Timothy Donohoe

Timothy Donohoe

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Division: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Oxford
Tags: Fellowship: Established Career Fellowship, Researcher, University of Oxford
Related theme: Healthcare technologies Physical Sciences


In 1994 Tim took up a job as Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Manchester, being promoted to Reader in 2000. In 2001 he moved to the University of Oxford as Lecturer in Chemistry and Fellow of Magdalen College. In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry.

My Fellowship

Chemists are constantly looking for new ways of designing and building molecules and this project describes a powerful new way of making valuable molecules using a new type of catalyst. The molecules at the heart of the project are compounds containing a carbon-oxygen double bond (a carbonyl group) which have special properties and are the building blocks of many pharmaceuticals. The novel chemistry will provide a new way of making carbonyl compounds using catalysis to control all aspects of products formed: this will be of great benefit to both academia and industry who will be able to make interesting molecules in new ways.

The fellowship will allow the principal investigator the time to study a new research direction. Plans have been made to interact and collaborate with other academics who can provide specialist knowledge and with project partners so that industrial problems can be addressed. Post-doctoral assistants will be employed to carry out the experimental work, and the project will provide a comprehensive training in science and the attendant areas of communication/ presentation and creativity.

This proposal is centred around catalysis and its application in the area of carbon-carbon bond forming chemistry. Our goal is the discovery and development of fundamentally new catalytic systems to construct complex organic molecules under mild and easily accessible conditions. I have assembled a team to develop a world-leading research programme in catalysis for the construction of organic molecules that will be of benefit to academia and industry now and long into the future.

Motivation to Apply

I was motivated to apply for the Fellowship scheme because I had identified a new research area that I thought was exciting and ripe for development. The EPSRC Fellowship then gave me both the resources and the time to immerse myself in the new project and so give it the best possible chance of being successful.

Career benefit of Fellowship

The career benefit comes from the extra time that is given as part of the Fellowship scheme, which means that you can really concentrate on the scientific project and therefore make the most progress possible. In my opinion, making great scientific progress is the best career benefit one could wish for.

Advice for future applicants

Be bold and try to address ambitious new problems that take you out of your comfort zone. It will be good for both the scientific output and for your development!