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Development of Novel Lewis Base Organocatalysts for Asymmetric Synthesis

   School of Science

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  Prof A Malkov, Dr G Weaver  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Organocatalysis, or catalysis by small organic molecules, is an area that in the last two decades witnessed an exponential growth. Its importance was recognised in 2021 by the award of Novel Prize to two prominent researchers, David MacMillan and Benjamin List, who were at the forefront of the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. Over the years, the group of Prof Andrei Malkov was active in designing novel organocatalysts for efficient synthesis of functional molecules and key building blocks for important practical applications. This project will continue to explore the area of asymmetric Lewis base organocatalysis.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Loughborough University is an Equal Opportunity employer and actively supports equality, diversity, and inclusion. The School of Science holds a bronze Athena SWAN award represents a thriving and diverse research environment. Applications are encouraged from all sections of society.

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The group of Prof. Andrei Malkov has a successful track record in designing novel organocatalysts. Among others, a family of symmetrical bipyridine N,N’-dioxides has been introduced as highly successful Lewis base catalysts for the asymmetric allylation and propargylation of carbonyl compounds. This project aims to extend this family of catalysts with non-symmetrical analogues to enable better flexibility for tuning their electronic and steric properties for application in catalytic processes that are unknown or remain challenging. This will involve:

  1. Development of coupling protocol for the synthesis of new non-symmetrical bipyridines.
  2. Optimisation of the catalyst structure for crotylation of aldehydes with deactivated functionalised allylsilanes.

Find out more:

For further information on the project, the applicants are welcome to inquire informally by e-mail. Find out more about the current research activity of Prof Malkov here

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: synthetic organic chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, organic reaction mechanisms.

Please see the programme website for international entry requirements by country.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.


All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select 'Chemistry'. Please quote reference number: AM/CM/2022

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects within the School. Funding decisions will not be confirmed until early 2022. The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate. International (including EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee Only.
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