Undergraduate News

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Welcome to the news listings for the Chemistry Undergraduate students.

The purpose of these pages is to share information that may be of particular interest to Part II students.

University of Cambridge Chemistry Graduate Admissions Open Day

Please see HERE  for further details

Sarah Briggs, Graduate Education Administrator
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Lensfield Road
Cambridge, CB2 1EW



Paid internship scheme for teaching

Are you an undergraduate studying for a STEM degree?
If yes, then we have a paid work-experience programme that might be just right for you!

We have won a DFE grant to offer teaching internships running from the 24th June - 19 July 2019 in state secondary schools across Oxfordshire. Interns will receive a bursary of £300/week.

The programme is designed to give you a realistic picture of what teaching maths or physics would be like and includes the chance to be involved in:

•             structured training, shadowing and lesson observation, opportunities to jointly

•             plan and deliver lessons

•             running science projects, offering support for children who are struggling, and

•             helping with experiments

•             one to one mentoring sessions with experts in their field

When: 24 June - 19 July 2019

For further information email: teachingschools@gillotts.org.uk

Please click HERE to register your interest





University of Cambridge - PhD studentships, October 2019

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Graphene Technology, based in the Cambridge Graphene Centre (www.graphene.cam.ac.uk) at the University of Cambridge invites applications for full-time 4-year PhD studentships starting in October 2019. The Centre's research and training activities focus on Cambridge's internationally recognised strength in graphene, carbon allotropes, layered crystals and hybrid nanomaterials. The centre has a strong collaboration with industrial and academic partners across various disciplines (Engineering, Nanotechnology, Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) which will help shape and develop the Centre's vision and mission activities.

The structure of the programme is a one-year MRes course followed by a 3-year PhD study. The first year will form the scientific and technical expertise of the students in science and technology of graphene and related materials, ranging from basic physics, chemistry and nanotechnology to applications in the areas of electronics, photonics, communications, energy, bio-medicine and composites. This will be done by a combination of taught modules, laboratory sessions, short projects and workshops. Coupled with these, business and entrepreneurship skills, visits to large facilities, public outreach and tailored professional development will significantly extend the training. The students will develop clear view of various research areas and will be equipped with the necessary skills and experimental techniques in Graphene Technology before selecting their PhDs at the end of the MRes year, enabling them to use their next 3 years efficiently, rapidly achieving high impact research.

Full EPSRC funding is available for UK students and European students who have studied in the UK for 3 years. Students are normally expected to have a 2.1 or 1st class honours degree from a UK University or an equivalent standard from an overseas university. Eligible UK and EU students with these or equivalent qualifications are encouraged to apply. A limited number of EU funded studentships are available for those who have not studied in the UK for 3 years. Non-EU applicants are not eligible to apply for funding from the Graphene Technology CDT, but can still join the programme if recipient of external scholarships (such as CSC or Commonwealth scholarships) covering the full costs.

Potential applicants must complete the on-line application form accessible through the Centre website (www.doctoral.graphene.cam.ac.uk). Further information on the application process can be found at www.doctoral.graphene.cam.ac.uk/how-to-apply.

For more information please visit the CDT website: www.doctoral.graphene.cam.ac.uk. Enquires should be addressed to doctoral@graphene.cam.ac.uk


Introduction to Mindfulness in Movement

Mindfulness is a well-researched, non-religious and effective means of alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, and promoting well-being and flourishing

These informal taster sessions will introduce Mindfulness – in theory, research and practice – through a series of very gentle movements and stretches, and offer a few tips to keep you grounded and steady in the midst of challenging circumstances. Attend one or both sessions. No previous experience is required! 

FREE Taster Sessions

When: 1-2pm, Thursday 30th May 2019

   5.30-6.30pm, Tuesday 11th June 2019

Where: Cricket Pavilion, University Parks


“If you want to free yourself from anxiety and stress, and feel at ease with yourself, then mindfulness is for you...” [Ruby Wax, Author and Comedian]

These sessions, organised by the University Sport Department, will be led by Oli Bazin, Associate at the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre (www.oxfordmindfulness.org)



Oxford Nightline Recruitment

We are Oxford Nightline, the confidential listening, support, and information service run by students, for students. 

Nightline is an independent listening, support, and information service run for students, by students.  We aim to provide every student in Oxford with the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence – students can ring us on 01865 270270, Skype us at 'oxfordnightline', or visit our office at 16 Wellington Square.  We don’t pretend to have all the answers, or try to solve people's problems, but we care about whatever is on your mind and we will listen to whatever you want to talk about without judging or telling you what to do. 

Every term we run a training course for people who wish to join our team of volunteers.  This teaches the listening and support skills you will need to work for us.  Training requires commitment, but is a rewarding and worthwhile experience.  It consists of three one-day sessions, either on the Saturdays of 11th May, 18th May, and 25th May (Oxford University 2nd-4th week) or the Sundays of 12th May, 19th May, and 26th May (Oxford University 3rd-5th week).

