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PhD Studentship –Flow-Diffraction-GCMS: towards kinetic information from single crystals for catalysis and selective adsorption applications

School of Chemistry

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1110719EB

PhD Supervisor: Simon Coles, co supervisor: David Allan (Diamond)

PhD Description:  

We are seeking a first-class student to develop single crystal diffraction methodology to produce and advance the understanding of solid-state reactivity. This PhD provides an excellent, high-profile opportunity, working at national centres and with internationally recognized teams. The work will be highly collaborative, developing an in-operando approach by interfacing a single–crystal flow cell with a Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and benchmarking with novel gas/solid catalysis. This will provide a step change in the ability to study catalytic reactions in the single crystal state and then be applied to understanding catalysis and gas separation/storage in extended (Metal-Organic Framework) materials. Apparatus will be initially developed at the National Crystallography Service (Southampton) before being transferred to Diamond, where you will spend the majority of the remaining time on the studentship. The application to catalysis will involve very close collaboration with the synthesis/catalysis groups of Weller (Oxford) and Rosseinsky (Liverpool). Finally, the studentship will explore the transportability of the apparatus to other beamlines and look to engage the wider chemistry community. 

We therefore seek an independent and motivated researcher prepared to work at multiple sites to integrate and collaborate with different teams. You will have design and engineering skills, experience of implementing new methodologies and the ability to apply techniques to novel cutting edge chemistry. A proven ability to present and communicate findings is essential.

The project is funded for 3.5 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Chemistry or allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum. (predicted 201920 rates are £15.009).

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK students and EU students who meet the RCUK eligibility criteria

Applications for a PhD in Chemistry should be submitted online at

Click on the Research radio button, select 2019-20 in the academic year field and enter Chemistry in the search text field.Click ‘search for programme’.Select PhD Chemistry (Full Time).

Please place Prof Simon Coles in the field for proposed supervisor/project

General enquiries should be made to Professor Simon Coles at  Any queries on the application process should be made to

The University of Southampton and the School of Chemistry both hold Athena SWAN Silver Awards, reflecting their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and particularly to gender equality. 

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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