PhD Scholarship – The generation of new Penicillin variants

A PhD scholarship is available to synthesise and formulate new penicillin variants and examine their properties. It will involve the design and multi-step chemical synthesis of targets using techniques such as anhydrous reaction conditions, column chromatography, NMR, MS and HPLC. An appreciation of good practice health and safety and record keeping are essential. The candidate will receive full training and guidance through all aspects of the project.

The work will be based at the Ferrier Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, supervised by Dr Phillip Rendle  and be in collaboration with Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu at the University of Otago Wellington. The PhD candidate must be in New Zealand or able to get to New Zealand to carry out this study. We especially welcome Māori or Pacific applicants. The candidate will hold a BSc (Hons) or MSc in organic or medicinal chemistry, synthetic drug discovery or a related discipline with significant practical organic chemistry experience and will be enthusiastic and passionate about research.

To apply: Please contact Dr Rendle (via to explain your interest in this project and how this relates to your previous experience. Please include a copy of your CV, academic transcript, and the names of three referees.

Funding Notes
The applicant must be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at Victoria University of Wellington ( A GPA of 7.5 or greater (on a 9 point scale), first class honours or Master’s grade and demonstration of proficiency in English are essential. The PhD scholarship provides tuition fees and a tax-free personal allowance of NZ$27,500 per annum for three years. International candidates receive the same package as New Zealand residents provided they reside in New Zealand for the duration of the project and study under a New Zealand student visa.

Chemical Sciences:
-Organic Chemistry
-Synthetic Chemistry
-Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Biological & Medical Sciences:
-Pharmacology / Toxicology