If you would like to train to become a Nightline volunteer, please fill out a training form here: http://oxfordnightline.org/volunteer.

If you would like more information about the training process, or have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at training@oxfordnightline.org.

We are also always looking for new volunteers to join our Publicity, Fundraising and Outreach team (PFO). PFO volunteers act as ambassadors for Nightline by talking to students and organising events in their colleges and departments.  If you've got a flair for publicity or an interest in charity PR, please get in touch at publicity@oxfordnightline.org - we'd love to hear from you!


Professor Mark Brouard, Head of Chemistry, requests the pleasure of your company at a 

Drinks and Canapé Reception to celebrate the completion of your Part II

At 1.00pm-2.30pm, Friday 14th June 2019 in The Atrium, Chemistry Research Laboratory, 12 Mansfield Rd, Oxford OX1 3QZ 
(entrance from South Parks Road)  

RSVP mike.shott@chem.ox.ac.uk

Undergraduate Internship - Quantitative Analyst Summer Intern 2019

Fractal Industries is looking to hire an Analyst Intern for the summer.
Fractal Industries is a technology company specializing in AI and data analytics for cyber security and financial services.

Fractal Industries applies artificial intelligence to solve complex, real-world problems at scale. Our Human+AI operating system, Fractal | OS™, blends capabilities ranging from data handling, analytics, and reporting to advanced algorithms, simulations, and machine learning, enabling decisions that are just-intime, just-in-place, and just-in-context.

Our Oxford office is applying Fractal | OS™ to develop the next-generation insurance underwriting platform, complete with advanced actuarial, natural-catastrophe and cyber-insurance models.

Minimum Requirements:

• In 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of a quantitative undergraduate degree
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Proficiency in any one programming language used in scientific/quantitative programming (e.g. Scala, R, Python, C/C++, MATLAB)
• Microsoft Office proficient (MS Word, Excel & PowerPoint)
• Be well organised and analytical

Desired Qualification:


• Strategy and detailed-design for next generation insurance underwriting systems
• Document model and system methodology for recently-acquired global customers
• Outline workflows for product and build teams
• Help establish the business operations of a start-up insurance company
• Assist the Head of Actuarial with advanced
• GIS/geospatial analysis for model meta-data
• Presentations and documents for management and investor review
• Accompany CEO to such presentations


• Gain product development experience and insights which may boost the start of your
   career, right here in central Oxford
• See first-hand how the insurance industry operates


• Day trips to London may be required (<5%)

Full-time internship position from late Jun to early Sep. 330-350 GBP/week (based on experience).
Please send your CV and cover letter to underwriting@fractalindustries.com


Fully funded DPhil vacancy available in the Davis lab, Biochemistry Department.

Suitable for any undergraduate in any science, computing, maths or engineering course.  
No prior knowledge is required. 

Full funding is available to UK citizens or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for a full degree course.

For further details, please go to http://www.ilandavis.com/vacancies.html

Applicants must contact us in May or June, the earlier the better… 
The funding for this post is only available until the end of August..!


Two fully-funded PhD positions Southampton, October 2019 start

There are two fully-funded (3.5 year) PhD positions to work in Sam Thompson’s group in Southampton from October 2019.
Both use synthetic organic chemistry as a key tool.

At the Chemistry/biology/medicine interface: https://jobs.soton.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=1122519EB

At the Chemistry/engineering/quantum photonics interface: https://jobs.soton.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=1122719EB

Interested candidates should contact Sam Thompson (st3a15@soton.ac.uk) directly.



Charity Bungee Jump in Oxford

Introducing The Leap! RAG are bringing a 175ft bungee jump to Gloucester Green on Sunday 19th May and limited tickets are now available!
Face your fears and #taketheleap plus help raise money for Oxford homelessness and educational inequality.  

Will you dare to jump? Sign up now at: http://bit.ly/theleap2019  

Get all the info and check out the video at: https://www.facebook.com/events/532311280624854/ 


The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM and social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists.

The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. In response to the overwhelming interest in our earlier sessions, we will be holding another fellowship.

Who Should Apply: Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

Locations: In addition to the below in-person locations, we will have a remote online session:

•             New York City

•             San Francisco Bay Area

•             Boston

•             Washington, DC.

Dates: All sections will be from 2019-06-24 to 2019-08-16.

Application Link: https://www.thedataincubator.com/fellowship.html#apply?ref=wYWRtaXNzaW9uc0BjaGVtLm94LmFjLnVrCg==

Early Deadline: 2019-04-15
Regular Deadline: 2019-04-22

We are assessing and interviewing candidates who apply for the Early Deadline first and then based on remaining availability, will take candidates who applied for the Regular Deadline on a first-come first-serve basis.

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in our upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.


