Current 3rd year undergrad looking into Organic Chem PhD


Hi all,
I am currently in my final year at Keele University studying Chemistry and am very interested in doing a PhD when I graduate in Organic Chemistry somewhere. My final year research project is looking into NO donor drugs especially S-Nitrosthiol compounds and how we can synthesise these to be stable enough to be used in a cream to treat Raynauds Phenomenon. Forgive my lack of detail on this at the moment, I am literally just going into my 3rd year so just doing the pre-research for it. But very excited about it as you can probably tell. Anyway, I have done a few modules in the Bio-organic chemistry/medicinal area and I have really enjoyed them so would love to carry this on in my PhD. However if a PhD came along that really interested me in that wide field however my research paper wasn't anything to do with it would that matter?

And also I was wondering if anyone could give me any pointers about applying for PhD in the upcoming months? What will make me stand out for example. I have great enthusiasm for it and I know I would be able to get good references from the lecturers and staff at my university but is that enough?

Cheers for your help,

Ashleigh Ringrose



I'd advise to start looking april onwards and applying then, the applications tend to be fairly time consuming and you will often have to write a fair amount of stuff for applications. A word of caution though you will be very busy at this point with finishing your write up for your project and revising for your exams and it would be unwise to pick up too many distractions at this time, it may be best to focus on your exams and achieve the highest possible mark in your degree then look/apply in the summer once your exams are over as you will have all your time to focus and write your applications.

Your area may have alot of competition so a high degree class help you a lot. You could try looking at phd's at cancer research UK they have a number of organic chemistry phd from what i remember plus they pay very well (20k i believe).

At my interview my supervisor was very impressed with my enthusiasm as I emailed her a bit prior to applying (I personally thought I was being annoying). remember that a supervisor is not just looking for the candidate with the most/best qualifications but also that you are enthusiastic, friendly and will complete the course.

Oh and advice for your project... write up as you go along esp. methods as if you get to the end and havent done this it will be hard remembering what you have done, plus it will lower your work load at a point when you will have lots. Your project does sound quite interesting, my background is in pharmaceutics and my undergraduate project was synthesisng novel compounds to treat yeast infections.