Postgraduate research opportunities

Biocatalytic Atom Transfer Radical Polymerizations

Some enzymes catalyze atom transfer radical polymerizations (ATRP). They represent an environmentally friendly and non-toxic alternative to conventional catalysts. To unlock the potential of bioATRP, advanced polymerization techniques such as electrochemically mediated ATRP and flow chemistry will be investigated.

Number of places



7 April 2020


36 or 42 months


  • A first-class honours or Masters with distinction is the minimum qualification requirement or a combination of qualification and professional experience equivalent to that level.
  • Background in polymer chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, or biotechnology
  • Hands on experience in any one or more of the following would be advantageous – polymer synthesis, organic synthesis, characterization of polymers, biocatalysis, enzymology.
  • Independent, self-motivation, good team spirit, and excellent communication skills are important assets of the successful candidate.
  • Good professional references (two)
  • English language tests (if applicable): IELTS
  • The standard criteria for PG recruitment at University of Strathclyde also applies.

Project Details

Metalloenzymes such as hemoglobin, peroxidases, and laccases can catalyze atom transfer radical polymerizations. These “ATRPases” show great promise as environmental benign alternatives to conventional transition metal based ATRP catalysts. Moreover, they allow tuning ATRP reactions in unprecedented ways. However, advanced polymerization methods, such as slow-feeding ARGET ATRP, electrochemically mediated ATRP, flow chemistry and surface-initiated ATRP have not been explored in great detail to improve the performance of ATRPases. This project aims to apply such advanced polymerization methods to bioATRP and to study their effect on the polymerizations. This will not only enhance the performance of catalysts in bioATRP, but will also allow to understand the novel enzymatic activity on a fundamental level.


Prof. Nico Bruns, Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde

How to apply

Application for all PGR opportunities in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry are accessed here

Please note that before applying for this position you must contact Prof. Nico Bruns in the first instance via email, including a motivation letter and a CV.