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PhD studentship in developing new metal-based complexes for 18F-based radiopharmaceutical (PET) imaging applications

Project Description

Applications are invited from excellent and highly motivated candidates for a PhD studentship based in the School of Chemistry at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with partners at GE Healthcare. The project focusses on development of new main group and transition metal complexes for radiofluorination towards potential applications as next generation medical imaging agents via positron emission tomography (PET). PET is a very widely used medical imaging technique in hospitals and clinics for detection of diseases such as cancers.

This project is at the synthetic chemistry/radiochemistry interface and the successful applicant will have the opportunity to develop main group and transition metal fluoride complexes with macrocyclic and other co-ligands as possible PET tracer candidates, as well as to work alongside GE staff at St Thomas’ Hospital (London) to develop efficient methods for their radiofluorination (using the fluorine-18 isotope, t1/2 = 109 mins.), purification and stability testing. He/she will join a well-established research activity in Southampton and will have access to state-of-the art facilities for the synthesis and spectroscopic and structural characterisation of inorganic coordination complexes. Candidates should hold or be about to hold a 1st class or 2:1 degree in Chemistry or a closely related subject, and have a keen interest in both the synthetic and radiochemical aspects of the project.

The student will be supervised by Professors Gill Reid ( and Bill Levason, from whom further details can be obtained ().

Funding Notes

The project is sponsored by EPSRC and GE Healthcare, with full funding for 42 months and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Chemistry or another relevant discipline. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum (predicted 201920 rates are £15.009)
Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria


Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at

Click on the Research radio button, ensure you select the academic year 2019-20 and enter Chemistry in the search text field. Apply online for PhD Chemistry (full time).

Please place Gill Reid and Bill Levason in the field for proposed supervisor/project. Any queries on the application process should be made to [email protected]

Applications will be considered as they are received, and the position may be filled before the stated deadline if suitable candidates are identified.

The University of Southampton and the School of Chemistry both hold Athena SWAN Silver Awards, reflecting their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and particularly to gender equality.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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