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Chemistry: Careers - Dealing with Difficult Times new Tue 5 May 2020   11:00 Finished

The current situation is a difficult one, with labs closed, and the need for home-working (where possible). It is particularly challenging for those thinking about their post-Ph.D careers, where communication with potential employers is cut-off and job offers are being put back or cancelled.

This session is aimed at Ph.D students, especially those that are ‘in limbo’, unable to work in the Lab, isolated at home or whose job offers may have been delayed or cancelled.

Kevin Parker will narrate his own work experience, firstly at an Oil Company and then freelancing for 25 years, both in terms of what he did and the key personal skills needed to carry out each job.

The session will finish with an overview of the skills various important employers are looking for in graduate recruits, along with advice on how to survive job-hunting and/or home working.

Stuart Cantrill (Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry) will discuss the publishing process and what goes on in the editorial office, as well as providing some guidance on how to write a paper, how to write an abstract and some DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to titles and graphical abstracts. There will also be broader consideration of peer review in general, the wider chemistry publishing landscape and also other aspects such as metrics (impact factor, altmetrics, etc) and the use of social media.

This session will take place via Zoom, please register at

Chemistry: CDT Computational Parametrization new Wed 20 Nov 2019   13:00 Finished

This course will introduce students to the central question of how to encode molecules and molecular properties in a computational model. Building on the compulsory informatics course (see previous table entry), it will focus on reactivity parameterisation and prediction. The basics of DFT calculations will be introduced, together with how DFT can be used to model reactions (including flaws, assumptions, drawbacks etc). Lecture based format will be complemented by practical sessions in setting up different DFT-based calculations.

The session will cover the use of electronic laboratory notebook which is a computer programme designed to replace laboratory notebooks. ELN will help the users to document research, experiments and procedures performed in a laboratory.

This course will focus on recent progress in the application of kernel-based methods, Random Forests and Deep Neural Networks to modelling in chemistry. The material will build on the content of the core Informatics course and introduce new descriptors, advanced modelling techniques and example applications drawn from the current literature. Lectures will be interactive, with students working through computational exercises during class sessions.

Chemistry: CDT Introduction to Probablistic Modelling new Fri 22 Nov 2019   13:00 Finished

An applied introduction to probabilistic modelling, machine learning and artificial intelligence-based approaches for students with little or no background in theory and modelling. The course will be taught through a series of case studies from the current literature in which modelling approaches have been applied to large datasets from chemistry and biochemistry. Data and code will be made available to students and discussed in class. Students will become familiar with python based tools that implement the models though practical sessions and group based assignments.

The course will introduce the general methodology of model development, including techniques for model identification and parameter estimation. The idea of model-based design of experiments will be introduced and linked to parameter estimation. Tools for model development and MBDoE will also be introduced.

Chemistry plays a very crucial role in tackling 21st century global challenges. From climate change mitigation to discovering therapeutic strategies for human health and driving sustainable energy production and usage - we are faced with many challenges for which chemical sciences has been providing and will continue to provide many plausible solutions.

Much of the research involved in developing these initiatives requires a huge drive towards interdisciplinary research networks. As such, this course has been developed with some of our colleagues from across the Chemistry Department who are working on exciting and emerging areas with this multidisciplinary focus.

This course will introduce how chemistry can be used as a tool to solve these challenges. First session will include the introduction. Each lecture following this will focus on a different branch, area or concept of chemistry covering the fundamental chemistry and background of how it works, any advances to date and the applications towards tackling these global challenges.

The first session is compulsory, plus choose optional sessions you wish to attend when you make your booking.

  • Session 1: Introduction
  • Session 2: Organic Electronics
  • Session 3: Electrochemistry (Batteries)
Chemistry: CP1 - Career options after a PhD Wed 20 May 2020   11:30 Finished

PhD students have plenty of options once you graduate. In this interactive session we will look at the pros and cons of different career options. You will have a chance to think about what you want your work to do for you and what you can offer employers, and you will learn ways to find out more about jobs in which you are interested. It is recommended that you attend both sessions.

