Postgraduate projects undertaken in the Chemistry Department here in Durham cover all of the traditional areas of chemistry and other contemporary, often interdisciplinary topics. Ph.D. projects are available each year that span all aspects of the Department's research activities.
The Department offers Ph.D. positions via the EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and for research projects hosted by individual research staff. Current opportunities are listed below.
M.Sc. projects are not listed specifically – please contact individual supervisors via our staff list.
To apply for a PhD (F1A001) or MSc (F1A009) please go to the University application portal: https://studyatdurham.microsoftcrmportals.com/en-US/
This also applies if you are applying to the SOFI12 CDT.
Note that the applications to the MoSMed and ReNU CDTs are handled by the respective lead institutions. Please follow the instructions on the respective website.
If you are interested in our CDTs in Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2), in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed) or in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) please refer to our CDTpage .
Current funded postgraduate studentships are listed on FindAPhD
Exploiting natural product biosynthetic pathways to access biologically active scaffolds
Deadline: 20th January 2023
Supervisor: Professor S. L. Cobb
Development of routes to new fluorine containing molecules utilising commodity chemicals
Supervisor: Doctor W. B. Brittain
Crystallisation in Structured Ternary Fluids for Enhanced Control
Deadline: 15th February 2023
Supervisor: Doctor S. Cooper, Professor J. Steed
Structurally control over the electronic properties of oxide materials
Deadline: 30th June 2023
Supervisor: Professor J. S. O. E
Towards an improved understanding of Pharmaceutical Salts and their hydration behaviour
Deadline: 30th January 2023
Supervisors: Doctor A. J. Cruz-Cabeza, Doctor A. Hall
Carbon Neutral Milk (CANMILK) – a PhD project on catalytic absorption and destruction of methane in the dairy industry
Deadline: year round applications
Supervisor: Doctor S. Beaumont
Coarse-grained simulations of biosurfactants
Deadline: 3rd March 2023
Supervisor: Doctor M. Miller
Synthesis and Spectroscopic Characterisation of Organobornon Materials
Deadline: 1st June 2023
Supervisor: Doctor P. Brook
CO2 Fuels - Direct conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Renewable Fuels
Deadline: 3rd February 2023
Supervisor: Doctor R.A.Taylor
N-Heterocyclic Carbenes for Sustainable Organo- and Biocatalysis
Deadline: 20th January 2023
Supervisor: Prof. annMarie O'Donoghue
Our Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed) is an EPSRC funded joint venture between Newcastle and Durham Universities delivering a comprehensive research and training programme focused on Science at the interface of molecular and medical sciences, business skills, innovation and entrepreneurship.
For further information regarding MoSMed please refer to the webpage at: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/mosmed
We have 5 fully funded projects available to apply for at Durham University for 2023/24 entry. For full details of these projects please refer to the MoSMed webpage: PhD Openings | MoSMed CDT | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)
Please find below an outline of the projects available at Durham University. Please note that the projects based at Newcastle University are also co-supervised by members of our Durham Academic staff. If you are interested in any of the projects please do contact the relevant Academic Lead listed for enquiries:
Project mos23_01 Synthetic antimicrobials based on natural toxins
Tuberculosis remains the deadliest bacterial disease on the planet, killing around 1.5 million people each year. It can be treated, but antibiotic resistance is increasing. Mycobacterium tuberculosis can survive antibiotic treatment by slowing down its growth using naturally occurring toxins made inside tuberculosis cells. Some of these toxins target the essential process of untangling DNA after it replicates. We have characterised the topoisomerase enzyme that performs this untangling activity and have shown that toxins inhibit its action. This project aims to generate atomic resolution models of toxin activity, so we can synthesise antimicrobial mimics for treating infections.
For further details regarding this project please contact: Prof Tim Blower - firstname.lastname@example.org
Project mos23_02 Development of a new approach to targeted chelation therapies
Chelation of transition metal ions has been shown to be of benefit in treating many diseases. Through the sequestering of metal ions biological pathways can be inhibited and protein folding states altered. Metal ions however are required for myriad biological processes and thus traditional chelation therapies can have unwanted side effects. By attaching a chelator to something able to target a specific biological target this would help prevent these side effects. This project will develop a new approach by attaching small molecule metal chelators to targeting peptides to minimise off target effects.
For further details regarding this project please contact: Dr Will Brittain - email@example.com
Project mos23_05 Identification of new molecular targets for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
American Trypanosoma and Leishmania are the causative agents of two of 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases – a collection of infections characterized by a lack of control measures and major impacts on developing nations. These insect vector-borne protozoa are the cause of Chagas Disease and leishmaniasis respectively. Despite recent efforts in areas such as vector control, cases of Chagas Disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and leishmaniasis, caused by Leishmania spp, remain high - up to 7M infected and 1.7M new cases per year respectively. There is an urgent need to identify and validate new drug targets and this is what the current project aims to do.
For further details regarding this project please contact: Prof Steven Cobb - firstname.lastname@example.org
Project mos23_06 Differential diagnostics for leishmaniasis - bench to field
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), caused by insect vector borne Leishmania species protozoa, is a global problem endemic across four continents. In recent years cases have increased dramatically due to migration and climate change. Whilst mostly non-lethal, CL is associated with severe scaring on exposed skin (particularly the face), social stigma and mental health issues. In many regions, including Pakistan (>10% global burden), CL is mainly caused by Leishmania major and L. tropica. Whilst the former is often selfhealing and responds well to the WHO recommended treatment, the latter is increasingly non-responsive and leads to chronic, disfiguring lesions. Therefore, rapid accurate diagnosis of L. tropica CL is essential to facilitate appropriate treatment using alternative medicants. Working with our partners in Pakistan, you will build upon our current work and develop a low-cost, simple molecular diagnostic device which will be ready for in field diagnostic trials.
For further details regarding this project please contact: Prof Paul Denny - email@example.com
Project mos23_09 Structure-guided approach to assay development for inhibiting Dengue virus replication
Dengue virus, transmitted by mosquitos in Africa, Asia and central America, infects hundreds of millions of people and causes around 20,000 deaths, primarily in children, each year. With no licensed drugs and a vaccine recommended to people only after a previous Dengue infection, new anti-viral therapeutic strategies are needed. Previous research has revealed the structures of Dengue virus proteins and RNA. However, it remains unknown how these molecules assemble. Here, we will determine how proteins interact in the “Dengue virus replication complex” and design high-throughput assays for drug discovery against Dengue and related viruses such as Zika.
For further details regarding this project please contact: Dr Liz Morris - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that if you wish to apply for any of these five projects this is done via the University portal at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/
Please select the course ‘PhD in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (EPSRC CDT)’ and indicate the relevant project reference number in the ‘Field of Study’ section.
Details regarding the application process for the above projects can be found at the following link: Durham | MoSMed CDT | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk) Should you have any queries regarding application to the projects at Durham University, please contact the Durham MoSMed CDT Manager Emma Worden: email@example.com
The closing date to apply is 23:59 GMT Wednesday 15th February 2023
SOFI PhD Opportunities