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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Synthetic Organic Chemistry

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604 - 38,832 a year
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Role Description

A fixed term postdoctoral appointment is available in synthetic organic chemistry to work with Dr Will Unsworth and Prof Richard Taylor in the Department of Chemistry, University of York to work on a project involving the development of novel methods to synthesise functionalised spirocycles.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York. The Department was placed in the top ten UK universities for Research Power by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF).  As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.

The University of York is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities. The recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the position of the University among the leading institutions in the UK for research.

You will join a team led by Dr Will Unsworth and co-supervised by Prof Richard Taylor, and in addition to research responsibilities, you will be expected to assist with the supervision of more junior group members. See and for further details.

You will develop a new family of bifunctional reagents (Spiroclip reagents) capable of functionalising the parent aromatic/heteroaromatic AND promoting spirocyclisation, thus enabling us to prepare complex spirocycles from catalogue aromatics/heteroaromatics in a single step. You will use appropriate research techniques and methods in organic synthesis, chromatography and spectroscopy. You will write-up and disseminate research results, coordinate publications and further contribute to the identification of possible new areas of research. You will be expected to participate in seminar and conference presentations and enjoy supervision of PhD and project students as well as outreach activities

Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed

You are expected to have a first degree in Chemistry or a chemistry-related subject and a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry or equivalent experience. You will have significant knowledge and experience of a range of research techniques and methodologies (e.g. organic synthesis, chromatography and spectroscopy). You should have experience in synthetic methodology development and/or total synthesis. You will have an understanding of the operation of a research laboratory and an awareness of health and safety issues.

You will also have:

  • Highly developed communication skills including competency to make presentations at conferences
  • Ability and experience of developing research projects and objectives, conducting research projects and working in a harmonious team
  • Highly developed self-motivation with good time management and IT skills
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination.

Salary from £31,604 - £38,832 a year on grade 6 of the University’s salary scales.  The post is fixed-term for a period of 36 months and will be available from 1 April 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr William Unsworth (

Athena Swan Gold

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