Located in the new Science Building at Walton Hall (Milton Keynes), the department combines modern office space with purpose built, state-of-the-art laboratories, where graduate students and post-doctoral workers carry out research. The laboratories are well equipped to facilitate research in various areas of organic, inorganic, physical, biological, health-related and environmental chemistry and analytical science.
Research in the department is organised into the following main areas.
Bio-organic, Medicinal and Supramolecular Chemistry
Research focuses on the chemistry involved in areas of bioorganic and medicinal chemistry relating to chronic human diseases, such as cancer, and the mechanism of action of therapeutic drugs. Sensitive and specific novel methods to detect and quantify DNA and protein damage are being developed. Research in supramolecular chemistry focuses on luminescent sensors and probes and photoactive molecular devices
Inorganic, materials and coordination chemistry
Research focuses on the synthesis and characterisation (by diffraction, spectroscopic, thermal and computer modelling methods) of solid inorganic materials including magnetic oxides, zeolites, titania pigments, bimetallic catalysts, solid acid catalysts and micro- and meso-porous materials. Research in coordination chemistry includes work on the macrobicyclic hexaimino ligands (azocryptands), the study of magnetic exchange interactions and the characterisation of radical anions in charge transfer processes.
Research focuses on the fundamental chemistry of organosilicon compounds including:
(i) the mechanism of substitution at silicon, (ii) synthetic methodologies based on silicon compounds, and (iii) novel organosilicon compounds based on silsesquioxane cages.
Active projects are validity of assessment methods, problem solving and effectiveness of practical work (both hands-on and virtual).
Research in the Department is supported all areas by funds from the Research Councils, research charities, government departments and industry.
Applicants who have experience in either chemistry or a related area, and are interested in full-time research, are invited to ask the Chemistry Postgraduate Coordinator, Dr Yao Zhong Xu (email: email@example.com) for details of particular projects and information about financial support and full-time opportunities leading to a research degree.
Realising that not all students are able to study for a research degree on a full-time basis, the OU also offers a more flexible approach: part-time external study. You will generally be using research facilities in your home area, typically your place of work, backed up by regular meetings with your supervisor(s). It is important to stress that this is still a major commitment, and will make significant demands on your time, being roughly the equivalent of half full-time study.
More general advice on Postgraduate Research Degree Study for research on either a full or part-time basis.