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  • Ben Pilgrim

PhD Position Advertised

A PhD position to join the group in 2020 has just been advertised. See the advert on

Details of the advert are also copied below.

The Pilgrim Group at the University of Nottingham is looking to recruit an enthusiastic and talented PhD candidate to join our research team. 

The group works at the interface of supramolecular self-assembly and organic synthesis. Some particular research themes we are investigating include:

Supramolecular catalysis - using combinations of molecular cages as catalyst-containing nanoboxes that can work in tandem to produce complex molecule products from multi-step reactions. We aim to employ catalyst encapsulation to control reaction outcomes (regio- and stereoselectivity), enhance catalyst stability and make scarce catalysts readily reusable.

Self-Assembly – investigating the construction of novel classes of self-assembled metal-ligand coordination cages that are responsive to stimuli in their environment. 

Cascade conjugation reactions – developing ‘click’-type cascade reactions and harnessing their potential to develop new types of stimuli-responsive materials.  

What is the position?

The position is a fully-funded PhD studentship for 42 months to start in or before October 2020. This covers the payment of tuition fees and gives you a full tax-free stipend at the RCUK rate (currently £15,009 per year). The Pilgrim Group are based in the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham. During your studies you will receive the training to become an excellent synthetic supramolecular chemist, gaining knowledge of organic and inorganic synthesis techniques and structural elucidation methods such as NMR, mass spec and X-ray crystallography. You will also have the opportunity to present work at conferences. 

Are you the right candidate?

Do you have an interest in supramolecular chemistry, self-assembly, organic synthesis or catalysis?

Are you someone who is creative, works hard, is a team player, and would enjoy being part of a dynamic and growing research group?

Do you have, or expect to achieve by summer 2020, a First or 2:1 Honours degree in Chemistry or Natural Sciences (specialising in Chemistry)?

Have you studied in University education for at least four years by 2020? For example, you may have studied for a combined Batchelor’s and Master’s degree (e.g. four-year MChem or MSci), a separate one-year Master’s degree after completing your undergraduate degree, or a four-year BSC with substantial lab experience (such as a year out in industry). 

Are you a UK or EU national? (due to funding requirements) 

Are you a native English speaker or able to meet the University minimum English Language requirements (IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element)?

If the answer to all these questions is yes then we want to hear from you!


There is no deadline, but review of applications will start on Monday 10th February and the position will be filled as soon as a suitable person has been found; hence you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Start Date

April 2020 or October 2020


Chemistry, Supramolecular; Organic; Self-assembly, Catalysis


Dr Ben Pilgrim is happy to discuss informally via email any questions that prospective applicants have ( Please note you must apply via the University website ( Applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.


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