  • Session 1 - What jobs are out there and deciding what is ‘right’ for me?

Chemistry PhD students have many options after graduation. In this 1-hour session we will explore the pros and cons of different career choices. We will also consider how to assess which options would work for you.

  • Session 2 - Career options for PhDs in chemistry

In this second 1-hour session we will focus on generating specific job ideas, how you might structure your careers ‘research’, key questions to ask and timelines for starting your ‘search’ for your next step after Cambridge.

Starting to apply for jobs both in and outside academia? Preparing for an interview? Not sure how to target your application, what to include and what to leave out. In this session you can learn more about how selection processes work including how to put together a CV and cover letter and how to prepare for job interviews. The workshop will include interactive exercises, a review of successful application materials, and discussions.

Chemistry: CT10 Vibrational Spectroscopy new Thu 12 Dec 2019   10:00 Finished

Spectroscopic methods in biochemistry and biophysics are powerful tools to characterise the chemical properties of samples in chemistry and biology, including molecules, macromolecules, living organisms, polymers and materials. Within the wide class of biophysical methods, infrared spectroscopy (IR) is a sensitive analytical label-free tool able to identify the chemical composition and properties of a sample through its molecular vibrations, which produce a characteristic fingerprint spectrum. An infrared spectrum is commonly obtained by passing infrared radiation through a sample and determining what fraction of the incident radiation is absorbed at a particular energy. The energy at which any peak in an absorption spectrum appears corresponds to the frequency of a vibration of a part of a sample molecule. One of the great advantages of infrared spectroscopy is that virtually any sample in virtually any state may be studied, such as liquids, solutions, pastes, powders, films, fibres, gases and surfaces can all be examined. In this introductory course, the basic ideas and definitions associated with infrared spectroscopy will be described. First, the possible configurations of the spectrometers used to measure IR absorption will be discussed. Then, the vibrations of molecules, inorganic and organic chemical compounds, as well as large biomolecules will be introduced, as these are crucial to the interpretation of infrared spectra in every day experimental life.

This session is compulsory for all experimentalists to attend and will provide useful information regarding analytical facilities at this Department including NMR, mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography. Short descriptions will be given of all available instruments, as well as explain the procedures for preparing/submitting samples for the analysis will also be discussed.

Chemistry: CT2 Fundamentals of Mass Spectrometry Mon 4 Nov 2019   10:00 Finished

Mass spectrometry is one of the main analytical-chemical techniques used to characterise organic compounds and their elemental composition. This overview will discuss some of the most frequently used mass spectrometry techniques and their specific strengths (e.g., quadrupole, time-of-flight and high-resolution MS), as well as ionisation techniques such as electron ionisation (EI), electrospray ionisation (ESI), matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) and MS techniques to quantify metal concentrations (e.g. inductively coupled plasma MS, ICP-MS) and isotope ratios.

This training will consist of two sessions, introducing you to use of both Water's MS software and MassLynx and Bruker and Thermo's MS software: MALDI and Orbitrap.

Chemistry: CT4 Solution Phase NMR Spectroscopy Fri 8 Nov 2019   14:00 Finished

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy represents one of the most informative and widely used techniques for characterisation of compounds in the solution and solid state. Most researchers barely tap into the potential of the experiments that are available on the instruments in the Department, so in this short course we will explore the basic concepts that will allow you to make the most of these powerful techniques for routine analysis, as well as introducing more specialised experiments.

Chemistry: CT5 Solid State NMR Spectroscopy Mon 11 Nov 2019   14:00 Finished

This course will provide an idea of what kind of scientific problems can be solved by solid state NMR. It will cover how NMR can be used to study molecular structure, nanostructure and dynamics in the solid state, including heterogeneous solids, such as polymers, MOFs, energy-storage and biological materials This course will build on a basic working knowledge of solution-state NMR for 1H and 13C, i.e. undergraduate level NMR. In order to highlight the utility of this technique, some materials based research using solid state NMR will also be covered

The session will also give an insight into some of the more advanced features of the software, and how to optimise your workflow.

