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PhD project will develop new ways of assembling structures, forming oligomeric architectures using metal ions and ligands.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Project Description

This PhD project is open to students that have graduated or are going to graduate with an Honours or Masters Degree in chemistry, and that are interested in synthetic and metallosupramolecular chemistry. To obtain the fee waiver, international students with an Honours degree will need to have achieved First Class Honours or equivalent.

Supramolecular and self-assembly processes are used to great effect in nature to assemble complex and functional molecules such as proteins and DNA. Synthetic analogues show great promise for a wide array of applications, and the Nobel prize in chemistry has been awarded in 1987 and 2016 to key contributors to the field.

This project will develop new ways of assembling structures, forming oligomeric architectures using metal ions and ligands. These molecules will organise in a well-defined fashion, with precise arrangement of functional groups, and this will allow the development of applications. These will be centred around photophysical function (the formation of antenna systems and processes such as upconversion) and catalysis. While the project will break new ground, some indication as to its flavour can be found in our previous publications (for example, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201804745 and DOI: 10.1039/C9CC07130J).

This project will involve ligand and coordination complex synthesis, and structural and behavioural characterisation of the target compounds. The student will develop strong skills in synthesis and a broad range of solution- and solid-phase characterisation techniques. They will also enhance their ability to gather and present scientific ideas, both orally and in writing. Some experience in synthesis is needed: the key requirement is that the student will need to like making molecules. You will also have to enjoy NMR spectroscopy, which will be the primary technique you employ during your project. The required knowledge of metallosupramolecular principles can be gained if necessary during your studies.

You will be part of a small research team, so teamwork, communication skills and initiative should be qualities you possess.

This project is to be carried out in world-class laboratories at the ANU Research School of Chemistry in Canberra, Australia. ANU is ranked number 29 in the world and number one university in Australia (QS world rankings 2020). Canberra ranks amongst the best cities in the world for quality of life, and was the number three city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet in 2018.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and identities.

Funding Notes

We are offering a PhD scholarship in the field of metallosupramolecular chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU), based in Canberra, Australia. The scholarship covers university fees and research expenses, and an additional allowance to cover living costs for up to 3.5 years:
• PhD stipend: AUD $27,596 per year (tax-free)
• Conference allowance and computer fund: AUD $3,000 during PhD from the ANU. There also is additional allocation in the grant under which this project falls for student travel and conference attendance.


If you meet the HDR admission requirements (self-assessment on e-mail Dr Dan Preston ([email protected]) directly with the following:
- Email subject: Prospective PhD for Oligomeric Metallosupramolecules
- Email body:
• Your academic & research background, experiences, and research interests
• When you expect to start your PhD if successful
• Attachments: CV (with referees) and academic transcript

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