MPhil, PhD Chemistry

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Research opportunities

You can study an MPhil over the course of one year or a PhD over the course of three or four years.

These degrees are available for study within any of our research groups:

Scientist working in a lab

View our current research opportunities














Biochip: highly sensitive and selective microfluidics chip of multi-parametric sensing for cancer biomarker

Cancer has been one of the most life-threatening diseases for humans, and its effective control relies upon early diagnosis. However, conventional detection techniques are based in large hospitals or laboratories, where there is a large sample volume, complex protocol and a long testing time. Therefore, convenient and cost-effective techniques for early diagnosis of cancer are urgently needed.

Deadline:

Funding:

funded









A reactive fragment approach to dissect the zDHHC enzymes

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) define an exciting and active area of new medicines discovery research. This project will be concerned with the delivery of chemical tools to establish the factors involved in determining the acyl chain selectivity observed by the zDHHC family of enzymes which are responsible for S-acylation, a key PTM. Based upon a new reactive fragment screening platform we will deliver workflows to validate targets within this emerging area of discovery research.

Deadline:

Funding:

funded




Strathclyde Research Studentship Scheme (SRSS)

Strathclyde Research Studentship Scheme (SRSS) doctoral studentships are available annually for excellent students and excellent research projects.

There are two main sources of funding:

  • Central University funding
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council - Doctoral Training Partnership (EPSRC - DTP) funding.

The SRSS 2023/2024 competition will open in Autumn 2022 and students successful in this competition will commence studies in October 2023. Faculties will set their own internal deadlines for the competition.

Academics/Supervisors make the applications for this scheme and there are various deadlines across the Department/Schools and Faculties, therefore, in the first instance, all interested students should contact the Department/School where they would like to carry out their research.

Deadline:

Funding:

Funded

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

 

Upcoming events

Check out our postgraduate research webinars.

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In the video below, Rebecca explains why she chose to study at Strathclyde and what she enjoys about being a PhD student:

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Find out more about our student-led, knowledge exchange service, which provides opportunities for SMEs and larger companies to access chemistry facilities or consultancy services.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2023/24: £4,712
  • 2022/23: £4,596
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2023/24: £4,712
  • 2022/23: £4,596
International
  • £22,450
Funding

Take a look at our funding your postgraduate research web page for funding information.

You can also view our scholarships search for further funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Additional costs
  • lab coats and safety goggles approx £25
  • cost of binding two copies of thesis and a CD copy £25 per each thesis

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Our research

We're one of the largest research schools in the UK with interest and expertise across analytical, biological, physical and synthesis research areas.

 

Find out more about our research

Laboratory ultraviolet light box during electrophoresis for detection of DNA

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Supervisors

NameResearch methodologies & approaches usedCurrent PhD student topics
Dr Christine Davidson

experimental research, quantitative analysis, method development, environmental studies.

development of colorimetric sensors for field applications; geochemistry of potentially toxic elements in freshwater systems; sequential chemical extraction; microplastics as vectors for potentially toxic elements in the environment; phytoremediation of contaminated soil.

Professor Damion Corrigan

electrochemical biosensors (nucleic acid, immunoassays and small molecule detection), bioelectrochemistry, DNA origami, surface attachment and bioconjugation, sensor and device fabrication

low-cost electrode systems, electrochemical immunoassays, nucleic acid amplification, lab-on-a-chip technologies, molecular and medical diagnostics

Dr Gavin Craig

porous molecules and composite materials; structural chemistry; crystallisation; supramolecular chemistry 

metal-organic cages for gas storage, Cooperative gas uptake, Sustainable synthesis of porous materials

Dr Lynn Dennany

electrochemical analysis, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemiluminescence, chromatography, spectroscopic analysis.

illicit drug detection, biomarker recognition, bacterial infection detection, portable drug screening, pharmaceutical drug detection, combined electrochemical & spectroscopic analysis. 

Dr Robert Edkins

synthesis of organic and inorganic conjugated molecules, (time-resolved) fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy.

photodynamic and photothermal therapy, fluorescent sensors, photoactive materials.

Professor Karen Faulds

Raman, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), bionanotechnology.

SERS bionanosensors for bioanalytical detection (e.g. for cancer, bacteria, sepsis, CVD), biomedical spectroscopy, nanoparticle synthesis and biofunctionalisation, towards in vivo detection of nanobiosensors (SESORS), Raman/SERS imaging.

