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Origins of life systems chemistry at King’s College London

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr Saidul Islam  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited from PhD candidates to join the chemical origin of life laboratory at the Department of Chemistry at King’s College London (KCL). You will be supervised by Dr Saidul Islam (Lecturer in Chemistry from May 2022). This is an exciting opportunity for students with a strong chemistry background with an interest in biological processes to tackle one the most important questions in society: how did life start on early Earth?

The goal of Dr Islam’s laboratory is to elucidate chemical pathways that may have come before the biochemical pathways that we observe today. This will inform us of why the molecules of life (nucleic acids, proteins etc.) are the way they are, and why biochemical pathways now produce the molecules in the way they do.

The post holder will be carrying out research into the synthesis and function of biological and biomimetic molecules in water. They will contribute to the design and implementation of research strategy, provide full records, analyses and internal progress reports of all research outcomes. They should be self-motivated, have excellent experimental skills and work according to local safety guidelines.

The minimum requirement is a first class or upper second-class honours degree (MSci, MChem) or equivalent. Experience in organic chemistry, multistep synthesis, characterisation of reaction mixtures using NMR spectroscopy are desirable but not essential, and training will be provided. Good communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in English) are also essential. 

Application Procedure

Applications, including a cover letter, a full up-to-date CV, together with the names, addresses and email addresses of two academic referees should be sent as soon as possible to Dr Saidul Islam ([Email Address Removed]).

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at Postgraduate taught and research courses | Department of Chemistry | King’s College London (

If you require support with the application process, please contact the Chemistry Postgraduate Administrator Cairn Macfarland [Email Address Removed].

Please indicate your desired supervisor and quote research group . 

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