PhD studentship available in synthetic and atmospheric chemistry

PhD Studentship: Synthesis of Small Molecule Probes for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies

A fully-funded 42-month chemistry PhD studentship ‘Synthesis of small molecule probes for atmospheric chemistry studies‘ is available for a joint project in the research groups of Drs Miriam O’Duill and Rabi Chhantyal Pun at the University of Nottingham.

Start date: 2 October 2023. Application deadline: 15 March 2023.

The 21st century will see one of the largest changes in the chemical makeup of the atmosphere as countries around the world implement policies to meet the targets of net zero carbon emissions. As the anthropogenic carbon footprint decreases, biogenic emissions from plants are expected to become the main constituent of the lower atmosphere, but the oxidation chemistry and effect on climate of these molecules is not yet clearly understood. The aim of this PhD project is to synthesize small molecule mimics of biogenic emissions and perform photochemical studies to understand their oxidation mechanism. The organic synthesis will be carried out under the direction of Dr Miriam O’Duill, and photochemical studies will be performed under the direction of Dr Rabi Chhantyal Pun.

The O’Duill group is based in the GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory, and the Chhantyal Pun group ( is based in the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham. During this project you will receive extensive training in organic synthesis, analytical techniques (NMR, mass spec, UV, IR) and laser-based photochemical studies. You will also have the opportunity to present your research at conferences.

Applications are invited from UK home students with an interest in organic synthesis and photochemistry. If you are expecting to graduate by summer 2023 with a first class or 2:1 degree in chemistry or natural science specializing in chemistry, we would love to hear from you. Substantial research experience in organic synthesis and analysis will be highly advantageous. Please contact Drs O’Duill ( or Chhantyal Pun ( if you want to know more about the project.

To apply, please:

1. Send your CV (max 2 pages) and a cover letter to and

2. Apply to the School of Chemistry, stating Dr Miriam O’Duill and Dr Rabi Chhantyal Pun as the potential supervisors.

Funding Notes: The position is a 42-month, fully-funded PhD studentship starting in October 2023. This funding covers the payment of tuition fees at the UK/home rate and gives you a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (currently £17,668 per year). Due to funding restrictions this position can unfortunately not be offered to EU or international students.

Deadline: Review of applications will start on Wednesday 15th March 2023, and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable person has been found; hence you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.