College of Science PhD Studentship

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A 4-year Ph.D. studentship, starting in January 2019, is available in the area of transition-metal catalysis, focusing on the development of novel deuteration methodology for biomolecules and drug targets. The studentship, which is funded by the College of Science, NUI Galway, covers EU tuition fees and includes a tax-free annual salary of €12,000. Candidates will be expected to hold a Master’s degree or a very good Bachelor’s degree in a related area before the start of the studentship.
Interested candidates are asked to submit a full application containing a cover letter, CV, and two letters of recommendation to miriam.oduill(at) or by post to Dr. Miriam O’Duill, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway, H91 TK33, Ireland by December 18th 2018. Informal enquiries are welcome at any time.

Project description: Deuteration of bioactive molecules is a crucial tool for biomolecular analysis techniques (neutron diffraction, 2D NMR, hydrogen exchange mass spectroscopy) and the pharmaceutical industry (ADME studies, deuterated drugs). A diverse toolkit of synthetic methods is necessary to selectively install deuterium isotopes in the molecules and positions of interest. This Ph.D. project will focus on the development of transition-metal catalysed C–H activation / deuteration strategies to afford deuterated analogues of bioactive molecules or drugs that currently require expensive, multi-step syntheses. The research will involve screening for methodology development and organic synthesis of small molecules. The work will be carried out at the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway, Ireland (, in the research group of Dr. Miriam O’Duill, who was recently appointed as lecturer in organic chemistry.