Job details

Job posted by University of East Anglia (17/01/2014 17.12)

'HR Excellence in Research' logo awarded to institutions actively implementing the European Charter and Code for Researchers Resolving underlying mechanisms in metal sulfur catalysis: An advanced spectroscopic approach to understanding how Nature fixes nitrogen, makes hydrogen and utilises carbon dioxide using inexpensive transition metals

This project is in a competition for funded three year studentships within the School of Chemistry, one of which is funded by the University and two by EPSRC.
Funding for the studentship from EPSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the EPSRC eligibility guide which can be found at In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

An annual stipend of £13,863 will be available to the successful candidate.


The research project will utilise both advanced physical spectroscopic as well as time-resolved techniques to study the underlying mechanisms associated with the chemistry of how nature builds and utilises metal sulphur assemblies that perform key life, energy and fuel producing processes. We are particularly interested in how iron carbonyl and cyanide motifs found in the hydrogenases are assembled and the project will build upon exciting new results which show that Fe(CO)x(CN)y moieties can be built at 4Fe4S cubane cores. This work will be extended to how such small molecules (CN/CO) interact with synthetic analogues of the catalytic sites found in hydrogenases. Analogous studies using ferredoxin-based systems will also be pursued. The research will involve development and application of freeze-quench and stopped flow methods and the application of advanced physical techniques such as spectroelectrochemical FTIR and multi-frequency pulsed EPR spectroscopic methods (ENDOR, ESEEM, HYSCORE) as well as theoretical analysis of spectroscopic data. The work is supported by EU funding and also involves international collaborations with groups in Fudan and Milan, each of which will provide opportunities to spend time in overseas laboratories.

Nr of positions available : 1

Research Fields


Career Stage

Early stage researcher or 0-4 yrs (Post graduate)

Research Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)


Supervisory Team:
Primary: Professor Christopher Pickett, email
Secondary: Dr Fraser Macmillan, email

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Required Education Level
Degree Primary Degree or equivalent
Degree Field Chemistry
Required Languages
Language ENGLISH
Language Level Good
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University of East Anglia





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School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich

EU Research Framework Programme
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?


University of East Anglia

School of Chemistry
School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich
NR4 7TJ - Norwich
phone +44 (0)1603 591709