A PhD is a chance to make an original contribution to science as an individual. You will have a chance to learn about the basic principles underlying your science, and put into practice all that theory you learnt as an undergraduate.
The 3-year Chemistry PhD programme is focused on a major piece of original research. You will study under the direct supervision of a member of staff, who is an expert in his or her area of specialisation.
For more information, please see the tabs below.
Studying for a PhD in Chemistry is one of the most exciting things you will do in your scientific career, as you will have the opportunity to pursue novel research on an individual basis. UCL offers PhD studies in all branches of Chemistry. To find an area of research that interests you, look at the individual academic staff pages. You can also look at the full list of available projects in the available projects tab.
Most students will start in late September, although studentships become available at other times during the year.
Students are monitored at regular intervals throughout the period of their PhD. Towards the end of their first year (June) each student writes a short report. The student's second supervisor reads the report and conducts a mini-viva (interview) with the student. This provides the student with valuable insights into how to work towards their thesis, as well as establishing whether the student has the motivation and ability to complete a thesis.
In their second year, all students produce and present a poster outlining the research work already completed. In addition students write a more in-depth report detailing their progress to date. This report is assessed by a small panel who decide whether the students progress is suitable to progress to completion of their PhD.
In the final year, it is hoped that students will be able to design, initiate and pursue their own investigations without extensive supervision. Students are expected to have begun writing their thesis before the end of the third year of study.
A thesis must be submitted four years from the start date of the PhD, and will be examined in a viva voce examination shortly after submission.
Although working for a higher degree involves considerable specialization on the part of the student, it is a policy of the department to ensure that a student's broader chemical background and general transferable skills are developed. In addition to work associated directly with the research project, students are also expected to attend an appropriate set of courses to develop their knowledge and skills based on the UCL Graduate School Research Student Log.
How To Apply
Information on the application procedure is included below.
Eligibility requirements vary depending on the source of funding for the PhD. A large number of PhD studentships in the UCL Chemistry Department are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Countil or Natural Environment Research Council and full details are available on the EPSRC, BBSRC and NERC websites.
Candidates should have or expect to gain a 2(i) or first class MSci or MChem degree (or an equivalent qualification).
Project funding includes a stipend of approximately £15000 (tax free) per annum and covers the University fees at the standard UK rate. EPSRC, BBSRC and NERC funding is only available to home students.
Funding may also be provided through the European Union, by charitable awards and scholarships or via an industrial sponsor and will be provided at similar rates to those provided via the research councils.
UCL offers some scholarships for graduate studies, the details of which can be found on the UCL graduate scholarships pages.
All applicants must apply online.
You will first be required to register and create an account. Once registered please follow on the on-screen instructions.
When searching for the correct programme please select “MPhil/PhD Chemistry”.
Under “Name(s) of Proposed Supervisors” please enter “PhD Programme”
You will need to provide details of your referees as part of the online application. The system will contact your referees using these details. Please note: your application will not be processed until both your referees have submitted their references. You can use the on-line system to check whether your references have been submitted or to send your referees a reminder.
Application for PhD studentships can be made at any time of the year. Currently available projects can be found in the Available Projects tab.
PhD vacancies currently available in the department are shown below:
New Approaches to Direct Amidation Reactions
Publication date: 4 March 2014
Dr Tom Sheppard
Applications are invited for PhD studentship commencing in October 2014. The proposed project will be a new collaboration between Dr Sheppard’ group and GlaxoSmithKline and the student will carry out a research placement for a minimum of 3 months at the industrial site at an appropriate stage of the project. The project will involve the development of new and more efficient methods for direct amidation reactions using pharmaceutically relevant compounds (For the importance of amidation reactions in pharmaceutical synthesis, see: Org. Biomol. Chem. 2006, 4, 2337). This project will build upon previous work in the group on boron-mediated amidation reactions (J. Org. Chem. 2013, 78, 4512). The PhD candidate will receive training within a research group and via the PhD training programme.
Phosphoro-Strecker Multicomponent Reaction: Amino Acid Synthesis and Phosphoryl Activation
Publication date: 4 March 2014
Dr Matthew W. Powner, Organic and Biological Chemistry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Potassium Alkoxides in Transition Metal Free Synthesis and Catalysis’
Publication date: 3 March 2014
A PhD position is available working with Dr. J. D. Wilden on the development of organic reactions promoted by group 1 alkoxides.
Design of Novel Delivery Systems for Airways Administration
Publication date: 26 February 2014
A 3.5-year PhD studentship is available in the UCL Chemistry Department to work with Prof Giuseppe Battaglia (www.battagliaresearchgroup.com) on the design of novel delivery systems for airways administration. The project will be in collaboration with an industrial partner.
New chemically designed next-generation analytical nanoscale sensors
Publication date: 17 February 2014
A PhD position is available to develop new chemically designed nanoscale sensors to detect biologically relevant molecules in next-generation analytical devices. The project is supervised by Dr. Stefan Howorka at UCL Chemistry.
Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies of a Model Au–Ceria Catalyst
Publication date: 17 February 2014
3 Year PhD Studentship: Scanning Probe Microscopy Studies of a Model Au–Ceria Catalyst
Supervisors: Prof. Geoff Thornton (UCL), Prof. Masahiko Tomitori, Dr. Akira Sasahara (JAIST, Japan)
2 x PhD projects in the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Chemistry Department of University College London
Publication date: 29 January 2014
Two PhD positions are available in Prof. Angelos Michaelides’ ICE research group in the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Department of Chemistry. The theoretical/simulation projects are aimed at applying and developing computer simulation approaches to better understand the formation of ice.
Regeneration of Hydrogen Storage Materials
Publication date: 13 January 2014
Title: EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship
Atomic scale imaging and local spectroscopy of CeO2 - Prof Geoff Thornton
Publication date: 3 December 2013
London Centre for Nanotechnology
University College London
Summary: Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD studentship. The aim of this project is to provide an understanding of the chemical physics of single-crystalline CeO2 in relation to hydrogen production.
PhD Studentship in femtosecond laser spectroscopy - Prof Helen H Fielding
Publication date: 2 December 2013
Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in femtosecond laser photoelectron spectroscopy to work on an exciting new interdisciplinary research project exploring the factors that control the excited state dynamics of the chromophore of green fluorescent protein (GFP).
Computational Studies of Chemical Bonding in the Actinides
Publication date: 8 November 2013
A position is available to study chemical bonding in the actinide series, with particular emphasis on the role of covalency in uranium compounds, using computational quantum chemistry.
Search UCL News
Information on all aspects of studying at UCL as a postgraduate can be found on the UCL graduate study page.
For any further information regarding the Chemistry PhD please contact the postgraduate tutor by completing the following form, outlining your request using the Additional Information box.