Funded PhD and MSc positions available


A funded PhD position is available to start in the group in September 2022. The PhD position is funded by the SFI-EPSRC Atoms-to-Products Centre for Doctoral Training and BiOrbic. It is a 4-year position, with funding for stipend, EU-fees, consumables and travel. There will also be an opportunity for a placement in the University of Nottingham during the PhD. The topic of the project concerns the development of greener methods in synthetic Organic Synthesis.

There is also funding for a 1-year postgraduate position which could be an MSc or could be the first year of a PhD position for a suitable applicant.

Applications are welcome from students with, or expecting to gain, a 2:1 or first class honours BSc degree (or equivalent) or MSc. Experience in any area of modern Chemical Synthesis including organic and inorganic methodology, natural product and target molecule synthesis, organometallic chemistry, catalysis, asymmetric synthesis, flow chemistry, automation or carbohydrate chemistry would be an advantage. The closing date for applications is June 30th 2022 but the positions may be filled sooner if suitable applicants are identified so early application is advised.

Successful candidates will be encouraged to develop their chemical knowledge, technical skills and transferable skills. They will attend courses on the Dublin Chemistry programme and those offered through the CDT (in Dublin and Nottingham), and attend group meetings, seminars and international conferences. They will develop advanced synthetic chemistry skills and gain particular expertise in the development of greener organic reactions. On graduation they should be well placed to pursue a career in either the chemical industry or as an academic researcher.

Welcome Hao and Henry!

We welcome Henry (‘Harry’) and Hao to the group. They are carrying out research projects in the group this summer, as a MSc research project student and as a BSc summer intern, respectively. They are working on synthetic carbohydrate chemistry and organosulfur chemistry, two strong themes in the group at the moment. We hope you both enjoy your time in the group, learn lots, and make good progress in your research.

Good Luck Joe!

Good luck to Joe who is starting an industrial placement today with APC Ltd. We hope you learn lots and enjoy the change of scenery in this excellent UCD spinout company. We will miss you over the summer.

Congratulations Alex!

Congratulations to Alex who passed her PhD viva voce exam today! After 4 years of hard work the day has finally come. We are having a celebration, it’s great to have a reason to party. The examination was conducted by Prof. Richard Grainger (Uni. Birmingham) as the external examiner and Prof. Pat Guiry (UCD) as the internal examiner, with Assist. Prof. Marcus Baumann (UCD) as chair. Alex’s PhD was sponsored by the Irish Research Council and she was affiliated with SSPC, the SFI Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals, through which she completed an industrial placement in MSD. Alex has published some of her PhD research in two papers in Org. Lett. so far, and more will follow.

Vinny’s book chapter is published.

Well done to Vinny on the publication of his book chapter online today. It is an invited chapter in the Italian Chemical Society’s book Targets in Heterocyclic Systems (Vol. 25). Congrats also to our School Colleagues (just down the corridor) Cormac Bracken and Marcus Baumann who also have a chapter in this volume. Snap! This is the fourth publication to emanate from Vinny’s NUI-funded PhD Scholarship. Vinny’s chapter describes applications of vinylsulfonium salts in heterocycle synthesis. The chapter is available for free online on an open access basis.

Targets in Heterocyclic Systems, Vol 25, p78-99; Eds O A Attanasi, B Gabriele, P Merino, D Spinelli; Società Chimica Italiana; Rome, 2021. V K Duong, E M McGarrigle — Application of vinylsulfonium salts to the synthesis of heterocycles.

Open Access:

Congratulations Di!

Congratulations to Dionissia who passed her PhD viva voce exam today! After 4 years of hard work the day has finally come. We are having a party, it’s great to have something positive to celebrate. The examination was conducted by Prof. Hermen Overkleeft (Uni. Leiden) as the external examiner and Assist. Prof. Xiangming Zhu (UCD) as the internal examiner, with Prof. Declan Gilheany (UCD) as chair. In the afternoon Prof. Overkleeft gave an excellent seminar on his own research in the areas of chemical biology and carbohydrate chemistry. It is great to have international visitors giving in-person seminars again. Di’s PhD was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland through a CDA award to Eoghan. She completed an industrial placement in Syngenta (Switzerland) and has published two papers from her PhD to-date in Chemical Science and in J. Biol. Chem., and more will follow. Her next research position is a postdoctoral fellowship in Switzerland. Good Luck with the postdoc Di!

New paper in Org Lett

Congrats to Alex and Vinny on their latest paper which was published online today in Org Lett. It is the second paper from Alex and Vinny in the area of organosulfur chemistry. It describes the use of heteroarylsulfonium salts to make bis-heteroaryls through reaction with heteroaryl Grignard reagents. It goes beyond our previous work making 2,4′-, 2,3′, and 2,2′-bipyridines accessible by a single method. We also described a versatile route to the biologically active natural products Caerulomycin A and E.

We are grateful to NUI, IRC and the SFI research centre SSPC for research funding. The article is available on an open access basis to free to read online:

Org Lett 2021, article asap. A M Horan, V K Duong,* E M McGarrigle*—Synthesis of Bis-heteroaryls Using Grignard Reagents and Pyridylsulfonium Salts. DOI:10.1021/acs.orglett.1c03379

Congrats Vanessa!

Congratulations to Vanessa on the award of an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. These are really prestigious scholarships (ca. 100 awarded nationally across all subjects in Science from >1000 applicants), so congratulations Vanessa (we know you deserve it).

Welcome Davin, Aoibhinn, Katie and Peter!

We welcome Katie Rundle, Aoibhinn Downes, Peter Martyn and Davin Cronly to the group, our biggest intake of final year research students yet! They will carry out their final year BSc research projects in the group this academic year. Their projects are focused in the general area of organic synthesis, with topics including new synthetic glycosylation methods, new methods for automation in synthetic carbohydrate chemistry, use of more sustainable solvents and developing new organocatalysts. In a nice coincidence Katie D will guide Katie R in the lab, and Peter McD will be Peter M’s guide! We hope you enjoy your time in the group, learn lots, and discover some interesting things while you are with us.