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PhD Studentship in Physical Organic Chemistry: Non-covalent interactions

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project: Non-covalent interactions are fundamental aspects of almost all chemical and biological processes. Solvent effects coupled with the precise positioning of interacting functional groups may be essential for the astonishing ligand binding affinities observed in biology. The project will involved detailed analysis of the origins of molecular interactions using a physical organic approach. There will be opportunity to work with an undertake an industrial placement with an industrial partner.
The student working on this project will receive training in a range of modern experimental and analytical techniques associated with physical organic chemistry including:
• organic synthesis • theoretical background in molecular recognition • NMR spectroscopy
• X-ray crystallography • quantitative structure activity relationships • computational modelling
Applicants should express a keen interest in molecular recognition phenomena. Previous research experience in synthetic chemistry is required. Applicants must be in possession of (or expecting to obtain) a first class or upper-second class degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or other cognate discipline before the start of the PhD. Applicants MUST be either be EU, or UK nationals. To apply, email a copy of your CV to . Please include a brief description of your previous research experience and current research interests. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis and the post will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is identified, thus, prompt applications in advance of the deadline are encouraged. Further information:

Equality & 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

This is a three-year award available to start on any date between 1st September 2018 and 1st September 2019. This is a tax-free stipend covering tuition fees and living expenses at the standard EPSRC rate (commencing at ~£ 14,777 per year).


- The origin of chalcogen-bonding interactions. D. J. Pascoe, K. B. Ling, S. L. Cockroft. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139, 15160-15167 (2017).
- Strong short-range cooperativity in H-bond chains. N. Dominelli-Whiteley, J. J. Brown, K. B. Muchowska, I. K. Mati, C. Adam, T. A. Hubbard, A. Elmi, A. J. Brown, I. A. W. Bell, S. L. Cockroft. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 56, 7658–7662 (2017).
-The limit of intramolecular H-bonding. T. A. Hubbard, A. J. Brown, I. A. W. Bell, S. L. Cockroft. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 15114-15117 (2016).
- Can dispersion forces govern aromatic stacking in an organic solvent? L. Yang, J. B. Brazier, T. A. Hubbard, D. M. Rogers & S. L. Cockroft*. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 55, 912–916 (2016).
- Quantifying solvophobic effects in non-polar cohesive interactions. L. Yang, C. Adam & S. L. Cockroft*. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 137, 10084–7 (2015).
- Partitioning solvophobic and dispersion forces in alkyl and perfluoroalkyl cohesion. C. Adam, L. Yang & S. L. Cockroft*. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 54, 1164–7 (2015).
- How much do van der Waals dispersion forces contribute to molecular recognition in solution? L. Yang, C. Adam, G. S. Nichol & S. L. Cockroft*. Nature Chem., 5, 1006-10 (2013).

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of St Andrews)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.30

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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