Chemistry (PhD)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

13 January 2020

20 April 2020

Duration

The maximum duration for a part-time PhD is 6 years (72 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

Application deadlines

For PGR start date January 2020

29 November 2019

For PGR start date April 2020

11 February 2020

For PGR start date September 2020

02 July 2020

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A part time PhD is a six year part-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with the written element at least 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) increasingly threatens our health and well-being, as infectious microbes evolve to become resistant to existing antibiotics. There is an ongoing need to discover new antibiotic classes and bring them to the clinic. The Minor Groove Binder (MGB) drug discovery platform of the Universities of Strathclyde and Huddersfield contains a family of novel compounds one of which, MGB-BP-3, is ready to enter Phase II Clinical Trial for the treatment of Clostridium difficile, in partnership with our developers MGB Biopharma.1 MGBs kill bacteria through binding to their DNA and interrupting essential bacterial metabolism, but importantly, they act at a number of targets within each cell, which means that variants that are resistant to MGBs have not been seen.2,3 We wish to investigate a range of new compounds from the MGB portfolio as potential agents for clinically challenging infections, principally those of the ESKAPE pathogen set, in addition to exploring their capacity to synergise with existing antibiotics.4,5 Beyond this, we are also interest in performing hit to lead optimisation in the antifungal, antimycobacterial and antiparasitic fields.

In a pilot study, we have already shown that in situations where a clinical pathogen has developed resistance to an existing antibiotic, dual therapy with an MGB may extend the effective lifetime of that antibiotic. This would ‘repurpose’ that ailing clinical antibiotic and extend its useful lifetime.

At present, there are a number of interesting avenues of both Chemistry and Biology research, which we wish to evaluate:

Chemistry 1. Design of novel antifungal MGBs 2. Design of novel antimycobacterial MGBs, particularly for TB. 3. Design of novel antiparasitic MGBs. 4. Design of novel antibacterial MGBs effective against Gram-negative pathogens. 5. Investigation of MGB physicochemical property modulation on activity profile against various pathogenic organisms.

Biology 1. Investigation of MGB synergy with a range of clinically relevant antibiotics. 2. Investigation of MGB synergy with a range of efflux pump inhibitors. 3. Investigation of MGB synergy with other MGBs. 4. Investigation of mechanism of action of novel MGBs that are exiting our current synthetic medicinal chemistry pipeline.

This project provides students with the opportunity to contribute to our Global MGB Drug Development efforts, and assist with developing a better understanding of our emerging new class of antibiotic.

References 1 http://www.mgb-biopharma.com/mgb-biopharma-successfully-completes-phase-i-clinical-trial-with-oral-mgb-bp-3-a-truly-novel-antibiotic-targeting-clostridium-difficile-infections/ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02518607?term=mgb&rank=1 2 F. J. Scott et al., Eur J Med Chem. 2017 Aug 18;136:561-572. 3 F. J. Scott et al., Euro. J. Med. Chem., 2016, 116, 116–125. 4 F. J. Scott et al., Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2016, 26, 3478-86. 5 F. J. Scott et al., Bioorg. Med. Chem Lett., 2016, 26, 3326-3329.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The nature of fabric manufacture can cause fabric producers to enforce long lead times and large minimum orders on their customers, making it difficult to produce bespoke fabrics in limited quantities. The research programme will be directed at materials development in one or more of the following areas: polymer development, textile functionalisation, and stratified fabric production. In addition to process development and characterisation, this project will design new or adapt existing fabric manufacturing processes and establish underpinning structure-property relationships.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Textile wet processing is currently an important aspect of textile production as it adds value to the textiles by improving aesthetics, comfort and functional properties. However, wet processing consumes substantial volumes of water and chemicals, which frequently have associated health and/or environmental hazards, and subsequently produce high quantities of effluent requiring expensive dilution and/or treatment. This research will investigate alternative dry finishing processes that can offer lower costs, reduced environmental impact, and the potential to produce new products with improved performance. This research will incorporate materials development in one or more of the following areas: polymer development, colouration of textiles, textile functionalisation, and plasma treatment.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Complexes of metals such as Ru(II), Ir(III), Re(I) etc have attracted enormous interest in the literature due to their intriguing and attractive photophysical properties. Our group has paid particular attention to the study of complexes bearing 1,2,3-triazole based ligands and have shown these systems to have fascinatingly diverse properties from intense luminescent emission to highly novel photochemical reactivity. Such complexes therefore present potential applications in areas of materials science, biological luminescent imaging and in photodynamic molecular medicines. The project will therefore involve the synthesis and thorough photophysical characterisation of a series of triazole-based complexes and assessment for these potential applications.

