Bioactive Chemistry is the study of how molecules impact and interact with life and requires an appreciation at the molecular level of the chemical and biochemical processes involved. Research in bioactive chemistry therefore involves the development and application of novel molecular tools, materials and techniques that are essential to our ability to meet the challenges of the 21st Century including infectious disease, antimicrobial resistance, feeding growing populations and building sustainable environments.
Ongoing research in Bioactive Chemistry at Durham is leading to
All these exciting projects are driven by chemist working in partnership with life, clinical, engineering and materials scientists both with colleagues in other University Departments and with collaborators in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech, personal care and agritech sectors.
Masters by Research - New Projects for 2023
We are excited to offer new Bioactive Chemistry projects for the MSc by Research departmental programmes. These projects offers graduate students year-long research opportunities in interdisciplinary research and are excellent preparation for an interdisciplinary PhD involving chemistry and the life sciences. For more information about the wider research interests of those offering projects please use the links below. Each project will last for 12 months [or potentially 24 months part-time] and will be assessed by a final research dissertation / thesis that will be examined by experts in the field from both within and external to the University.
Title – Chemical Tools for the Identification of Plant U-Box Proteins: A new approach for Agrochemical Discovery
The course is a one-year research project (or 24 months part-time) based in the laboratories of your supervisory team. During this period students are encouraged to attend and contribute to research seminars, symposia and workshops. To broaden their general chemistry knowledge students are required to attend a minimum of four lecture courses of relevance to their own research area(s), which provide additional tailored academic and scientific development opportunities. These are chosen by the student in consultation with their supervisor from a portfolio offered for students at this level. In addition to these there are many wider student experience activities, as well as non-credit bearing skills development courses delivered through the Chemistry Department and other Department’s across the University including Biosciences, Maths, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Engineering and Physics. Training in a wide range of transferrable skills is also provided via our Durham Centre for Academic Development, our aligned Centres for Doctoral Training and through our Department Early Career Researcher group.
How we Support our Postgraduate Students
Mutual respect and support are at the core of how the Department of Chemistry functions. Masters by Research students are a valued part of our interdisciplinary community, and are encouraged to take part in all of our activities, particularly our Early Career Researcher Group. All postgraduate students are assigned a “supervisory team” comprising their supervisor and a second member of academic staff, providing both scientific direction and more general support.
In addition to the formal courses described above we offer an enhanced range of opportunities for Masters by Research students to participate in to support their development as professional chemists. These include:
Project-specific technical training from the MSc supervisory team.
Weekly seminars in the Department of Chemistry covering a diverse range of topics.
Monthly Bioactive Chemistry Research Meetings.
The MSc by research gives graduate students year-long research opportunities, increasing their research skills and independence. The course provides training in both specialist provided further develops valuable transferable skills. They are excellent preparation for an R&D career in industry or an interdisciplinary research PhD.
How to Apply
Expression of interest: via email to Postgraduate Admissions. Please include a CV and a statement (no more than 1 page) of why this course is right for you. This statement should include the titles of two projects of interest to you.
The Supervisors of your chosen projects will review your application and may then invite you to attend an in-person or on-line interview.
Following a successful interview you will receive an invitation to submit a formal application for postgraduate study using the link on the Department of Chemistry Postgraduate Opportunities pages.
Applications are now being accepted for an October 2023 start date.
Academic qualifications: We ask for a minimum of 2:1 BSc, 2:2 MChem (or equivalent) in chemistry or a related subject.
English Language requirements: For students whose first language is not English or whose first degree was awarded by a University not delivering the courses in English, postgraduate students must demonstrate proficiency in English Language. For postgraduate study and research in the Department of Chemistry the requirement is at Band E.
Fees and Financial Support
General University information on tuition fees and funding for postgraduate research is located here. Specific information on tuition fees for this programme can be found here ("Laboratory Based (PGR)" fees apply). There may be a requirement for bench fees although this varies depending on the nature of the project and the support status available to the student.