University of Leeds

University of Leeds

Research Fellow in AI and Computational Chemistry

United Kingdom

Closing in 25 days

Research Fellow in AI and Computational Chemistry

Are you interested in developing interpretable AI models for the next generation of green syntheses? Do you have experience in AI/Machine Learning, or computational modelling of organic reactions? Do you want to work in a high interdisciplinary at the heart of one of the UK's leading research-intensive universities?

The switch from traditional organic solvents, many of which are hazardous, volatile or non-sustainable, to modern green solvents is one of the key sustainability objectives in High Value Chemical Manufacture. Currently, the use of green solvents is often explored at process development stage, instead of discovery stage, leading to re-optimisation, longer development time, cost, and additional uncertainty. On the other hand, selecting the right solvent early may enhance chemoselectivity, avoid additional reaction steps, and simplify purification of the products.

Predicting these changes is an important underpinning capability for wider adaptation of green solvents in manufacturing, and there is an urgent need for ML models which predict reactivity in green solvents based on available data in traditional solvents. In this interdisciplinary project, you will develop solvent-dependent reactivity and reaction selectivity prediction models for green solvents, based on reactivity data curated from the literature and DFT/cheminformatics derived reactivity descriptors. You will also produce a standard set of substrates based on cheminformatics analysis of industrially relevant reactions for reaction scope, and limitations study by the synthetic community.

These outputs will have transformative impacts in the chemical manufacture industry, delivering rapid, more sustainable and better quality-controlled processes through shorter development time, and confidence in predicting reaction outcomes in green solvents. The project will be carried out with support from industrial partners working in the field of cheminformatics and AI/Machine learning and end-users in High Value Chemical Manufacturing: Lhasa Ltd., Molecule One, AstraZeneca, CatSci, and Concept Life Science.

Working in a collaborative research team based in the Institute of Process Research & Development, you will lead the analysis of curated reaction data and will develop reactivity descriptors based on 2D and 3D structures (generated with high throughput DFT calculations) of organic substrates and reagents. You will develop a set of standard substrates based on analysis of industrial substrates and lead the development of solvent-dependent reactivity prediction models in green solvents. Co-ordinating with collaborators at University of Southampton (data mining and curation) and Imperial College London (experimental data collection and validation) on these tasks; you will manage collaborations with industrial partners during the project and employ High Performance Computing, Python programming, DFT calculations and ML algorithms to deliver the objectives of the project.

Holding a PhD in Chemistry (or have submitted your thesis before taking up the role); you will have a strong background in Python programming and computational chemistry coupled with experience in working in an interdisciplinary team with industrial partners.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Dr Bao Nguyen, Associate Professor

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 0109 or email: [email protected]

Location: Leeds - Main Campus

Faculty/Service: Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences School/Institute: School of Chemistry Category: Research Grade: Grade 7 Salary: £37,099 to £44,263 p.a. Due to funding restrictions, an appointment will not be made higher than £39,347 p.a. Working Time: 37.5 hourts per week Post Type: Full Time Contract Type: Fixed Term (Up to 4 years - To complete specific time limited work) Release Date: Friday 17 November 2023 Closing Date: Monday 01 January 2024 Interview Date: To be confirmed Reference: EPSCH1095 Downloads: Candidate Brief

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Job details


Research Fellow in AI and Computational Chemistry


University of Leeds


United Kingdom


November 18, 2023

Application deadline

January 01, 2024

Job type



Agricultural Science,Chemistry,Computer Science,Engineering,Physics

About the employer

The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine (established 1831) and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College (which became the University of Manchester) and University College Liverpool (which became the University of Liverpool). In 1904 a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.

The university has 36,330 students, the 5th largest university in the UK (out of 169). From 2006 to present, the university has consistently been ranked within the top 5 (alongside the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Edinburgh) in the United Kingdom for the number of applications received. Leeds had an income of £789.6 million in 2019/20, of which £139.9 million was from research grants and contracts. The university has financial endowments of £82.1 million (2019–20), ranking outside the top ten British universities by financial endowment.

Notable alumni include current Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer, former Secretary of State Jack Straw, former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi, Piers Sellers (NASA astronaut) and six Nobel laureates.

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