Skip Navigation

Job Title

Job category


Search jobs by matching your skills with LinkedIn

Sign up for job alerts

Or search again

Search by city

Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-046158
Posted date: May. 31, 2019

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. We're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. We believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible.

The new R&D Oncology organisation brings together early and late oncology teams, from discovery through to late-stage development, with oncology specific Regulatory and Biometrics groups.

You’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment but also exposed to strong rigorous academic science. For example, every postdoc has an external academic mentor to ensure we are working and publishing at the highest level in a field. What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career.

We have an exciting new research opportunity to advance the field of metal-catalysed C-H activation by developing a templated ligand approach for selective remote C(sp3)-H functionalisation of aliphatic compounds.

Metal-catalysed C-H activation, using directing groups to control reactivity and selectivity, is an increasingly important area of synthetic chemistry.  The current requirements for installation of a directing group, and the subsequent removal or interconversion of the directing group after the C‑H activation step, is a limitation that renders this chemistry less efficient. In addition, the reported literature is dominated by C(sp2)-H activation while the scope for C(sp3)-H activation is still quite narrow. You’ll address these limitations by developing a variety of templated ligand systems capable of achieving transient binding to functionality within a substrate while directing selective remote C-H activation on the substrate at the desired position. These ligand systems would be modular and tuneable allowing regio- and enantioselective C-H activation at a variety of positions.  The ligand design would be guided by the development and use of a predictive computational model utilising strain energy analysis and conformational searching. 

You’ll have access to all the facilities required to achieve success in this project, working in a cutting edge pharmaceutical lab with access to gloveboxes and state of the art facilities in the AZ Catalysis Hub. Working in this environment will also allow you to understand how this could impact AZ drug projects, enabling you to focus on developing systems that will bring the widest benefit and highest impact.  You’ll join a growing community of chemistry postdocs, and the project will be run in collaboration with Prof Tom Sheppard (UCL), a leading UK academic.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities:

  • Take ownership and project management of a stand-alone research programme
  • Integrate within the industrial environment – understanding key scientific challenges that AZ Chem Development are engaged with
  • Present results (internally and externally)
  • Proactively engage with academic supervisor
  • Collaborate with computational chemistry team, contributing to development of the predictive ligand modelling tool
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals

Education and Experience required:


  • Have, or be about to receive, a PhD in the practise of organic synthesis and/or catalysis.
  • Proven ability to independently design and execute experimental workflows and interpret results.
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of modern synthetic methodology.
  • The ability to anticipate technical problems and to develop contingency plans accordingly.
  • Demonstration of a rigorous and logical approach to experimental work.
  • Application of innovative and creative thinking, aligned to strong scientific judgement.
  • Highly motivated individual with demonstrated examples of leadership ability and collaborative skills, strategic and analytical thinking, and a results-oriented mindset.
  • Maintain awareness of the field and drive research in the area


  • Prior experience or knowledge of modern catalytic methods would be advantageous
  • Strong working knowledge of principles used to develop synthetic organic methodology
  • A strong scientific track record, as evidenced by published or accepted papers in peer-reviewed journals, and/or oral presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Ability to appreciate reaction mechanism considerations from a molecular structure perspective

This is a 3 year programme.  2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based.  The role will be based in Macclesfield, UK, with a competitive salary on offer. To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 31st May 2019 / Advert closing date – 9th August 2019

AZ is an equal opportunity employer. AZ will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

Postdoc Fellow - Templated remote C(sp3)-H activation

Sign up for job alerts

If you would like to sign up for email job alerts for future roles with AstraZeneca or MedImmune you can do so using the form below. We will only use the details you provide below to inform you about future vacancies that match your search criteria if and when they become available. The details you provide on this page will not be used to send unsolicited communication and will not be sold to a third party.


You can select as many categories and locations as you wish.

Interested InSelect a job category from the list of options. Search for a location and select one from the list of suggestions. Finally, click “Add” to create your job alert.

  • Scientific, Macclesfield, England, United KingdomRemove
  • Post Doc, Macclesfield, England, United KingdomRemove