Chemistry: CT7 X-Ray Crystallography Tue 12 Nov 2019   14:00 Finished

These lectures will introduce the basics of crystallography and diffraction, assuming no prior knowledge. The aim is to provide an overview that will inspire and serve as a basis for researchers to use the Department’s single-crystal and/or powder X-ray diffraction facilities or to appreciate more effectively results obtained through the Department’s crystallographic services. The final lecture will be devoted to searching and visualising crystallographic data using the Cambridge Structural Database system.

Chemistry: CT8 Electron Microscopy Thu 5 Dec 2019   14:00 CANCELLED

This lecture will provide an overview of the Department’s electron microscopy facility. It will cover the theory of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), including cryo-TEM and tomography, as well as analytical techniques Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Examples of how these techniques can be used to characterise a range of samples including polymers, proteins and inorganic materials will be shown.

Chemistry: CT9 Atomic Force Microscopy Mon 18 Nov 2019   10:00 Finished

Since introduction in 1986 by Binnig, Quate and Gerber, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as one of the most powerful scanning probe microscopy technique. The possibility to acquire three-dimensional morphology maps of specimens on a surface in both air and in their native liquid environment with sub-nanometre resolution makes it a very versatile single molecule technique. A conventional AFM topography map provides valuable information on the morphology and structure of heterogeneous biological samples, while single molecule force spectroscopy can interrogate the biophysical and nanomechanical properties of the sample at the nanoscale. Furthermore, the combination of AFM with spectroscopic modes enable to enquire the optical properties of the sample with nanoscale resolution. In these introductory lectures, the general capabilities of AFM with respect to other scanning probe and electron microscopy techniques will be discussed. The general principles governing the functioning of AFM in contact and tapping mode will be given, as well as the principles enabling the study of nanomechanical properties of samples by force spectroscopy and nanomechanical imaging. Other modes such as scattering SNOM, AFM-IR and Raman will be generally discussed. The course will provide the necessary background to acquire a morphology map by AFM. The last session will consist of a hand-on session introducing the students to the use and functioning of an AFM instrument.

Chemistry: DD10 Process Chemistry Workshop new Tue 3 Mar 2020   10:00 Finished

In this session, Dr. Mukund S. Chorghade will discuss the pivotal role played by Process Chemistry / Route Selection in the progress of a drug from conception to commercialization. The medicinal chemistry routes for synthesis are usually low yielding and are fraught with capricious reactions, cryogenic temperatures, tedious chromatography and problems in scale-up to multi-kilo and multi-ton levels. Considerable research efforts have to be expended in developing novel, cost efficacious and scalable processes and seamlessly transferring these technologies to manufacturing operations. These principles will be exemplified by process development case studies on a variety of pharmaceutical moieties such as anti-epileptic and an anti-asthma drugs. We were able to also discover a large number of New Chemical Entities by our new “Process Chemistry Driven Medicinal Chemistry”

We will exemplify advances in proprietary in vitro green chemistry-based technology, mimicking in vivo metabolism of several chemical entities used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and agrochemicals. Our catalysts enable prediction of metabolism patterns with soft-spot analysis Metabolites are implicated in adverse drug reactions and are the subject of intense scrutiny in drug R&D. Present-day processes involving animal studies are expensive, labor-intensive and chemically inconclusive. Our catalysts (azamacrocycles) are sterically protected and electronically activated, providing speed, stability and scalability. We predict structures of metabolites, prepare them on a large scale by oxidation, and elucidate chemical structures. Comprehensive safety evaluation enables researchers to conduct more complete in vitro metabolism studies, confirm structure and generate quantitative measures of toxicity.

