PhD Studentship - Towards efficient and scalable syntheses of fluorinated drug candidates

United Kingdom
Feb 07, 2018
Aug 31, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
PhD Description:  This is a PhD project suitable for candidates who have a strong interest in synthetic organic chemistry. The project concerns the synthesis of a number of target compounds, which originate from the Linclau lab in Southampton, that have been identified by collaborators as hits for neurodegenerative disease. As some of these hits originated from by-products isolated after fluorination reactions, their synthesis requires re-designing. Given clinical trials are envisioned, the syntheses will need to be suitable for upscaling. Hence, the ideal candidate displays an excellent knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry, is creative and persistent, and is a problem solver. Synthetic organofluorine chemistry is a key aspect of the project, and you will be interested in modern methodology to selectively introduce fluorine in organic molecules. It also contains a medicinal chemistry element, and you will become familiar with the significant role of fluorination in current drug optimisation (recent review: J. Med. Chem. 2015, 58, 8315), as well as with our contributions (eg Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 6176 (Very Important Paper), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 674 (Very Important Paper)), which were the original basis of this project.

This work is sponsored by a UK company (NZP UK), and there will be regular meetings with the company to exchange research results. 

You will be working in a modern synthetic organic chemistry lab with all necessary facilities. Upscaling chemistry will be carried out on placement at the newly purpose-built laboratories of NZP UK, equipped with the latest relevant technology. NZP UK is an expanding company with excellent job opportunities.

The project is funded for 3 years, includes a minimum 3-month placement at NZP UK near Reading, and welcomes motivated applicants from the UK/EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in chemistry, and who have carried out at least one lab-based project in synthetic organic chemistry. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates (201718 and subject to increase in 201819) of  £ 14,777 per annum. 

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants

Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at

Please ensure you select the academic session 2018-2019 in the academic year field and click on the Research radio button.  Enter Chemistry in the search text field.

Please place Prof Bruno Linclau in the field for proposed supervisor/project

General enquiries should be made to Prof Bruno Linclau at  Any queries on the application process should be made to

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and interviews will be organized from the end of February onwards. The position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

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