About the Project
An EPSRC DTG-sponsored PhD studentship is available for an outstanding and ambitious chemist to undertake research in the field of synthetic organometallic chemistry of uranyl with the Natrajan, Mills and Willcox group at Manchester. This project aims to contest current understanding of the bonding in the uranyl(VI) cation by employing strongly sigma donating and geometrically constrained ansa-type cyclopentadienyl ligands to influence the uranyl unit into deviating from its robust linear form. This will alter its electronic structure and reactivity, where we aim to probe its redox chemistry, including oxygen atom transfer reactions, to understand redox processes that occur in nuclear recycle and disposal scenarios. This will be investigated using synthetic chemistry under controlled conditions (here, inert atmospheric conditions) and by probing the electronic structure using Raman and optical spectroscopy in addition to DFT calculations (the latter with collaborators). Full training in all aspects will be provided. This project will suit someone who is primarily interested in synthetic inorganic/organometallic chemistry and who is willing to conduct spectroscopic investigations into the compounds synthesised.
Informal enquires about the position are welcome to [Email Address Removed]
Please submit a cover letter and CV with your application. Please quote reference xxx in all correspondence. The cover letter should describe your research interests and motivation for the proposed project in a short paragraph. Please see the application process at: http://www.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/researchdegrees/howtoapply/
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.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/connect/social-responsibility/
The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
Academic background of candidates
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a first class or upper-second class Masters degree, specialising in Chemistry. Experience of practical synthetic chemistry, especially air-sensitive chemistry (Schlenk lines and glove boxes) would be advantageous, although training will be provided. You should be capable of working under your own initiative and working within a small research team, so excellent communication and organisational skills are also required.
Contact for further Information
Louise Natrajan: [Email Address Removed]
David Mills: [Email Address Removed]
Darren Willcox: [Email Address Removed]
We expect the programme to commence in September 2021.
 Arnold et al., Nature Chem., 2012, 4, 221-227.
 Natrajan et al., Coord. Chem. Rev., 2014, 266, 171-193; Natrajan, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2012, 256, 1583-1603.
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