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Department of Chemistry

Current opportunities

General Information

Postgraduate projects undertaken in the Chemistry Department here in Durham cover all of the traditional areas of chemistry and other contemporary, often interdisciplinary topics. PhD projects are available each year that span all aspects of the Department's research activities.

  • It is important to note that funding is awarded throughout the year, which means that new projects regularly become available throughout the year, so please check this web page frequently for the latest information.

Individual supervisors should be contacted for further project-specific information, while general enquiries may be made to the Postgraduate Admissions Tutors:

All general enquiries: - Mrs Anne Carrahar
Postgraduate Admissions:
- Dr Steven Cobb
Director of Postgraduate Studies:
- Prof. Jon Steed


Funded PhD positions to start in October 2014

Please contact members of staff directly for further information on the positions that they have advertised.

Rheology of Complex Polymers and Their Mixtures.
(key skills - Experimental physical science, modelling, numerical analysis)
Dr Richard Thompson

Functional Surfaces (3 Fully Funded PhD Studentships, P2i Ltd)
Prof. Jas Pal Badyal (

Role of oxide supports in heterogeneous catalysis for biomass conversion
Dr. Simon Beaumont (
Pushing Superconductivity to the extreme in molecular solids
Prof. K. Prassides (

Functional Inorganic materials: Understanding and exploiting structure-property relationships
Prof. John Evans (

Experimental and Computational Studies of Ionic Mobility in Energy Materials
Dr I. Evans (

Mechanical organisation of the cell interface studied by membrane model systems.
Dr. Margarita Staykova ( (Lecturer in Departments of Physics and Chemistry)

Positions open to EU students/ researchers (UK students cannot apply due to funding restrictions)

5 x Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions in a European training network between Durham University and Procter and Gamble. Students will enrol on a PhD programme in Durham and work jointly with one of P&G’s European innovation centres, splitting their time between the two sites. This will provide unique training in both academic and industry-related research. Projects will be available to work with a range of Durham academics (AnnMarie O’Donoghue, Richard Thompson, Andrew Beeby, Sandra Engelskirchen, Sharon Cooper, David Hodgson, Buddho Chakrabati and Tom McLeish).

Theory of molecular migration and its impact on hygiene product stability
Dr Buddho Chakrabarti (maths department)

Experimental studies on molecular migration and its impact on hygiene product stability
Dr Richard Thompson (

Complex fluids for active delivery in hair and laundry applications
Dr Sandra Engelskirchen (

Protein interactions in complex fluids
Dr AnnMarie O’Donoghue (

Understanding the role of active oxygen in wash processes
Prof Andrew Beeby (


2 x Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions in the European training network FLUOR21 (FLUOR21: Synthesis, structure and function of fluorinated systems) to work in the groups of Prof. Graham Sandford and Dr Steven Cobb. Applicants can apply as a PhD student or as a first time Postdoctoral Fellow (not yet awarded PhD).

Fluorine as Modulator of Peptoid Function, Structure and Activity
(key skills - Synthetic chemistry, solid phase synthesis, biophysical analysis of structure, dynamic 19F NMR studies, biological assays, some cell handling and related biochemistry techniques)
Contact Dr Steven Cobb (

Fluorination in Flow
(key skills - Fluorination using fluorine gas, continuous flow chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, NMR/MS and other spectroscopic techniques)
Contact Professor Graham Sandford (


Positions open in new EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training Centre

A number of PhD positions will be available in the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces (SOFI CDT).

For further information visit the SOFI CDT web pages ( or contact Dr Lian Hutchings (


Postgraduate Funding Opportunities


Postgraduate funding opportunities - find out more about scholarships available for postgraduate study.