PhD Studentship in Synthesis and Design of Illuminating Molecules

University of Southampton School of Chemistry

United Kingdom

PhD Studentship - The Synthesis and Design of Illuminating Molecules

Organic Chemistry, Synthesis, Catalysis & Flow

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1277020EB

Supervisory Team:    Prof David Harrowven

Project description

Applications are invited for a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University of Southampton.  The project involves the design and synthesis of functional organic molecules that illuminate on electrical stimulation.  Using a combination of flow, batch and parallel synthesis techniques, your aim will be to develop a colour chart of light-emitting organic molecules with physical characteristics suitable for use by our collaborators and with a view to commercialisation.  Your PhD will involve cutting-edge research in the following areas:

• The multi-step chemical synthesis of known light-emitting organic molecules
• The design and synthesis of 2nd generation components with improved properties
• The production of a colour chart of specialist inks suitable for commercialisation

The successful candidate will join the Organic Chemistry: Synthesis, Catalysis and Flow group, who are leading a €4M EU project entitled ‘Smart Textiles for Regional Industry and Smart Specialisation Sectors’ that has been funded through the ERDF Interreg Programme.  This cutting-edge project involves collaborations with the Smart Textiles Group at the University of Southampton; INSA, CNRS and the University of Rouen in Normandy; The French Institute for Ocean Science (IFREMER) in Brittany; and SplashMaps Ltd.  The successful candidate will be based in Southampton, but will have opportunities to travel to, and work with, French and UK partners and associates.  They will be based in Chemistry, joining a vibrant team of researchers working in state of the art research laboratories.You will also be working with specialists from across the consortium.  Details of the application process are given below but if you wish to discuss any aspects of the project informally, please contact Professor David Harrowven,

Entry Requirements

Students with a strong grounding in Synthetic Organic Chemistry are encouraged to apply. You should hold or expect to attain a 1st class or 2:1 UK Masters or BSc degree in Chemistry, or an equivalent international qualification.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Chemistry ( Full Time)” as the programme.  Please enter David Harrowven, Richard Brown or Richard Whitby under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

About the research environment
The studentship is based in the Organic Chemistry: Synthesis, Catalysis and Flow research group. Ranked in the top 1% of universities globally and among the UK’s top 20 for research, the University of Southampton has an international reputation for its research, teaching and enterprise activities.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.  Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break.  The University of Southampton and its Chemistry School both hold an Athena Swan Silver Award.  The University has a generous maternity policy and onsite childcare facilities; employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme.

In your application, please refer to


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