Postgraduate research opportunities

New Iridium-based Catalysis Methods for C-C, C-N, and C-O Bond Formation

This project will explore new methods of constructing C-C, C-N, and C-O bonds using emerging iridium catalysts in order to deliver a variety of pharmaceutically desired organic products. Computationally-based methods will also be used to drive catalyst design, mechanistic understanding, and reaction scope.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


3 March 2020


31 August 2020


4 years


Applicants must have, or expect to obtain, a strong MChem (or equivalent) degree as a requirement of the funding.

The position is well suited to students with significant experience in Synthetic Organic Chemistry obtained either through industrial placement or as part of an MChem/MSci research project.

Project Details

This studentship is a collaborative partnership between the University of Strathclyde and the world-leading pharmaceutical company, GSK.  The student will be allocated an industrial supervisor and will have the opportunity to carry out a 3-month secondment at the GSK, Stevenage site.

Techniques used:

The PhD student engaged on this project will receive elevated levels of training in the areas of preparative chemistry, organometallic chemistry, reaction mechanism, computational methods, and the associated analytical/spectroscopic methods. The intended training package will also enhance problem solving, literature skills, and communication abilities, and is expected to produce a highly-skilled and well-trained researcher ready for future employment in either academia or industry.


For selected previous applications of Kerr’s iridium-based catalysts, see: a) Kerr W. J., Mudd R. J., Reid M., Atzrodt J., Derdau V., ACS Catalysis 2018, 8, 10895-10900; b) Kerr W. J., Mudd R. J., Brown J. A., Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 4738-4742; c) Brown J. A., Cochrane A. R., Irivine S., Kerr W. J., Mondal B., Parkinson J. A., Paterson L. C., Reid M., Tuttle T., Andersson S., Nilsson G. N. Adv. Synth. Catal. 2014, 356, 3551-3562.

Funding Details

This studentship is fully-funded in collaboration with the EPSRC and GSK.

How to apply

Please submit your application by e-mail to Dr Laura C. Paterson, which should include:

  • Cover letter, detailing your experience and motivation for PhD studies; 
  • CV with two referees details included; 
  • Full transcripts from your undergraduate degree; and
  • Other pertinent information (e.g., publications, awards, and other distinctions).