FindAPhD Weekly PhD Newsletter | JOIN NOW FindAPhD Weekly PhD Newsletter | JOIN NOW

PhD in Enantioselective Catalysis and mechanistic studies

   School of Chemistry

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof Andrew Smith  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Our research is currently directed towards developing catalytic methods for the promotion of a range of synthetic transformations with varying applications in asymmetric synthesis. Current projects include the use of N-heterocyclic carbenes and isothioureas as enantioselective nucleophilic or Lewis-base catalysts and physical organic mechanistic studies designed toward understanding the mechanism of both N-heterocyclic carbene and isothiourea mediated transformations. The application of these methodologies to natural product synthesis is currently under development.

Funding is available to develop a range of novel enantioselective organocatalytic methods employing chiral Lewis-bases and other catalysts. The synthetic strategies that we develop will be used for the enantioselective synthesis of a range of carbo- and heterocyclic products, with mechanistic studies used to develop a comprehensive understanding of the reactions we study.

Students interested in undertaking a PhD in the Smith group in this research area should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Andrew Smith ([Email Address Removed]).

Please see: for the application procedure or e-mail [Email Address Removed] for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications for the EaSiCAT Centre for Doctoral training ( and from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme ( There are opportunities for self-funded PhD students to make use of the St Andrews Handsel Scheme to fund the difference between home and international fees.

Funding Notes

Funding for worldwide, EU or UK students is available. Self-funded students are also encouraged to apply and make use of the St Andrews Hansel scheme.


Selected recent manuscripts from the ADS group:
[1]. F. Zhao; C. Shu; C. M. Young; C. Carpenter-Warren; A. M. Z. Slawin, A. D. Smith; "Enantioselective Synthesis of α-Aryl-β2-Amino-esters via Cooperative Isothiourea and Brønsted Acid Catalysis" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 11892-11900;
[2]. S. Qu, S.M. Smith, V. Laina-Martín, R. M. Neyyappadath, M. D. Greenhalgh and A. D. Smith, “Isothiourea-Catalyzed Acylative Kinetic Resolution of Tertiary α-Hydroxy Esters”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 16572-16578;
[3]. E. S. Munday, M. A. Grove, T. Feoktistova, A. C. Brueckner, D. M. Walden, C. M. Young, A. M. Z Slawin, A. D. Campbell, P. Ha-Yeon Cheong and A. D. Smith, “Isothiourea-Catalyzed Atropselective Acylation of Biaryl Phenols via Sequential Desymmetrization / Kinetic Resolution”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 7897-7905;
[4]. C. M. Young, A. Elmi, D. J. Pascoe, R. K. Morris, C. McLaughlin, A. M. Woods, A. B. Frost, A. de la Houpliere, K. B. Ling, T. K. Smith, A. M. Z. Slawin, P. H. Willoughby, S. L. Cockroft and A. D. Smith, “The Importance of 1,5-Oxygen•••Chalcogen Interactions in Enantioselective Isochalcogenourea Catalysis”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 3705-3710; DOI 10.1002/anie.201914421
[5] C. McLaughlin, A. M. Z. Slawin and A. D. Smith, “Base-free Enantioselective C(1)-Ammonium Enolate Catalysis Exploiting Aryloxides: A Synthetic and Mechanistic Study”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 15111-15119;

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Chemistry?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs