Chemical, biological and explosives sensing at stand-off with quantum cascade laser dual-comb spectroscopy
Using commercially available frequency combs to develop new techniques for stand-off detection of molecular species at trace levels.
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:
Using commercially available frequency combs to develop new techniques for stand-off detection of molecular species at trace levels.
Development of high speed gas concentration measurement systems using diode lasers for use in combustion emission measurements
You will work under the supervision of Dr Fraser J Scott to investigate an aspect of Science Education Research. This will likely be on a topic involving the overlap of Science and Mathematics education, but the specific topic is open for discussion.
You will work under the supervision of Dr Fraser J Scott to develop Strathclyde Minor Groove Binders as anti-infective agents. Experimental work will include organic chemistry, but also biochemical (enzyme assays), biophysical (UV-vis, NMR) and biology (in vitro activity) aspects.
The student will investigate and quantify structure/reactivity relationships in nickel catalysis using a range of techniques including organic/organometallic synthesis, physical organic chemistry, and density functional theory, as appropriate.
Developing novel methodologies for portable detection of a variety of illicit substances including but not limited to drugs of abuse, explosives, gunshot residue and / or screening of bodily fluids at crime scenes.
Developing novel methodologies for portable, rapid, point-of-care detection of a variety of biomedically relevant markers for use in biomedical diagnostics
This project will investigate Raman scattering and its variations (surface enhanced (SERS) and stimulated (SRS)) to assess cancer cells and tissue prior to and following treatment with conventional anticancer drugs and particularly new alternative drugs that have shown promise as anticancer agents.
The discovery of new medicines to treat disease requires the identification, understanding and validation of biological pathways and targets. This project resides in the Healthcare technologies theme, aligning with the growth area of Chemical Biology and the areas of Analytical Science and Synthetic Organic Chemistry.
The aim of this project is to address the challenge of directly detecting disease biomarker panels in serum featuring target species whose relative concentrations span many orders of magnitude.
Design and application of new conjugated polymer photocatalysts for light-driven conversion of carbon dioxide into useful chemical intermediates.
The prospective student will work with Dr Fraser Scott to develop new treatments for leishmaniasis using the novel class of anti-infective agents, Strathclyde Minor Groove Binders. This will involve a combination of synthetic chemistry, biophysical measurements and biological evaluation.
This PhD project will investigate the chemical interactions between microplastics, soil/sediment, and potentially toxic elements (PTE) through laboratory and field experiments. It will involve aspects of analytical, physical and environmental chemistry.
This project will explore new methods for directed meta-C-H activation to deliver complementary, flexible, and powerful methods to access a variety of pharmaceutically desired organic products and isotopically labelled late stage candidate-type molecules.
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.
Cancer nanomedicine is dominating modern healthcare. This project is an opportunity to contribute to the development of novel nanomedicine interventions for the targeted and triggered release of pharmaceuticals in pancreatic cancer.
The project will take a biophysical approach to studying molecular recognition events in a ligand/nucleic acid context. It will use NMR spectroscopy, in silico modelling and associated analytical chemistry methods that will lead to better knowledge of the factors affecting these molecular recognition processes.
This PhD project aims to develop next generation point-of-care devices incorporating a reagent free sample concentrator and a sensing element.
An industrially collaborative PhD project in the laboratories of Dr Craig Jamieson is available for an immediate start in the area of biomolecular labelling. The project will make use of emerging findings from our laboratories in developing new reagents for tagging proteins.
Active matter has developed into one of the most exciting interdisciplinary research areas. Following the spirit of R. Feynman ‘what I cannot create I do not understand’ our goal is to create smart artificial active matter and to broaden the material range and achieve novel (biomimetic) functionalities that pave the way to applications in the biomedical or environmental field.
The objective for this PhD project is to develop a novel biosensor for highly sensitive and selective detection of biomarkers, with the potential application in clinical settings. The student will develop chem-bio interface for electrochemical biosensor development, and also explore new amplification strategy for improve the biomarker detection performance.
Working within a small highly-focused research team, the successful applicant will synthesize UCNPs with varied surface chemistry and photonic properties for non-invasive biosensing applications. This is an interdisciplinary project spanning inorganic nanoparticle synthesis, photonic materials, organic molecular loading, and biosensing.
The conformational analysis of proteins relating to health and disease can be challenging due to their dynamic nature. This project will develop new analytical methods to increase understanding of these proteins so they can be targeted with new drugs.
A fully-funded three-year PhD project on “Artificial Chemical Intelligence for Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development”. The studentship will be supervised by Dr David Palmer in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde. It will provide training in artificial intelligence, computational chemistry, and biomolecular simulation.
A 4-year PhD project that focuses on using and developing artificial intelligence algorithms, coupled to molecular dynamics simulations to study gelation behaviour. This project is aligned with a major international pharmaceutical company and will benefit from collaboration with experimental colleagues from that company.
Microbiology and Industrial Biotechnology, antibiotic-producing bacteria, genomics, genetics
CLXL12, cancer, Nuclear factor kappa B, signalling, molecular. Cellular Basis of disease/Drug discovery
Combining synthetic lipid chemistry with microfluidics to design tailor made ionisable cationic lipids to be incorporated into optimum lipid nanoparticle delivery systems for RNA cancer therapeutics and new/improved COVID vaccines.
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, and the 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.
In the video below, Rebecca explains why she chose to study at Strathclyde and what she enjoys about being a PhD student:
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.Chemistry Clinic
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.
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.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
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.
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.
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
|Name||Research methodologies & approaches used||Current 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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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 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.
|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 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 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
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
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:
All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.
The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation.
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.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 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
As a PhD student at Strathclyde, I was exposed to high-level intellectual reasoning. I was taught diligence, hard work, patience and determination.
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
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.
During the application you'll be asked for the following:
By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.
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.
Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.
If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.
An ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement for some postgraduate students in science, engineering and technology.
Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3084