Fully funded EPSRC PhD studentships for October 2019 start

A number of fully funded PhD studentships are available at the University of Huddersfield as part of an EPSRC doctoral training programme in Materials Science, as detailed at http://hud.ac.uk/materialsdtp Studentships are open to UK and EU citizens with a 1st or 2:1 in a relevant subject and for UK applicants offer a tax free stipend at the standard EPSRC level (£15,009 for 2019/20) with 3 years of full funding and 12 months of write-up time if required.

In the “Irradiated excipients” project you will learn to apply Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) methods, including spin trapping techniques, to study radicals induced by radiation sterilization of pharmaceutical excipients. It is crucial for patient safety to ensure pharmaceutical are sterile, however in many cases the ingredients cannot withstand thermal sterilization methods so alternatives are required. Sterilization by γ-irradiation is a desirable method due to speed and cost, but can lead to generation of reactive free radicals leading to potential degradation of the product. In our previous work we showed that following γ-irradiation of L-histidine powder it is possible to trap free-radicals in solution, both upon dissolution of the irradiated solid in a spin-trap containing solution but also by contact with catalytic metal many minutes after dissolution. This generation of radicals in solution was unexpected and had not previously been observed, hence was of great interest to our collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry. In this project a detailed characterization of this new mechanism will be carried out by EPR, with experimental work supplemented by computational modelling of the solid state structures of pharmaceutical excipients to define the response of crystalline polymorphs of pharmaceutical excipients to γ-irradiation, and to determine avenues for radical quenching and production of radical inducing oxidants. We will regularly discuss results with industrial collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry.

Huddersfield is a small but vibrant town in West Yorkshire, close to the edge of the Peak District National Park. Many first time visitors are pleasantly surprised by the town with its abundance of impressive Victorian buildings including the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill overlooking the town, and the picturesque location within the rolling hills of “Last of the summer wine” country. Students in the town particularly enjoy the low cost of living compared to many larger cities, yet the amenities of Leeds and Manchester are easily accessible by train in just 20 or 30 minutes and for under £10 return.

The University itself has a strong tradition in Chemistry, tracing its origins back to the Young men’s mental improvement society founded in 1841, and over many years trained chemists to work in the local textiles and later chemical industries. The School of Applied Sciences is housed within the Joseph Priestley building which has recently undergone an £8.3 million refurbishment, and is currently being extended with an £18.2 million teaching lab wing set for completion in July 2019.

The project is supervised by Dr Chris Wedge and Dr Marco Molinari. Chris was a Part II with Prof C.R. Timmel, post doc with Prof P.J. Hore and Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at St Hilda’s College before leaving Oxford in 2013 – his full research profile is available at https://pure.hud.ac.uk/en/persons/chris-wedge

Full applications details are available at http://hud.ac.uk/materialsdtp with the application deadline 31st March 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to Huddersfield for interview.

Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr Chris Wedge c.wedge@hud.ac.uk



3 fully funded PhD positions in polymer chemistry, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Area of research:
Organic synthesis, polymer synthesis, catalysis

Job description:
The candidate will be working in the area of living catalytic ring opening metathesis (ROMP) or the synthesis of helical polyaramid foldamers. The work in the laboratory will mainly consist of organic and polymer synthesis, small molecule and polymer characterization and imaging techniques such as AFM or TEM.
The duration of a typical PhD is 3-4 years.

The Chemistry Department at the University of Fribourg has an excellent infrastructure for the synthesis and characterization of small organic as well as polymeric compounds. The expertise in the research group (www.kilbinger.net) is in the area of organic synthesis, synthesis of precision polymers and the development of new methods for polymer functionalizations. 

Your profile:
The successful candidate will have a bachelor and masters degree in chemistry with an excellent mechanistic understanding of organic chemistry. Knowledge of polymer chemistry is advantageous but can also be acquired during the course of the PhD training. The candidate must be familiar with  Schlenk-technique, use of a glove box and standard organic chemistry characterization techniques. Very good organizational skills and fluent English both spoken and written is mandatory for the successful candidate.

Start of employment
The successful candidates are expected to join our research group on 1.10.2019

Application procedure
Please send a CV, including three names of faculty members that could provide reference letters, a letter of motivation and copies of degree certificates by email to andreas.kilbinger@unifr.ch.  Applications can be sent any time. The interviewing procedure, by Skype, will start no later than April 2019. 



MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering

The MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol exploits existing close inter-faculty collaboration to provide a rich, research-focused, postgraduate programme with significant industry input.

For further details, please see HERE


Summer Program 2019

The JSPS Summer Program is implemented as a component of the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan. It provides opportunities for young pre- and post-doctoral researchers from North America and Europe to receive an orientation on Japanese culture and research systems and to pursue research under the guidance of host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutes over a period of two months during the summer.

For further details see HERE and - https://www.jsps.go.jp/english/e-summer/