Undergraduate News


Items of interest principally to Part II students

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 Sheffield - A fully-funded 4-year PhD position in ultrafast dynamics of transition metal complexes

University of Sheffield  - A fully-funded 4-year PhD position in ultrafast dynamics of transition metal complexes - "Ultrafast Structural Dynamics of Light-Driven Charge Transfer in Photoactive Metal Complexes with Controllable Reactivity"

"Control of light-driven charge- and energy transfer in photoactive molecules and materials is a fascinating challenge in chemistry and photosciences.

We have recently shown that it is possible to control photoinduced electron transfer in solution, by targeted infrared excitation of selected molecular vibrations on the ultrafast timescale. We demonstrated this effect of “IR-control” for electronic excited states of light-harvesting transition metal complexes of the type [Donor]-bridge-[acceptor]. [see for example Science 2014, 1492; Nature Chem 2017, 1099]  

The PhD project aims to take the next step: to develop fundamental understanding of the mechanism of this exciting effect. 

The key questions include the role of vibronic coupling, coherence, and structural changes accompanying electronic excitation in such systems in solution, on the ultrafast, sub-20-ps, time scale. To answer these questions, we will combine ultrafast optical spectroscopy methods with emerging methods of ultrafast structural dynamics (such as femtosecond X-ray absorption and emission from molecules in solution) made possible by X-ray Free Electron Lasers, XFEL."  

The PhD is co-funded by the UK XFEL Physical Sciences Hub and the University of Sheffield.  

The position is open to the EU and UK residents.

A detailed description of the position HERE  


Oxford University Scientific Society

Greetings from the Oxford University Scientific Society!

Established in 1882, OUSS is the oldest student-run science society in the world. For those who are not familiar with what we do, ordinarily, at this point in term we would be busy hosting speakers from a variety of backgrounds and organising social events.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this term we have moved online, and virtual events are well underway.  

If you are one of our old friends (i.e. already subscribed to our mailing list), you would have received an email last week about us moving our mailing list.
The new mailing list will allow us to target different events at different audiences, connect like-minded people together, and much more. We are planning to reach out to as many people as possible, whether you are a student, a researcher, an experienced academic staff, as long as you are interested in science, it would be wonderful to have you on board!

Sign-up by filling out this Google Form: https://forms.gle/VWdTnaqGoUb3y9TF8, it should only take 2 minutes of your time!

Thank you for your attention, keep well, and we hope to meet you again in the future. For any queries, please contact us at:

Email: scientific.society@studentclubs.ox.ac.uk

Website: https://ouscisoc.org/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OUSciSoc/


University of Bristol - MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering

MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering  - Application deadline - 31 August 2020.

This MSc prepares students for a career either in industry or academia by providing a thorough grounding in the science and engineering underpinning today’s nuclear energy systems. Combining the strengths of the Science and Engineering Faculties, and drawing on an established programme of nationally leading industrial research through the Bristol-Oxford NRC, the course provides a unique multidisciplinary experience and is a key part of the South West Nuclear Hub .   

Nuclear Energy is a vital part of the UK strategy to prevent climate change and secure the electricity supply of the future. The MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol trains students to be the future experts of the industry. Classes will teach about construction and design of nuclear fusions, decommissioning of existing facilities and management of the fuel cycle and waste. Graduates will leave equipped with a familiarity with the nuclear industry and its unique safety culture, preparing them to enter the industry or continue in academia.

Course structure
The programme is delivered full-time over one year by the University of Bristol.
Students will form a cohort attached to the South West Nuclear Hub, and will benefit from working with internationally leading research teams.

Key themes, covering the science and engineering of nuclear energy include:

•             The Nuclear Fuel Cycle

•             Nuclear Materials Behaviour

•             Nuclear Reactor Physics

•             Nuclear Reactor Engineering

The MSc contains a total of 180 credit points (CP), split between taught and practical elements:

Taught Programme

•             Core Units (70 CP)

•             Optional Units (30 CP)

Practical Programme

•             Group Project, semesters 1 and 2 (20 CP)

•             Individual Research Project, all year (60 CP)

The Taught Programme consists of core units, which provide a solid foundation in the scientific and engineering subjects, and optional units, which offer an opportunity to explore topics of particular interest. Students are encouraged to broaden outside their discipline by the requirement to select at least ten credit points from the Faculty outside their individual research project.

