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Olefin metathesis catalysts with high Z–selectivity

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General information

Reference : UPR8241-VINCES-001
Workplace : TOULOUSE
Date of publication : Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Vincent César
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Olefin metathesis is one of the most attractive and powerful tools for the creation of carbon−carbon double bonds, finding numerous applications in synthetic chemistry, fine chemical synthesis and materials science.[1] The olefin metathesis reaction being under thermodynamic control, it usually results in a mixture of Z and E isomers, with the thermodynamically preferred E isomer as the major component. However, the target compound is frequently a single isomer and in particular, syntheses of many natural products and pharmaceuticals require the selective formation of the Z isomers. Thus, the development of Z-selective Ru-based catalysts has been a great challenge for the last decade.
Based on the complementary skills of the group “Molecular Design of Transition-Metal Pre-Catalysts” at LCC-CNRS in Toulouse (V. César) and of the “Organometallic Synthesis Laboratory” in the University of Warsaw, Poland (K. Grela), the thesis aims at developing highly modular, efficient and general Z-selective ruthenium-based metathesis catalysts, which will include specifically-designed five- and six-membered cyclometallated NHC ligands associated with anionic mono- and bi-dentate ligands.

Work Context

The Laboratory for Coordination Chemistry (LCC), based in Toulouse, southern France, and associated to the Université Toulouse III, Paul Sabatier (UT3), is part of an Innovative Training Network (ITN) and more specifically a European Joint Doctorate (EJD), funded by the European Commission through the Marie Sklowdoska-Curie Action (MSCA), entitled "Coordination Chemistry Inspires Molecular Catalysis" (CCIMC). This vacancy (referenced as ESR1 on the CCIMC website: offers a 3 year, fully-funded double PhD award in collaboration with the Organometallic Chemistry Laboratory in Warsaw University (Poland). You will be supervised by Dr. Vincent César and co-supervised by Prof. Karol Grela (University of Warsaw).
The Laboratory for Coordination Chemistry ( is one of the top chemistry institutes in France and is part of the CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (“National Centre for Scientific Research”), the French leading research establishment. We have at our disposal very well equipped technical and analytical platforms for the daily support of scientific work. Strong of more than 70 researcher divided in 15 teams, research at the LCC places coordination chemistry as a central tool to solve current issues associated with climate change, energy transition and life sciences along 3 axes of investigations: catalysis, materials and health. More than 100 undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates of various nationalities are present at the LCC, thus ensuring a motivating working environment as well as opportunities for social events.
The successful candidate will become a PhD student in Doctoral School located in the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw which is a large research and teaching centre. Project will be located in Biological and Chemical Research Centre (CNBCh) which is dedicated to scientists conducting advanced research of great scientific importance, whose results are used in the development of new technologies in the fields of energetics, analytics, pharmaceuticals, medicine, biotechnology, new materials, conservation of environment and cultural heritage. The laboratories at CNBCh are fully equipped with state-of-the art hardware and glassware for organometallic chemistry and CNBCh is very well equipped with modern analytical instruments which are operated by very highly trained personnel. The CCIMC program involves 15 joint theses. The candidate is encouraged to consider all of these projects, which can be found on the ITN-EJD website ( Please pay attention that to be eligible, on 1st October 2020, the candidate must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of her/his research career and has not been awarded a doctoral degree. On 1st October 2020, she/he must not have resided or carried out her/his main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the same country than the recruiting institution (in the case of the present offer, France) for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years. Compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

Additional Information

The CCIMC ITN addresses the current lack of coordinated doctoral training at the European level on molecular catalysis. It aims to push the frontiers of knowledge in ligand design, coordination chemistry, pre-catalyst development, catalyst recovery and catalytic process implementation, while also offering full scale training in professional and personal transferable skills, to prepare a new generation of junior scientists to meet the economic and societal challenges of the chemical industry in the 21st century.

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