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  New NMR methods for complex structural studies

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr L Castañar Acedo  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Knowing the structures and behaviour of molecules is crucial for understanding the world around us and for the development of new chemical products, drugs and materials. As our knowledge grows about how Nature works, the species under study steadily increase in size and complexity, making their analysis more and more difficult. New methods are urgently needed to allow us to address a wider range of scientific problems, and to reduce the time and effort needed to extract useful chemical and biological information. In principle, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy ought to be able to meet this need. NMR is one of the most powerful and versatile techniques for the structural, conformational and dynamic analysis of molecules. However, conventional methods generally struggle to extract simple and clear information from the most challenging systems.

The primary focus of the studentship will be on the development of new experimental NMR methods tailored to maximise our ability to extract chemical and biological information currently rendered inaccessible by spectral complexity. Throughout the project, methodological developments will proceed hand in hand with collaborative applications to problems of chemical and biological importance, both to facilitate critical assessment of the utility of the new methods and as a stimulus to further development.

The student will be based in the NMR Methodology Group at the University of Manchester’s School of Chemistry. They will have access to world-class research facilities in the School of Chemistry including a suite of NMR spectrometers. This PhD project spans a range of disciplines including chemistry, physics, statistics/chemometrics, and programming. It will provide extensive training in a range of research methods, allowing the student to acquire a broad set of skills in practical NMR spectroscopy, spin physics, statistical data analysis, software production and scientific programming, and can be tailored to suit individual preferences.


At Manchester we offer a range of scholarships, studentships and awards at university, faculty and department level, to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers. 

For more information, visit our funding page or search our funding database for specific scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for. 

Before you apply 

We strongly recommend that you contact the lead supervisor for this project before you apply. 

How to apply 

To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, how you’re planning on funding your research, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing [Email Address Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

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. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)


 C. Mycroft, M. Nilsson, G. A. Morris, L. Castañar. ChemPhysChem., 2022. (DOI: 10.1002/cphc.202200495)
 M. J. Smith, L. Castañar, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. Anal. Chem., 2022. (DOI:10.1021/acs.analchem.2c02411)
 P. Kiraly, G. Dal Poggetto, L. Castañar, M. Nilsson, A. Deák, G. A. Morris. Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 11538–11547.
 T. Barbosa, L. Castañar, P. Moutzouri, M. Nilsson, G. A. Morris, C. Tormena. Anal. Chem., 2020, 92, 2224-2228.
 G. Dal Poggetto, L. Castañar, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 5766-5771.
 G. Dal Poggetto, L. Castañar, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 7461-7464.
 M. Foroozandeh, L. Castañar, L. G. Martins, D. Sinnaeve, G. Dal Poggetto, C. F. Tormena, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 15579-15582.

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 About the Project