Postgraduate research opportunities

New Iridium-based Catalysts for Atom Economical C-O and C-N Bond Formation

This project will explore new methods of constructing C-O and C-N bonds with iridium-based catalysts. This programme aims to deliver atom economical access to a variety of pharmaceutically-relevant organic products, aided by computationally-driven methods to drive catalyst design and expansion of reaction scope.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


3 March 2020


31 August 2020


3.5 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 will be aligned to the EPSRC-funded Strathclyde/Nottingham/GSK Prosperity Partnership. The student will be based at Strathclyde but will have the opportunity to carry out a 3-month secondment at GSK’s 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 training package will also enhance problem solving, critical literature appraisal, and communication skills, developing a 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 funded by the University of Strathclyde.

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).