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Development of new catalytic methods for the efficient construction of natural product-inspired 3D scaffolds

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This PhD project aims to develop new catalytic synthetic methods for the efficient construction of natural product-inspired 3D scaffolds. The research will explore the application of recently discovered C-H and X-H bond activation using metallocarbenoids to generate SP3-rich cyclic and spirocyclic structures. The application of this methodology to the synthesis of biologically active natural and non-natural products will also be explored.

Based in the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, this project will provide extensive training in synthetic organic chemistry and a variety of analytical techniques (NMR, MS, HPLC, IR, UV). Furthermore, this project offers the possibility of a 3-month research placement at GlaxoSmithKline during the funded period of the PhD.

The candidate will have a degree that qualifies them for PhD study with a particular interest for organic chemistry and the development of new synthetic methods. The studentship will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been found, candidates are therefore encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Prof C J Hayes () for more details about the project.

Formal applications should be made through the University of Nottingham online system:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or closely related subject. A relevant Master's degree that demonstrates previous research experience in synthetic chemistry and/or catalysis is an advantage.

Funding Notes

This Fully funded studentship is available to start immediately, and at the latest will commence before October 2020. UK/EU students - tuition fees paid, and full stipend at the RCUK rate (£15,009 per annum (tax-free) for 2019/20).


1. "C-H Insertion as a key step to spiro-oxetanes, scaffolds for drug discovery" Nicolle, S. M.; Nortcliffe, A.; Bartrum, H. E.; Lewis, W.; Hayes C. J.; Moody, C. J. Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 13623–13627

2. "Stereoselective synthesis of functionalized pyrrolidines by the diverted N-H insertion reaction of metallocarbenes with ß-aminoketone derivatives" Nicolle, S. M.; Lewis, W.; Hayes, C. J.; Moody, C. J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 3749–3753

3. "Stereoselective synthesis of highly substituted tetrahydrofurans by diverted carbene O-H insertion reaction" Nicolle, S. M.; Hayes, C. J.; Moody, C. J. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 8485–8489

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