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PhD position in Catalysis: New Catalytic Methods for the Synthesis & Recycling of Renewable Plastics

   School of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Job description

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position (any nationality) to work with Dr. Amit Kumar at the School of Chemistry, University of St. Andrews on the topics of organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, and polymer chemistry.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a new and dynamic research group (https://kumarresearchlab.com/). We are interested in using the tools of organometallic catalysis to impact hydrogen and circular economies. The project aims to develop new organometallic catalysts and methodologies for the synthesis and recycling of renewable plastics.

The successful candidate will develop extensive skills in the (a) synthesis of organometallic complexes, (b) discovery of catalytic methodologies, (c) a range of characterisation techniques for organometallic complexes as well as for polymers, for example, NMR, and IR spectroscopy; single crystal X-ray diffraction; mass spectrometry; Gas Chromatography; Gel Permeation Chromatography; Thermogravimetric Analysis; and Differential Scanning Calorimetry.

There will also be opportunities to work in collaboration with computational chemists (to elucidate mechanisms using DFT), and engineers (to study the mechanical properties of polymers), and to explore new applications of polymers in the areas of battery technology and tissue engineering.


Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first-class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent) in Chemistry. Effective written and verbal communication skills, good time-management and the ability to work in a collaborative environment are essential.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should contact Dr Amit Kumar () with a cover letter, CV, and contact details of three referees.

Other information:

About St. Andrews:

Founded in the early 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and one of the oldest in the world. Situated on the east coast of Scotland and framed by countryside, beaches and cliffs, the town of St Andrews was once the centre of the nation’s political and religious life. Today, it’s a vibrant academic town with a distinctively cosmopolitan feel where students and university staff account for more than half of the local population.

On Equality, Diversity & Inclusion:

Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the St Andrews experience. We strive to create a fair and inclusive culture demonstrated through our commitment to diversity awards (Athena Swan, Carer Positive, LGBT Charter, Race Charters and Stonewall). We celebrate diversity by promoting profiles of BAME, LGBTIQ+ staff and supporting networks including the Staff BAME Network; Staff with Disabilities Network; Staff LGBTIQ+ Network; and the Staff Parents & Carers Network. Full details are available online: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/hr/edi/.

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

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

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