Postgraduate research opportunities

New Metal-mediated Cyclisation Methods for the Generation of Heteroatom Functionalised Polycyclic Systems

This project will explore novel heteroatom-containing substrates in Pauson-Khand cyclisations to construct decorated cyclopentenone products for access to pharmaceutically-desired compounds and natural products. Computationally-based methods will also drive mechanistic understanding, reagent design, 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 recent reviews on the Pauson-Khand reaction, see: a) The Pauson-Khand Reaction, Scope, Variations and Applications (ed. R. R. Torres), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd,. Chichester, UK 2012; b) Lee, H.-W., Kwong, F.-Y., Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2010, 789-811; c) Shibata, T., Adv. Synth. Catal. 2006, 348, 2328-2336; d) Laschat, S., Becheanu, A., Bell, T., Baro, A., Synlett 2005, 2547-2570.

See also: a) Kerr, W. J., McLaughlin, M., Paterson, L. C., Pearson, C. M., Tetrahedron 2018, 74, 5062-5068; b) Kerr, W. J., Morrison, A. J., Paterson, L. C., Tetrahedron 2015, 71, 5356-5361; c) Crawford, J. J., Kerr, W. J., McLaughlin, M., Morrison, A. J., Pauson, P. L., Thurston, G. J., Tetrahedron 2006, 62, 11360-11370.

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).