Chemistry: DD1 The Drug Discovery Process Wed 15 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

Drug discovery is a complex multidisciplinary process with chemistry as the core discipline. A small molecule New Chemical Entity (NCE) (80% of drugs marketed) has had its genesis in the mind of a chemist. A successful drug is not only biologically active (the easy bit), but is also therapeutically effective in the clinic – it has the correct pharmacokinetics, lack of toxicity, is stable and can be synthesised in bulk, selective and can be patented. Increasingly, it must act at a genetically defined sub-population of patients. Medicinal chemists therefore work at the centre of a web of disciplines – biology, pharmacology, molecular biology, toxicology, materials science, intellectual property and medicine. This fascinating interplay of disciplines is the intellectual space within which a chemist has to make the key compound that will become an effective medicine. It happens rarely, despite enormous investment in time, money and effort. What factors make a program successful? I would like to briefly outline the process, but importantly to offer some key with examples of success

Chemistry: DD2 The Drug Discovery Process Fri 17 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

Drug discovery is a complex multidisciplinary process with chemistry as the core discipline. A small molecule New Chemical Entity (NCE) (80% of drugs marketed) has had its genesis in the mind of a chemist. A successful drug is not only biologically active (the easy bit), but is also therapeutically effective in the clinic – it has the correct pharmacokinetics, lack of toxicity, is stable and can be synthesised in bulk, selective and can be patented. Increasingly, it must act at a genetically defined sub-population of patients. Medicinal chemists therefore work at the centre of a web of disciplines – biology, pharmacology, molecular biology, toxicology, materials science, intellectual property and medicine. This fascinating interplay of disciplines is the intellectual space within which a chemist has to make the key compound that will become an effective medicine. It happens rarely, despite enormous investment in time, money and effort. What factors make a program successful? I would like to briefly outline the process, but importantly to offer some key with examples of success

Chemistry: DD3 Modern Tactics to Optimise Potency Fri 24 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

When you have 1000s of possible compounds you could make from any one start point what do you make first? This lecture will cover some general basic principles on designing more potent molecules, as well as some practical tips on how to run an optimization program and how to focus synthetic efforts. Binding modalities (reversible, covalent) will be briefly covered, as well as some newer non-traditional modalities. This lecture will also serve as an introduction to the medicinal chemistry game.

Chemistry: DD4 Pharmacokinetics Wed 29 Jan 2020   14:00 Finished

Predicting and controlling how a chemical molecule will be processed by the body is vital to developing a successful drug. This lecture will discuss the path a molecule takes from initial dose through to elimination, describe the ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion) processes that take place and how these are related to compound structure and physicochemical properties. In addition to standard small molecule PK some other new modalities will be also be introduced to illustrate how methods such as PEGylation and lipoparticle encapsulation can be employed to modulate compound pharmacokinetic properties.

Chemistry: DD5 Medicinal Chemistry Game Workshop Tue 4 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

A real drug discovery example will be used. After a brief introduction to the task and the chemical startpoint, we will split into teams and iteratively try to design improved analogues. Molecules will be marked “in real time” during the session to recreate the design-make-test-analysis cycle, then teams can compare their optimized molecules, and we can compare them to what happened in real life.

Please note: To take part in this session you will need to have attended DD1-DD4.

Chemistry: DD6 Toxicity and Drug Safety Fri 7 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

Drug safety remains the primary cause of compound attrition when developing new medicines and consequently the ability to understand and predict toxicity is regarded as high priority within the pharmaceutical sector. This lecture will describe some common safety liabilities and ongoing work to build a greater understanding of the relationships between chemical structure and toxicity risk that are being harnessed to guide the design of safer compounds.

