Weekly PhD Newsletter | SIGN UP NOW Weekly PhD Newsletter | SIGN UP NOW

Design and Synthesis of New Chiral Heterogeneous Photocatalysts for Light-Driven Asymmetric Organocatalysis

   Department of Chemistry

  Dr John Ward  Tuesday, February 28, 2023  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This opportunity will remain open until the position has been filled and so early applications are encouraged.

A fully funded PhD studentship is available from 1st October 2023.

Photoredox catalysis is an important development in organic synthesis, offering distinct reaction pathways under mild conditions. The ability to perform photoredox reactions with enantioselectivity is particularly important, as highlighted by the award of the 2021 Nobel prize in Chemistry for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. Most photocatalysts available to synthetic chemists are homogeneous metal-complexes or organic dyes, which raise issues of cost, recyclability, and waste production. Development of heterogeneous organic photocatalysts could address many of these issues but their application in organic synthesis is still in its infancy and underdeveloped. In this project we aim to design and synthesise new chiral heterogeneous photocatalysts for light-driven asymmetric organocatalysis.

The project will be supervised by Dr John Ward (https://www.wardlab.co.uk) and based in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, with access to the unique facilities in the state-of-the-art Materials Innovation Factory.

This project is multidisciplinary involving multi-step organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, and materials characterisation. This will enable the candidate to develop a diverse skillset and launch a career in industry or academia. The Ward group has several ongoing projects with major pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies, presenting an excellent opportunity to make connections with key people in these organisations and to enhance your CV and career opportunities post PhD. Additionally, the project will promote personal development in teamwork, establishing collaborative networks, and in scientific communication - achieved by attendance at national and international scientific conferences, and by the publication of research papers.

Entry Requirements: Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a good degree (equivalent to a UK First or Upper Second Class degree) in Chemistry or a related discipline. We are looking for candidates with an enthusiasm for research, multidisciplinary collaboration and tackling challenging problems through teamwork. Prior research experience (such as a Masters Research project or equivalent) in organic synthesis is desirable. Ideally, the candidate will have some experience of materials characterisation, but this is not essential and the necessary skills will be taught during the PhD.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact John Ward (email: ).

How to Apply: To apply, please visit the following website: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/ Please ensure you quote reference CCPR060 on your application form.

The University of Liverpool is committed to providing an environment which recognises, values, respects and celebrates people's differences and strengths. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are at the heart of all we do. Working together, as a community, we will create an even more inclusive culture, which aims to maximise the potential of our staff and students.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

The School is committed to Athena SWAN principles to promote women in science; the School’s website documenting activity in this area can be found at: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/physical-sciences/equality-and-diversity-group/athena-swan/

Funding Notes

The award will cover fees at the Home rate and an annual stipend at the EPSRC-DTP rate for 3.5 years. Please refer to the EPSRC website for eligibility requirements. View Website. The stipend for 2022/2023 is minimum £17,668 pa, with the possibility of an increase for 2023/2024. Non-UK applicants may have to contribute to the higher non-UK tuition fees.


1. ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 16, 10057
2. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 16, 6898
3. ChemPhotoChem 2020, 4, 456
4. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 20, 12256
5. Organic Materials 2021, 3, 245

Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs