emphasis on practical sustainability. We train scientists and engineers to work together with industry to meet the needs of current and future generations. For more information, see:

All PhD students in the Centre will conduct high quality, challenging research directed by supervisors from a number of departments, including Biology & Biochemistry, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmacy & Pharmacology and Physics. All will also receive training in public engagement, sustainability and other transferable skills.

We are now accepting applications to work with our industrial partner, PhosphonicS Ltd, on this exciting PhD project. For more information, see:


Professor Chris Frost (Lead supervisor, Department of Chemistry)
Dr Paul Murray (PhosphonicS Ltd)
Dr Nicholas Taylor (PhosphonicS Ltd).


This project will explore applications of a new material which has a unique mode of action for recycling catalysts, with their ancillary ligands. The developed process supports an aryl bromide to “catch” catalysts that can undergo oxidative addition. The mode of action has been established and the system has unique advantages including; removal and direct recycling of the active catalyst and ligand; Allows tunability through the choice of any suitable catalyst and ligand; The caught catalyst is stable and can be washed with a range of solvents.

The research project will develop key protocols for applications in the catalytic synthesis of pharmaceuticals and fine-chemicals. This will involve collaborative work with chemical engineers and industry to understand the scale up and development of the material in different reactors and applications.

This project will be based at the University of Bath with placements at the site of the project’s industrial partner, PhosphonicS.


The ideal candidate will have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class degree in Chemistry and will have a strong interest in Organic Chemistry and Catalysis.

Informal enquiries about the research project should be directed to Professor Chris Frost, .

Enquiries about the application process should be sent to .

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form:

Please ensure that you quote CSCT in the Finance section and the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

NOTE: Applications may close earlier than the advertised deadline if a suitable candidate is found; therefore, early application is strongly recommended.

Funding Notes

UK and EU citizens applying for this project will be considered for a studentship covering UK/EU tuition fees and a stipend at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019/20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.

Candidates who are classed as Overseas for tuition fee purposes are unfortunately not eligible for funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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