Chemistry: DD7 Kinase Inhibitor Case Studies Wed 12 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

Kinase drug discovery remains to be an area of significant and growing interest across academia and in the pharmaceutical industry - there are approximately 30 FDA approved small molecule inhibitors which target kinases, half of which were approved in the last 3 years. This lecture will give an insight into the medicinal chemistry story behind one clinical candidate and 2 marketed drugs. Crystal structures will be used to explain general principles behind designing for kinase inhibition, and some more advanced topics will be covered such as prodrugs, covalent inhibition and consideration of mutation status in drug discovery

Chemistry: DD8 Agrochemical Discovery Mon 17 Feb 2020   11:00 Finished

As the world population continues to grow, so does the need to increase global food production sustainably with limited resources. Agrochemicals, in the form of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, provide an important tool for farmers to combat the weeds, fungi and insect pests that target their crops and help to ensure reliable yields and quality produce. Resistance, emerging pests, abiotic stress and regulatory pressure all drive an ongoing search for new and more innovative crop protection products. This lecture will outline the process used to discover new agrochemicals, from lead generation through to development. It will show the critical roles that chemistry, biology and human & environmental safety play, illustrated with a number of recent examples.

Chemistry: DD9 Process Chemistry Fri 14 Feb 2020   13:00 Finished

Two complementary lecture from industry experts on process chemistry from GSK and Syngenta will share their experiences and challenges gathered over many years of experience.

Chemistry: FS12 Managing your Supervisor Relationship Tue 28 Jan 2020   09:30 Finished

An interactive training workshop to develop your relationship management skills with a specific focus on working effectively with your supervisor.

Relationship Management • Manage expectations Communications skills • Challenge Assumptions • Manage difficult conversations • Manage your time together

Chemistry: FS13 LaTex Fri 15 Nov 2019   09:00 Finished

This hands-on course teaches the basics of Latex including syntax, lists, maths equations, basic chemical equations, tables, graphical figures and internal and external referencing. We also learn how to link documents to help manage large projects. The course manual is presented in the style of a thesis and since you also receive the source code you also receive a template for a thesis.

The main aim of giving a presentation to the public or a science venue is to present information in a way that the audience will remember at a later time. There are several ways in which we can improve this type of impact with an audience. This interactive lecture explores some of those mechanisms.

This session will require 4-5 volunteers to provide a 10 min talk which the session will show how to improve. Presenters in the following week's Peer to Peer presentations will be given priority booking for this event.

The first half of this session will cover an overview of Raytracing versus 3D Modelling, an introduction to the free Raytracing programme Povray, running Povray (command line options). Making and manipulating simple shapes, camera tricks (depth of field, angle of view) and using other software to generate Povray input (e.g. Jmol)

The second half of the session is an introduction to 3D modelling and animation using the open source programme Blender. This will cover the installation and customisation of the Blender interface for use with chemical models, how to import chemical structures from Jmol and the protein data base (PDB), the basics of 3D modelling, and an introduction to Key-frame animation.

No previous experience with either 3D modelling or animation is required.

Submission of the first year report can seem to be a daunting experience, from constructing it to submitting and then being assessed by academic staff. In this session, Marie Dixon (Degree Committee Office, School of Physical Sciences), Rachel MacDonald and Deborah Longbottom will talk through all aspects of procedure and answer any questions students wish to pose. Students who went through the first year exam in 2016, as well as members of academic staff who carry out first year vivas will also be there to talk about the reality of the process from all perspectives.

Submission of the PhD thesis can seem to be a daunting experience, from constructing it to submitting and then being examined, with one of those examiners coming from an external institution. In this session, Marie Dixon (Degree Committee Office, School of Physical Sciences), Rachel MacDonald and Deborah Longbottom will talk through all aspects of procedure regarding thesis submission and answer any questions students wish to pose. Students who were recently examined, as well as members of academic staff who carry out PhD vivas will also be there to talk about the reality of the process from all perspectives

FS1 - Successful Completion of a Research Degree An hour devoted to a discussion of how to plan your time effectively on a day to day basis, how to produce a dissertation/thesis (from first year report to MPhil to PhD) and the essential requirements of an experimental section.

FS2 - Dignity@Study The University of Cambridge is committed to protecting the dignity of staff, students, visitors to the University, and all members of the University community in their work and their interactions with others. The University expects all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.Nick will explore what this means for graduate students in this Department with an opportunity to ask questions more informally.

