University College London (UCL)

PDRA in Organic Chemistry

University College London (UCL)

London, United Kingdom

The Chemistry Department at University College London is the oldest in England, and today is one of the best in the UK, being ranked 3rd in the UK for its world-leading research in REF2021. We are located in Bloomsbury, at the heart of London, and offer an exciting and vibrant environment in which to study in one of the UK’s top universities. The Department of Chemistry at UCL is committed to supporting excellence in both research and teaching. The Chemistry Department has over 60 members of academic staff carrying out world-leading research. We specialise in the areas of organic synthesis, chemical biology, computational chemistry, nanotechnology, inorganic and materials chemistry, physical chemistry and chemical physics. The department has an annual research income of around £15 million, derived from many sources including the Research Councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, and NERC), European Commission and a wide range of charities and industrial partners in the UK, Europe and the USA. Details about our research can be found on the departmental website

Applications are invited for two Post-Doctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) to work in the groups of Professors Matthew Powner and Tom Sheppard in the Department of Chemistry at University College London (UCL). The candidate will join a team of researchers addressing one of the most adventurous, yet important, questions being addressed by science (i.e. the origins of life), whilst simultaneously developing applications from the knowledge gained about chemical synthesis of biomolecules in water to the fields of synthetic and systems chemistry. The overall project goal is to explore the relationship between the chemical origins of life and robust catalytic procedures that are effective and synthetically valuable. Robust chemical reactions will be developed to explore the relationship between predisposed chemistry and the origins of life. The work will involve developing novel catalytic reactivity and exploiting nitrile reactivity, extending recently reported work from our groups including: Nature Chem. 14, 766-774 (2022); J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144, 10151-10155 (2022); Science 370, 865-869 (2022); Nature 571, 546-549 (2019); Nature Chem. 9, 584-589 (2017)). The successful applicants will join a highly motivated group working at the interface of organic and biological chemistry. The postholders will be required to carry out chemical research into the synthesis and function of biological and biomimetic molecules. The postholders will contribute to the design and implementation of research strategy, and provide full records, analyses and internal reports of all research outcomes. The positions are funded by EPSRC for up to 36 months. The candidates will join a research collaboration led by Prof Powner’s research team in the Department of Chemistry at the Bloomsbury Campus of University College London. Information about the groups can be found at:

The successful candidates will have a PhD degree (or be about to be awarded a PhD) in an area of organic chemistry or a discipline related to organic chemistry. Experience with NMR techniques and organic synthesis are essential. Experience of peptide synthesis, nucleotide synthesis or organo-catalysis is desirable. The successful candidates will have a good publication track record and a demonstrated commitment to excellence. Excellent laboratory skills are required. The successful candidates will be required to work in a collaborative team and have effective written and verbal communication skills in English.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.