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Total Synthesis of Natural Products

School of Chemistry

Edinburgh United Kingdom Organic Chemistry Pharmaceutical Chemistry Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

Project Summary

This project is concerned with the total synthesis of complex natural products. A biomimetic approach will be followed and new multi-bond forming domino reaction sequences will be developed. This project will provide great training in practical synthetic organic chemistry with the candidate exposed to a great variety of synthetic techniques and analytical methods. The project is ideally suited to a synthetic chemist with an interest in target-orientated synthesis. Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum 2:1 degree in Chemistry. Previous experience of synthetic organic chemistry beyond core undergraduate teaching would be beneficial but not essential. For representative examples of total syntheses that have been completed within the Lawrence group in the past five years, see the following publications:


Nat. Chem. 2020, 12, 615–619.

Org. Biomol. Chem. 2019, 17, 1698–1702.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 6813–6817.

Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 2199–2201.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 8421–8425.

Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 3886–3890.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 1795–1798.


In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to:

Prof. Andrew Lawrence, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK. Email:


To apply, please send a cover letter outlining your previous research experience and reasons for applying, together with an up-to-date CV with details of two referees to before 09.00 UK time on Monday 18th January 2021

 Equality and Diversity

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

Funding Notes

A PhD studentship is available in the group of Prof. Andrew Lawrence (School of Chemistry, The University of Edinburgh; View Website). The studentship is fully funded for 42 months and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £15,285 per annum) for a candidate satisfying EPSRC criteria: View Website. EPSRC DTP studentships are open to both Home and International students; however, in line with guidance from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the number of awards available to International candidates will be limited to 30% of the total.

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