Group Projects bring students together in interdisciplinary teams to tackle current problems facing the nuclear industry, e.g. Challenge Events posed by the University’s industrial partners such as EDF, Sellafield, NNL, Rolls-Royce, RWM and Cavendish. These help students develop key skills sought by employers such as innovation, communication and leadership.

The student’s Individual Research Project is supervised by leading academics at the University of Bristol, and is often aligned with key industrial partners, offering an opportunity to experience the industry’s technical challenges and professional culture first-hand.

How to Apply

Fees and Funding Information is available  here , search for ‘nuclear’.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be considered individually, but a 2:1 or better in an engineering or science degree will be expected.
Contact the MSc team directly to discuss eligibility.

Applications Process: Information is available here .

Contact Information: nuclear-msc@bristol.ac.uk



Department of Education

Hi everyone, my name is Lauren Bolz…

I’m looking for Part II chemistry students to chat with for a study I’m conducting on the value of earning a chemistry degree from Oxford. If you would at all be interested in taking part, do let me know by emailing me at lauren.bolz@worc.ox.ac.uk.

The interview should only take about 30 minutes and we can meet over Teams whenever is most convenient for you. It also shouldn’t require any preparation on your part, and hopefully, it will benefit you in the sense that our conversation will give you the chance to reflect on your degree, what you have gotten out of it, and what you might want to do with it.

I’ve attached an information sheet that you can take a look at to learn more about the study and how your data will be protected. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

Lauren Bolz
MSc Education (Higher Education)
Worcester College, University of Oxford




PhD studentship available in Block Copolymer-enabled Supercapacitors

UCL Department: Chemical Engineering (Adaptive & Responsive Nanomaterials Group; Dr Stefan Guldin)

Project description: We are looking for a PhD candidate to join our group in the area of molecular self-assembly for application in supercapacitors.

Further details HERE




Graduate Studentship in Quantum Computing/Theoretical Chemistry

Graduate Studentship in Quantum Computing/Theoretical Chemistry

Applications are invited for a DPhil studentship in Quantum Computing/Theoretical Chemistry available from October 2020, to work with Professor David Tew in the Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford, UK. The subject will be: Methods for simulating chemistry using quantum computers’.

Through the rapid developments in quantum technologies, quantum states can be created and manipulated with increasing control and increasing degrees of entanglement. The prospect of harnessing the advantages of quantum information processing to perform unprecedented simulations of quantum systems draws ever closer.

This project will address the challenge of how best to map the simulation of chemical systems onto tasks that can be performed by current and future quantum devices.  In particular, the project will involve developing powerful and practical new approaches for using quantum processors to solve for the eigenstates of electronic Hamiltonians.

The project will involve a collaboration with the Quantum Photonics group of Prof. Anthony Laing in Bristol, where methods will be developed that are well suited to the quantum photonic devices built by his group.

This studentship is part of the Oxford DTP allocation ring fenced for the Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub. UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) eligibility criteria apply. The studentship will cover course fees at a Home rate and provide a stipend of no less than the standard UK Research Council rate, currently set at £15,285 per year, for 3.5 years.

Candidates with a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Physics or Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply. Candidates should submit a formal application for DPhil in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry via Oxford online application system: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford , quoting DPT/QCS/2020.

Application deadline: 12.00 noon UK time on Thursday, 30th April 2020.

Queries relating to the application and admission process should be directed to: graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk ; tel.: +44 (0) 1865 272569.
For informal enquiries, email david.tew@chem.ox.ac.uk


Three fully funded PhD positions available:MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences

The MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences currently have three fully funded PhD positions available:

A 3.5 year MRC funded studentship in the Metabolic Signalling research group, under the supervision of Professor Dominic Withers.
This MRC studentship covers all tuition fee payments as well as a generous tax-free stipend, paid directly to the student, amounting to £21,000 pa.