This is a compulsory session for 1st year postgraduates.

  • This training will be made available on Moodle on 28th May
Chemistry: FS29 Fortran 90/95 for Physical Scientists new Thu 10 Oct 2019   10:00 Finished

You will be introduced to Fortran 90/95 and provided with materials which cover the basics of Fortran 90/95 with an emphasis on applications in the physical sciences. The key concepts of loops, functions, subroutines, modules, and other standard Fortran syntax will be introduced sequentially.

Chemistry: FS3 Integrity and Ethics in Research Wed 18 Mar 2020   10:00 CANCELLED

A thorough awareness of issues relating to research ethics and research integrity are essential to producing excellent research. This session will provide an introduction to the ethical responsibilities of researchers at the University, publication ethics and research integrity. It will be interactive, using case studies to better understand key ethical issues and challenges in all areas. There are three sessions running, you need attend only one.

Chemistry: FS4 Unconscious Bias Tue 24 Mar 2020   13:00 Finished

Unconscious Bias refers to the biases we hold that are not in our conscious control. Research shows that these biases can adversely affect key decisions in the workplace. The session will enable you to work towards reducing the effects of unconscious bias for yourself and within your organisation. Using examples that you will be able to relate to, we help you to explore the link between implicit bias and the impact on the organisation. The overall aim of the session is to provide participants with an understanding of the nature of Unconscious Bias and how it impacts on individual and group attitudes, behaviours and decision-making processes.

Chemistry: FS8 Supervising Undergraduates Tue 1 Oct 2019   13:00 Finished

In this short talk we will cover what supervisions are, the role they play in Cambridge teaching, and how supervisors are recruited. We will then go on to look at how you can prepare for supervising, how you can conduct a supervision, and how to deal with common pitfalls.

Chemistry: Green Chemistry new Fri 28 Feb 2020   09:00 Finished

This course will provide an overview of Sustainable Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Motivation and Legislation It will cover the following in more detail;

  • Solvents - tools for analysing the merits and drawbacks of different solvents and tools for selecting the optimum solvent for chromatography, common reactions, work-ups and other purposes
  • Reagents - tools for analysing the merits and drawbacks of different reagents and substrate scope for some greener reagents for common transformations
  • Metrics: Yield, Atom Economy, Reaction Mass Efficiency, E-factor, Process Mass Intensity, Life Cycle Analysis and Carbon Footprinting
Chemistry: Intercultural Awareness new Thu 18 Jun 2020   15:00 Finished

Have you ever struggled with styles of communication of others (peers, lecturers, supervisors, staff), wondered why some people seem to use more formal language, or be more direct than others? Culture plays a big part in how we communicate, and adjusting to the cultural communication norms means more than learning a foreign language.

In Cambridge's diverse and multicultural environment, we constantly communicate with people whose cultural communication norms differ from ours, whether you are a native English speaker from the United Kingdom, a native English speaker from elsewhere in the world, or have learnt English as a foreign language.

In order to avoid misunderstanding, or worse still, conflict, brought on by variations in communication styles we need to learn to make allowances for the cultural differences in how people communicate. To better understand cross-cultural complexity and increase your awareness of cultural identities, come to a session on intercultural communication to increase your cultural awareness and give you a better understanding of how culture may affect your everyday communication.

Please book via Zoom -

Research reproducibility can be hard to get right. The aim of this talk is to raise awareness on the common pitfalls so you can confidently share your work for posterity. We will cover the dos and don’ts of data processing, how to comment on a script, and how to share it. Python will be used as an example because a variety of tools exist for this language. The goal is for anyone reading your paper to be able to go from the raw data to your paper figures.

The talk will last 20 minutes and there will be time for questions/discussion afterwards.

