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Chemistry

Our research is grouped into five distinct cognate themes: biological chemistry, catalysis and interfacial science, materials and energy, molecular synthesis and spectroscopy and dynamics.

The research carried out within the School of Chemistry is diverse and encompasses both fundamental and applied themes. Available research topics closely mirror the particular research interests of individual staff members, which fall broadly into Biological & Organic, Inorganic, Physical, and Theoretical & Computational chemistries.

Programme aims

To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in the pharmaceuticals and fine chemical sectors, teaching, biomedical research fields, research and managerial roles in general manufacturing industry (eg. food, cosmetics, petrochemical etc).

Distinctive features

  • The School has undergone an extensive revitalisation in the last few years and occupies newly refurbished laboratories with excellent facilities for research and teaching
  • Chemistry continues to attract an expanding team of researchers, as well as maintaining an extensive network of industrial contacts
  • Strong interdisciplinary collaborations support projects across traditional subject divisions; postgraduates interact across these groups
  • New facilities for synthetic and catalytic chemistry, including an advanced pressure reaction suite for catalyst development and investigation and the opening of the laboratories of the new EPSRC-funded Physical Organic Chemistry Centre
  • Extensive collaborations internationally; a number of research programmes allow placements abroad, including in Europe and America.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Start dates January, April, July, October

As a PhD/MPhil student in Chemistry, you will undertake cutting-edge research in one of our various research themes.

The School specialises in the following research areas:

Research areas

Catalysis in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study.

Chemical Biology

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Chemical Biology, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study.

Inorganic Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Inorganic Chemistry, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study.

Organic Synthesis

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Organic Synthesis, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study.

Physical Organic Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Physical Organic Chemistry, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study. As part of the Chemistry (PhD/MPhil) programme, students can conduct their research within this group.

Solid State Materials

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Solid State and Materials Chemistry, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study. As part of the Chemistry (PhD/MPhil) programme, students can conduct their research within this group.

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has developed a particular strength in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, with a research group dedicated to this exciting area of study. As part of the Chemistry (PhD/MPhil) programme, students can conduct their research within this group.

Research projects

Each  year the School of Chemistry welcomes applicants who have secured funding from  external sponsors, or who are self-funded.

We have an extensive list of projects that are available. Details for each project can be obtained by  contacting the member of academic staff directly.  Please state which project(s) you would like to be considered for on your application form.

In the first instance, you should submit a CV & Covering Letter to the project supervisor detailing which projects you would like to be considered for.

Formal applications should then be submitted via Cardiff University's Online Application Service. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project.

In answer to the question ‘How do you plan to fund your studies?’, please specify the details and upload any documents providing the evidence (for example: letter of confirmation of scholarship).

Spectroscopy and dynamics

We have an extensive list of projects that are available within spectroscopy and dynamics.

Materials and energy

We have an extensive list of projects that are available within materials and energy.

Biological chemistry

We have an extensive list of projects that are available within biological chemistry.

New directions in cooperative catalysis

This project concerns the development of new homogeneous catalysts for upgrading small, potentially sustainably-sourced molecules such as bioalcohols and carbon dioxide into more useful commodity chemicals, such as synthetic higher alcohol fuels.

Molecular synthesis

We have an extensive list of projects that are available within molecular synthesis.

Catalysis and interfacial science

We have an extensive list of projects that are available within catalysis and interfacial science.

Electrochemical Generation and Utilization of N- and O-Centered Radicals

The project will involve utilising both synthetic and mechanistic approaches to discover and investigate new electrochemical reactions.

Time resolved spectroscopy for 21st century materials

This project will apply state-of-the-art time resolved transient absorption spectroscopic (TAS) methods, combined with high level computational chemistry, to investigate 21st century materials for use in these applications.

Photoresponsive metal-organic frameworks with light-dependent gas uptake

This project will exploit new photoresponsive MOFs that we make and use in our research group to control the flow of small gases of medical and industrial interest into, out of, and within single crystals using photoirradiation.

The Productive Merger of the Borrowing Hydrogen Principle with Organocatalysis

The project will involve utilizing both synthetic and mechanistic approaches to discover and investigate new organocatalytic reactions.

Identification of bacterial post-translational modifications that regulate antimicrobial resistance

This PhD project will aim to identify protein post-translational modifications that render bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Asymmetric catalysis using environmentally benign calcium complexes

The research specifically concentrates on the Alkaline Earth metals (magnesium, calcium and strontium) and the lanthanide metals.

Project SAMSA - Smart Analytical Materials for Supertoxic Agents

In this project we aim to develop a new class of sensor molecules which are designed to give different changes in colour or fluorescence upon reaction with different types of target molecule, to allow non-experts to make informed decisions on CWA decontamination.

Investigating the use of photoactive crystalline porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as a platform for nanofluidic devices

Dr Timothy Easun is looking for a PhD student to work on the research project, 'Metal-Organic Frameworks and Supramolecular Photochemistry'.

Tailoring molecular functions by boron-nitrogen doping of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

This project will be centered on the development of new organic synthetic methodologies that will allow the controlled insertion of B3N3-rings into nanographene structures.

Drug binding affinity predictions to achieve targeted drug discovery

The aim of this project is to develop a predictive computational platform to understand the mechanisms of drug-target association and compute the associated binding free energy (BFE) and kinetics in challenging targets.

Design and Application of Heavy Atom-Free and Redox-Active Organic Triplet Photosensitizers

This project will develop methods enabling unusual mechanisms of singlet-to-triplet intersystem crossing in organic molecules.

Electrocatalysis in Iodine-based Oxidations

This highly challenging project will explore new synergies in taking electrochemistry towards catalysis and then further to explore electrocatalytic applications.

Computer simulation of metal-amyloid interaction and its role in plaque formation

This project will use modern simulation methods to describe in detail how metals bind to the peptides that cause Alzheimer’s disease, and the effect different metals have on their structure and aggregation characteristics.

Large Scale Production of Antibacterial Peptides by a Synthetic Biology Approach

This PhD programme will aim to address all the challenges in using Antibacterial peptides (AMPs) as antibiotics.

Our students have gone on to a diverse range of careers, some continue along the academic path with postdoctoral positions in groups both in Cardiff and around the world, others have joined the teaching profession whilst many have entered major industrial companies in jobs that range from research to management.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Funding

Name Deadline
EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership PhD in Chemistry 29 March 2019
EPSRC iCase PhD in Chemistry: Synthesis of boron-nitride-carbon molecular hybrids for sensing and thermal management applications 29 March 2019
PhD in Chemistry: Catalytic Science 31 August 2019

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Applicants are required to have a good honours degree, or equivalent, in Chemistry or in a related subject.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS). Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

Contacts

Administrative contact(s)

Dr Ben Ward

Administrative contact

Apply

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Join us on Wednesday 8 May to find out more about postgraduate study at Cardiff.

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