See the following publications from our group

Labilising the ‘photoinert’: extraordinarily facile photochemical ligand ejection in a [Os(N^N)3]2+ complex
Paul A. Scattergood, Daniel A. W. Ross, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2016, 55, 10697–10701

Photochemistry of [Ru(pytz)(btz)2]2+ and characterisation of a κ1-btz ligand-loss intermediate
Paul A. Scattergood, Usman Khushnood, Amina Tariq, David J. Cooke, Craig R. Rice and Paul I.P. Elliott
Inorganic Chemistry, 2016, 55, 7787-7796

Luminescent osmium(II) bi-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl complexes: photophysical characterisation and application in light-emitting electrochemical cells
Daniel A. W. Ross, Paul A. Scattergood, Azin Babaei, Antonio Pertegás, Henk J. Bolink and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2016, 45, 7748-7757

Photochemistry of Ru(II) 4,4’-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl (btz) complexes: Crystallographic characterization of the photoreactive ligand loss intermediate trans-[Ru(bpy)(κ2-btz)(κ1-btz)(NCMe)]2+
Christine E. Welby, Georgina K. Armitage, Harry Bartley, Aaron Wilkinson, Alessandro Sinopoli, Baljinder S. Uppal, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Chemistry – A European Journal, 2014, 20, 8467-8476

Photochemical ligand ejection from non-sterically promoted Ru(II)bis(diimine) 4,4'-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl complexes
Christine E. Welby, Georgina K. Armitage, Harry Bartley, Alessandro Sinopoli, Baljinder S. Uppal and Paul I. P. Elliott
Photochemical Photobiological Sciences, 2014,13, 735-738

Unambiguous characterisation of a photoreactive ligand loss intermediate
Christine E. Welby, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2013, 52, 10826-10829

Luminescent biscyclometalated arylpyridine iridium(III) complexes with 4,4’-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl ancillary ligands
Christine E. Welby, Luke Gilmartin, Ryan R. Marriott, Adam Zahid, Craig R. Rice, Elizabeth A. Gibson and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2013, 42, 13527

Synthesis, characterisation and theoretical study of ruthenium 4,4'-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl complexes: fundamental switching of the nature of S1 and T1 states from MLCT to MC
Christine E. Welby, Stev Grkinic, Adam Zahid, Baljinder S. Uppal, Elizabeth A. Gibson, Craig R. Rice and Paul I. P. Elliott
Dalton Transactions, 2012, 41, 7637.

Funding

There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are also required.

Deadline

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Cannabinoids can modulate the development of epidermal cells and are potential drugs for a range of skin diseases. Their activity depends on their interaction with certain cannabinoid receptors of keratinocytes, the molecules involved in these mechanisms are not well studied though. Keratinocytes have a clearly defined spatio-temporal differentiation pattern, which is represented by corresponding gene expression profiles. We want to study this interaction in a collaborative project by investigating effects of various cannabinoids on the development of the epidermis and the role of known cannabinoid receptors. Keratinocytes will be analysed in primary and organotypic cell culture and changes in their proliferation, differentiation, expression profiles and active pathways will be characterised. These studies have an impact on the prospective use of cannabinoids in therapies for inflammatory and other complex disorders.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,500 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

All major areas of chemistry are covered with areas of strength including:

• synthetic organic chemistry • physical organic chemistry • carbohydrates, proteins and enzyme chemistry • organometallic and supramolecular chemistry • heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption • thermal methods of analysis and synthesis • materials chemistry

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You will need to complete a research proposal outlining your areas of interest and when this is submitted along with your research degree application form we will look for the academics within the University who have the expertise and knowledge to supervise you and guide you through your research degree.

Research Enviroment

We provide a supportive and vibrant research environment for postgraduate researchers (PGRs). Researchers at all levels are encouraged to contribute and collaborate. The Graduate School ensures that postgraduate research is of the highest quality and equips you with the resources that you need to become a successful researcher.

We have an exciting and comprehensive Researcher Skills Development Programme available to all postgraduate researchers. This enables you to broaden your knowledge and access tools and skills which can significantly improve employability. The programme is also mapped onto Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF), allowing you to benefit from Vitae support as well as our own Programme.

We offer skills training through a programme designed to take advantage of technology platforms as well as face-to-face workshops and courses. The University has subscribed to Epigeum, a programme of on-line research training support designed and managed by staff at Imperial College London which will be accessed via Brightspace, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. We also subscribe to the University of East Anglia webinar series and The Good Doctorate video training series. We are part of the North West and Yorkshire PGR Training Group that allows PGRs to attend relevant training opportunities at other nearby universities.

Student support

Tuition fees

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