Professor Duncan Graham

nanoparticle synthesis and modification, Raman spectroscopy including Surface Enhanced Raman scattering and stimulated Raman scattering,  Raman microscopy and cellular imaging

sensors for biomolecules relating to disease including DNA, RNA, proteins, new imaging approaches and chemical probes for cellular analysis relating to diseases including metabolic disease, cancer and liver injury.

Dr Penelope Haddrill

molecular biology, DNA profiling, RNA quantification, population genetics and genomics.

analysis of DNA methylation to estimate age, RNA quantification for ageing body fluid stains, population genetics and genomics of global human populations.

Professor Clare Hoskins

nanomedicine, cancer nanomedicine, therapeutics, diagnostics, theranostics, polymer synthesis, inorganic synthesis, formulation, in vitro testing 

nanomedicine development for cancer therapeutics, theranostic development for earlier detection and treatment in cancer, drug formulation for bioavailability enhancement, targeted drug delivery systems, stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems

Dr Craig Jamieson medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, peptide chemistry, chemical biology design, synthesis and evaluation of bioactive compounds; sustainable approaches to amidation chemistry; novel biomolecular labelling techniques.
Dr Alan Kennedy

X-ray diffraction, crystallography, structural analysis, solid-state analysis.

pharmaceutical materials, dyes and pigments, correlation of solid-state structures with material properties, solubility.

Professor William Kerr

metal-mediated synthetic organic chemistry.

hydrogen isotope exchange, C-H activation, natural product synthesis, asymmetric processes.

Dr K H Aaron Lau

control of peptide and peptide-mimetic (peptoid) material properties through sequence design of molecules, solid phase synthesis of peptide and peptoids, Nanostructure self-assembly (nanosheets, micelles, nanofibres), enzyme triggered self-assembly, protein separation using nanopores, HPLC, LC-MS, MALDI-MS, anodisation, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), ellipsometry, and related surface optical measurements, AFM, XPS, SEM.

biointerfaces, (Stem) cell-surface and protein-surface interactions, transport/diffusion of proteins through nanopores, antifouling and antimicrobial polymer brushes and nanostructures, polyphenol surface modification, protein and enzyme assays, peptide characterization.

Dr John Liggat

polymer physical chemistry, physics and technology, including adhesion, crystallisation behaviour, physical ageing, nanocomposite technology and polymer processing. Elucidation of the mechanistic organic chemistry of polymer degradation processes, particularly in relationship to polymer durability, processing and fire response.

physical chemistry of gelatin, fire-retardant polyurethanes, polymer photochemistry, self-healing coatings, fermentation-derived biodegradable polymers, composite materials.

Dr David Lindsay

synthetic organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis, computational chemistry, physical organic chemistry

new methods for C-C, C-N and C-O bond formation, computationally-guided catalyst design for C-C bond formation

Dr Lewis MacKenzie

inorganic synthesis, solvothermal nanoparticle synthesis, powder X-ray diffraction, upconversion luminescence spectroscopy, UV-VIS spectroscopy, electron microscopy, zeta-potential analysis, dynamic light scattering analysis.

development of non-invasive trans-tissue biosensors based upon upconversion nanoparticles

Professor Robert Mulvey

main group chemistry, organometallic chemistry, structure and bonding, synthesis, catalysis.

synergistic chemistry using bimetallics; sustainable homogeneous catalysis though earth abundant metals; trans-metal trapping.

Professor John Murphy

synthetic organic chemistry, chemical mechanism, physical organic chemistry (see John Murphy Group website for more)

electron transfer in chemistry and biology, radical ions, super electron donors, super electrophiles, C-H activation.

Dr David Nelson

physical (in)organic chemistry, catalysis, organometallic chemistry, organic synthesis.

reaction mechanisms and structure/reactivity relationships in nickel catalysis; odd-numbered oxidation states of nickel in catalysis.

Dr Alison Nordon

process analysis, chemometrics, in situ measurements, optical spectroscopy, acoustics, NMR spectroscopy.

In situ monitoring of continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, advances in chemometrics for on-line mid infrared and low-field NMR measurements, advances in data pre-processing, compression and data fusion for assessment of tea products by hyperspectral imaging, advances in data pre-processing, compression and data fusion for assessment of tea products by hyperspectral imaging, process performance monitoring for the life sciences.

