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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher (ESR2) PhD studentship H2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) 860434 - ArtMoMa: Artificial Molecular Machines

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    The University of Manchester
    ChemistryOrganic chemistry
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    06/09/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    United Kingdom › Manchester
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


RE-ADVERTISED new closing date extended to: 6th September 2020

Applications are invited for a 36-month position as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) in the area of synthetic organic chemistry or supramolecular chemistry. The successful applicants will join the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) 860434 - ArtMoMa: Artificial Molecular Machines, working under the supervision of Professor David A. Leigh FRS on a project to study catalysis with synthetic molecular robots.

The project is funded by the MARIE SKŁODOWSKA CURIE Innovative Training Network Project 860434 ‘ArtMoMa’, within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The project aims to structure a training network for doctoral students in the field of Artificial Molecular Machines over a period of 48 months. ArtMoMa is a consortium of 20 partners composed of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in 8 European countries, and will train 15 Early Stage Researchers. It is coordinated by Nicolas GIUSEPPONE, permanent researcher at the Institut Charles Sadron and Professor at the University of Strasbourg.

Project objectives

A number of synthetic small-molecule machines have been developed, including molecular synthesisers, pumps, and light-driven rotary motors. However, although biological molecular motors are powered by chemical gradients or the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate, to date there is no synthetic small-molecule motor that can operate autonomously using chemical energy (i.e. the components move directionally as long as a chemical fuel is present). In this project we will develop catenane information ratchets that continuously transport a small macrocycle directionally around a cyclic track powered by a chemical fuel. The Leigh group have previously demonstrated that a macrocycle can be directionally transported between the compartments of a rotaxane thread, using the acylation of hydroxyl groups as the energy input. Such an information ratchet mechanism could form the basis of the ‘engine’ of a [2]catenane rotary motor that directionally transports the small ring around the larger one. We will investigate systems where the repetitive raising and lowering of the barriers under a single set of reaction conditions occurs by using a blocking group that attaches and detaches through dissimilar reaction mechanisms.

The ESR2 position is offered in conjunction with a PhD studentship at the University of Manchester, subject to the applicant satisfying the admissions requirements of the university.

More Information


The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The generous financial package includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if eligible). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months. A career development plan will be prepared for each fellow in accordance with his/her supervisor and will include training, planned secondments and outreach activities in partner institutions of the network. The ESR fellows are supposed to complete their PhD thesis by the end of the 3rd year of their employment.

For more information, please visit the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks website.

Eligibility criteria

1. Applicants can be of any nationality.

2. At the time of recruitment, the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

3. ESR Candidates must be, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when they obtained the Master’s degree that would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.

Selection process

1. Please apply online via https://www.jobs.manchester.ac.uk/internal/displayjob.aspx?jobid=18766

2. Applications must be submitted in English.

3. ArtMoMa recruitment and employment strategy is based on an equal opportunities policy and in full compliance with the principle of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. We value diversity, and do not discriminate based on gender, religion, marital status, age, or cultural background.

4. ArtMoMa seeks to increase the number of women in those scientific areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Additional comments

Informal inquiries may be made to Professor David Leigh FRS (Email: david.leigh@manchester.ac.uk).

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight (GMT) on the closing date.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Chemistry: Master Degree or equivalent


  • First class or 2.1 UK equivalent undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in Chemistry covering the areas of synthetic organic chemistry, coordination chemistry and/or supramolecular chemistry
  • Applicants must not hold a PhD degree and must have less than 4 years research experience.
  • Have excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Not have resided or carried out main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the last 3 years immediately prior to the reference recruitment date.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language (spoken and written) that meets the requirements of the Department of Chemistry’s English Language criteria for postgraduate courses. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall, or TOEFL (IBT) 90 overall; and each component of the tests should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL (IBT) 22.

Specific Requirements

1. You have not resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of your host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your recruitment.

2. At the time of recruitment, you are in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career (after having obtained your M.Sc. degree) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Department of Chemistry, The University of Manchester
United Kingdom
Greater Manchester
M13 9PL
Oxford Road

EURAXESS offer ID: 501121


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