Group Website: https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/professor-dominic-withers-elected-fmedsci/
Project Description: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/understanding-obesity-studies-on-the-top-down-control-of-feeding-behaviour/?p112426

  •       A 3.5 year MRC funded studentship in the Meiosis research group, under the supervision of Dr Enrique Martinez-Perez. This MRC studentship covers   
          all tuition fee payments as well as a generous tax-free stipend, paid directly to the student, amounting to £21,000 pa.

             Group Website: https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/research-group/meiosis/
             Project Description: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/regulation-of-mitotic-and-meiotic-chromosome-function-by-different-cohesin-complexes

  •       A 3.5 year MRC funded studentship in the Cell Cycle research group, under the supervision of Dr Luis Aragon. This MRC studentship covers all tuition     
          fee payments as well as a generous tax-free stipend, paid directly to the student, amounting to £21,000 pa.

             Group Website: https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/research-group/cell
             Project Description: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/molecular-mechanisms-of-eukaryotic-smc-complexes/?p112421

We are accepting applications now, with the deadline of Sunday 26 April 2020.

Please see our website for eligibility requirements and application instructions - https://lms.mrc.ac.uk/study-here/phd-studentships/lms-3-5yr-studentships/


Warwick’s MRC-funded DTP in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Warwick’s MRC-funded DTP in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research - Apply by 23 March 

The following studentships are available for September 2020 entry:

  • Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Dynamics
  • Microbiology and Infection
  • Applied Biomedical Technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence and Data Science                                                                                                                                                                  

Are you interested in a funded four-year studentship in biomedical research including a one-year MSc course that would provide

interdisciplinary training for your PhD, along with research projects in two labs?  Then the Warwick MRC DTP in Interdisciplinary

Biomedical Research may be the programme for you.  We are now recruiting for September 2020 entry.

Key features of the programme:

  • You will undertake an MSc year with two terms of taught modules (including frontier methods in biomedical research,

physical biology of the cell and programming) and two 11-week lab projects.

  • This is a fully-funded programme, including fees, stipend, consumables and personal conference allowance.  You will

also be able to apply for additional funding for high cost and specialist training.

  • You will be part of a friendly and supportive community of MRC DTP students, with regular DTP events such as visiting

speaker seminars, skills workshops and student conferences.


Find out more

Apply by 23 March 2020!  If you have any questions about this programme please email mrcdtp@warwick.ac.uk.


Training Better Leaders Course

Training Better Leaders Course

This new decade ahead will be crucial for human history. Using Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christina Figueres’ words, “It's a deliberate choice. Ten years from now, in 2030, we will either have written a very positive story, or we will really be condemned to an endless destruction. So for these 10 years we're holding the pen.”   

We want you to hold the pen for real, and that’s why the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford brings you the 7th edition of the Training Better Leaders course, on 20-22 April 2020.

Speakers who have confirmed their attendance include Anthropologist Jason Hickel; Director at London Heathrow Airport Matt Gorman; Oxford Extinction Rebellion activist Zuhura Plummer.
Among the organisations represented we will see the Committee on Climate Change, Eco-Age, 2030 Manufacture, HSBC Bank, and the Global Climate Action Support Team at COP 26, to name a few.

TBL is open to all current students – undergrads, masters and DPhils, in any course or year.

Check out the latest Newsletter for all the information https://mailchi.mp/73b12356f46d/apply-1st-batch-of-sustainability-internships-openings-2117281

...and submit your application today!

Please address any queries you may have to the TBL organiser, Dora Martínez Carbonell, dora.martinezcarbonell@ouce.ox.ac.uk.


Nightline Training - Hilary Term 2020

Nightline Training - Hilary Term 2020

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. 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 1st February, 8th February, and 15th February (Oxford University 2nd-4th week) or the Sundays of 2nd February, 9th February, and 16th February
 (Oxford University 2nd-4th week).

If you would like to train to become a Nightline volunteer, please fill out a training form here: 
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.  It is not a large time commitment – you can do as much or as little as you have time for – and there are lots of opportunities to learn valuable skills and play a leading role in informing our publicity strategy.  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!