This talk is brought to you by the Chemistry Data Champions

Chemistry: IS1 Library Orientation Fri 31 Jan 2020   10:15 Finished

This is a compulsory session which introduces new graduate students to the Department of Chemistry Library and its place within the wider Cambridge University Library system. It provides general information on what is available, where it is, and how to get it. Print and online resources are included.

You must choose one session out of the 9 sessions available.

Chemistry: IS2 Citation Database Search Skills Fri 6 Mar 2020   10:00 Finished

A ‘recommended’ optional course for Chemistry graduates that introduces all the relevant online databases available to you in the university: citation databases such as Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed, which index all the scientific literature that is published, as well as chemistry and related subject-specific databases. You will be guided on how to search citation databases effectively and the session includes a hands-on element where you can practice - please bring your own laptop.

The session will be most suitable for those who are new to searching citation databases or would like a refresher.

Please note that this session will not cover searching the databases Reaxys and SciFinder. These are covered by IS5.

  • Please bring your own laptop so you can participate in the practical element of the session
Chemistry: IS3 Research Information Skills Mon 16 Mar 2020   10:00 Finished

This compulsory course will equip you with the skills required to manage the research information you will need to gather throughout your graduate course, as well as the publications you will produce yourself. It will also help you enhance your online research profile and measure the impact of research.

Chemistry: IS4 Research Data Management Fri 20 Mar 2020   10:00 CANCELLED

This compulsory session introduces Research Data Management (RDM) to Chemistry PhD students. It is highly interactive and utilises practical activities throughout.

Key topics covered are:

  • Research Data Management (RDM) - what it is and what problems can occur with managing and sharing your data.
  • Data backup and file sharing - possible consequences of not backing up your data, strategies for backing up your data and sharing your data safely.
  • Data organisation - how to organise your files and folders, what is best practice.
  • Data sharing - obstacles to sharing your data, benefits and importance of sharing your data, the funder policy landscape, resources available in the University to help you share your data.
  • Data management planning - creating a roadmap for how not to get lost in your data!
Chemistry: IS5 SciFinder and Reaxys Mon 2 Mar 2020   11:30 Finished

A ‘highly recommended’ optional course introducing electronic databases SciFinder and Reaxys presented by Professor Jonathan Goodman comprising of presentation followed by hands-on investigation.

SciFinder provides access to biochemical, chemical, chemical engineering, medical and other related information in journal and patent literature. Bibliographic, substance and reaction information is available. SciFinder includes references from more than 10,000 scientific journals and patent information from 63 patent issuing authorities. Sources include journals, patents, conference proceedings, dissertations, technical reports and books. It is one of the world’s largest collections of organic and inorganic substance information.

It is possible to search by topic, author, company name, chemical structure, substructure, structure similarity and reaction. Personal registration is required for access to SciFinder on- and off-campus, please follow the instructions at:

Reaxys combines the content of CrossFire Beilstein, Gmelin and the Patent Chemistry Database in one search. Validated reaction and substance data are integrated with synthesis planning. Data from all three sources are merged into one substance record. Unlimited access on-campus via the web: Off-campus access via Raven password. (Personal registration is not required for access).

Please see the prerequisites. Please bring your own laptop for the practical element of the session.

This session introduces new undergraduate Chemistry students to the Department of Chemistry Library and its place within the wider Cambridge University Library system. It provides general information on what is available, where it is, and how to get it. Print and online resources are included.

Chemistry: Machine Learning in Chemistry 101 new Tue 14 Jan 2020   13:00 Finished

This graduate-level course gives an overview of machine learning (ML) techniques that are useful for solving problems in Chemistry, and particularly for the computational understanding and predictions of materials and molecules at the atomic level.

In the first part of the course, after taking a quick refresher of the basic concepts in probabilities and statistics, students will learn about basic and advanced ML methods including supervised learning and unsupervised learning.

During the second part, the connection between chemistry and mathematical tools of ML will be made and the concepts on the construction of loss functions, representations, descriptors and kernels will be introduced.

For the last part, experts who are actively using research methods to solve research problems in chemistry and materials will be invited to give real-world examples on how ML methods have transformed the way they perform research.