Dr Charles O'Hara

synthesis, catalysis, structural elucidation.

main group catalytic applications; novel methodologies for the deprotonation of arenes; bimetallic asymmetric synthesis.

Dr David Palmer theoretical and computational chemistry, molecular informatics, molecular simulation, quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistical mechanics, solution-state theory. molecular integral equation theory in drug discovery, protein allostery, chymosin biochemistry, artificial intelligence for molecular property prediction.
Dr John Parkinson applications using and developments of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy methods. complex mixture analysis, metabolic profiling, reaction process monitoring, AI in NMR, photo-active process monitoring, biomolecular structure elucidation, molecular recognition and related molecular assembly processes, venom chemistry
Dr Binoy Paulose single molecule detection, single cell biopsy, dielectrophoresis, micro/nanofabrication, nanopore sensing, scanning electrochemical probe microscopy amplification free detection of disease biomarkers, development of single cell biopsy platform to map dynamic transcriptional changes, dielectrophoretic nanotweezers
Dr Marc Reid computer vision, reaction monitoring, kinetic analysis, machine learning, high throughput experimentation software development for camera-based reaction monitoring; enhanced forensics tests with imaging technology; understanding mixing effects in catalytic hydrogenation processes; developing reactivity scales with computer vision; catalyst degradation analysis; robotics for high throughput kinetic imaging analysis
Dr Stuart Robertson inert atmosphere synthesis, Solid state and solution structure elucidation, organometallic complex design. secondary magnesium battery electrolyte design and synthesis, bimetallic main group chemistry.
Dr Fraser Scott

medicinal chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, biophysical measurements, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, enzyme inhibition assays.

design, synthesis and evaluation of novel anti-infective agents; design, synthesis and evaluation of novel anticancer agents; mechanism of action studies of minor groove binder drugs.

Dr Sebastian Sprick

porous polymers; conjugated polymers; light-driven reactions; photocatalysis

sustainablity; solar fuels generation, hydrogen generation, water splitting; water purification

Professor Nicholas Tomkinson synthesis, isolation, purification and analysis of small organic molecules. chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, synthetic methodology.
Professor Christopher Tuttle development and application of computational methods including, density functional theory, atomistic MD simulations, coarse grain methodology, and multi scale methods. directed discovery of functional peptide-based materials, catalyst design, rationalising reactivity, exploiting experimental and computational chemistry synergy.
Dr Alastair Wark bioanalytical chemistry, nanotechnology, optical (Raman, fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance) and electrochemical sensors, confocal multiphoton microscopy including coherent Raman techniques, cell imaging, surface and interfacial chemistry. Biomolecular and environmental sensor design, disease detection, multiplexed biomarker panel analysis, nanoparticle synthesis and functionalisation, single nanoparticle tracking, multi-modal optical imaging and monitoring live cells.
Dr Catherine Weetman Inert atmosphere synthesis, Organometallics, NMR studies, DFT bonding analysis, Structure-reactivity relationships

low-oxidation state chemistry main group chemistry, main group metal-metal bonds, main group catalysis

 

 

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent.

The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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Support & development

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • knowledge and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PgCert RPD programme.

Careers

The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Dr Sesugh Ande
As a PhD student at Strathclyde, I was exposed to high-level intellectual reasoning. I was taught diligence, hard work, patience and determination.
Dr Sesugh Ande

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Apply

Entry requirements

You'll need a first-class or upper second-class UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a chemistry-based discipline from a recognised academic institution.

If English isn't your first language, you'll also need to have a recent UKVI-recognised Secure English Language Test (SELT) qualification.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Supervisors

Research supervisors are assigned to you by the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry. We ask that you highlight a potential supervisor in your application but the department will team you up with the best supervisor for your project.

Once we've received your application, your research proposal is passed to potential supervisors for consideration. If it's not compatible with the researcher's current projects and they are unble to supervise, it's passed along to another supervisor for consideration. If they can supervise you, they'll confirm and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept our offer of study, you'll receive a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

International students

An ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.

Find out if you need an ATAS certificate.

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Pure and Applied Chemistry

full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Pure and Applied Chemistry

full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Pure and Applied Chemistry

full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Pure and Applied Chemistry

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Pure and Applied Chemistry

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025