Skip to main content


We are pleased to announce that one of our PhD students is a finalist in a prestigious competition sponsored by UK Parliament.

Rob Ives, a current Durham University PhD student, has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious STEM for Britain competition where he will present his scientific research in the field of Chemistry in the Houses of Parliament. STEM for Britain is a major scientific competition and exhibition which has been held in Parliament since 1997 and is organised by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. He will be joined by other finalists to present his work to a panel of judges and parliamentarians on Monday 6 March at Portcullis House in Westminster, London.

Student-led ground-breaking research

Rob is an early-career researcher in the Department of Chemistry at Durham. His research is focused on the synthesis of organic compounds known as shapeshifting molecules. He is currently working towards understanding how this could be used in a range of potential applications.

STEM for Britain exists to raise the profile of Britain’s early-career researchers by engaging with Members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster with current science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research being undertaken in the UK. This is a unique opportunity to present and discuss ground-breaking research with MPs and policymakers and to network with other early-career researchers.

From local to global

Rob, originally from East Yorkshire, progressed to obtain his first degree at the University of York, and has undertaken international research experience at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. He is currently a PhD candidate in Organic Chemistry at Durham University.

Find out more

  • Learn more about the STEM For Britain Awards here.
  • Our Department of Chemistry is a World Top 100 department with an extensive research base, and 96% of our research outputs are world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021). To find out more about Postgraduate study, click here.