PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Chemistry - Lewis Acid Catalysis for Organic Transformation Monash University, School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Chemistry - Lewis Acid Catalysis for Organic Transformation


A full-time funded scholarship is available for an experimental research project involving the development of various Lewis complexes based on aluminium for various organic reactions.


Recent literature has suggested that the field of Lewis acid catalysis is plagued with the presence and consequent activity of hidden Brønsted acids. We have shown that proper synthesis, identification and use of several aluminium-based complexes were crucial for their remarkable catalytic activity regarding a variety of Diels-Alder cycloadditions. We also realised that proper use of these catalytic systems can lead to unprecedented observations as we were able to polymerise cyclic dienophiles leading to the formation of functionalised polyolefins.


During this PhD project, you will prepare several complexes based on aluminium and will test their catalytic activity with respect to Diels-Alder cycloadditions, Michael additions, borylations etc. You will also try to synthesize, characterize and modify functionalized polyolefins based on cyclic dienophiles.


A strong background in synthetic Inorganic Chemistry is essential while an experience in organic chemistry is beneficial.


Applicants must show excellent communication and inter-personal skills, and the ability to conduct self-motivated research.


Faculty / Portfolio:

School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science



Clayton campus, Monash University

Main Supervisor: Dr Drasko Vidovic


Remuneration: $26,682 p.a. full-time rate (pro-rata). Applications from exceptional candidates may be granted additional support for international tuition fees (tuition fees are not applicable to the following: Australian and New Zealand citizens and Permanent Residents).


Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, over Skype if necessary. The interviews will be conducted in English.


Candidate Requirements:

Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University and demonstrate excellent research capability. Details of the relevant requirements are available at


Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI):


EOIs shall comprise:

A cover letter that includes a brief statement of the applicant's suitability

A curriculum vitae, including a list of any published works

A full statement of academic record, supported by scanned copies of relevant certified documentation (including transcripts)

Contact details of two academic referees and/or reference letters

Evidence of English-language proficiency (international applicants only) such as TOEFL or IETLS.


How to Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI):

Please visit the following site:

Successful EOI applications will be provided with an Invitation to Apply letter for the Monash Centrally allocated scholarships rounds.



Enquiries about this particular project should be directed to Dr Drasko Vidovic:


Closing Date:

Expressions of interest will close on 27 April 2018 or until the project has been filled by a suitable candidate.

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