Chemistry: Philosophy for Chemists Mon 14 Oct 2019   12:00 Finished

Science is a striking, successful and powerful feature of contemporary human cultures: it has transformed lives, enabled great technological feats and often revealed the world to be a much stranger place than appearances suggest. But what is science, really, and how and why has it been so successful? This 3 week course aims to introduce graduate students to some main themes in the philosophy of science generally, and the philosophy of chemistry in particular.

Lecture 1. What Is Science?

What makes science scientific? Is there something distinctive about scientific investigation which distinguishes it from other things humans do? Does science give us infallible knowledge? Or at least the kind of knowledge that always gets better? These questions will be discussed in relation to the views of some well-known philosophers of science including Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn.

Lecture 2. Measurement

Measurement is the foundation of any quantitative empirical science. We make all sorts of measurements routinely in the lab, but there are actually deep difficulties in knowing if our instruments and procedures correctly measure what we intend to measure. The epistemological issues involved here will be discussed through various scientific examples, including temperature and pH.

Lecture 3. Reductionism

Does all science ultimately boil down to fundamental physics? This is a pertinent issue to all areas of science, but an urgent one especially for chemistry. Considering the success of quantum chemistry one might imagine that chemistry is just applied physics, but the matter is not so simple. Looking at the longer history of the attempts to reduce chemistry to physics will also be instructive.

Chemistry: Quantum Computing new Mon 10 Feb 2020   14:00 Finished

Lecture 1 - Fundamentals of Quantum Computing A short summary of all the basic quantum computing knowledge needed to do quantum chemistry on a quantum computer.

Lecture 2 - Encoding chemistry systems in quantum computers

  • Second quantization
  • Jordan-Wigner and Bravyi-Kitaev transforms
  • Molecular orbital encoding
  • State Preparation

Lecture 3 - Quantum algorithms for energy calculations

  • NISQ: Variational quantum algorithms
  • Future: Phase Estimation algorithms

Lecture 4 - Advanced quantum chemistry quantum computing algorithms

  • Excited Algorithms: QSE, Constrained Minimisation, etc
  • Special Ansatz using symmetry
  • Imaginary time evolution
  • TBA

To see a list of all upcoming Physical Chemistry Seminars please visit their webpage

You can also subscribe to these talks and download them to your calendar from the Talks webpage

To see a list of all upcoming Biological Chemistry Seminars please visit their webpage

You can also subscribe to these talks and download them to your calendar from the Talks webpage

To see a list of all upcoming Materials Chemistry Seminars please visit their webpage

You can also subscribe to these talks and download them to your calendar from the Talks webpage

To see a list of all upcoming Synthetic Chemistry Seminars please visit their webpage

You can also subscribe to these talks and download them to your calendar from the Talks webpage

Chemistry: SC1-10 Statistics for Chemists Wed 15 Jan 2020   10:00 Finished

This course is made up of 8 sessions which will be based around the topics below: unlike other courses in the Graduate Lecture Series, it is essential to attend all 8 sessions to benefit from this training. Places are limited so please be absolutely certain upon booking that you will commit to the entire course.

Chemistry: SF1 Departmental Safety Induction Mon 7 Oct 2019   11:00 Finished

The Departmental Advanced Safety Training covers basic induction training in how to work safely, including emergency arrangements for fire and evacuation, first aid and incidents including flood and gas leak. By attending, you are made aware of the Department’s Health and Safety Policy and your responsibilities under health and safety law. You will be introduced to the process required to prepare a risk assessment with standard operating procedure (SOP) or method statement, how to select the correct type of protective equipment (PPE) and why it needs to be worn, and reminded of the importance of good house keeping for reducing the likelihood of there being an incident. The hazards associated with display screen equipment (DSE) and manual handling are identified and the need to control them by a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk is explained. Electrical safety and the requirement for annual Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is made clear.

Chemistry: SF2 University Chemical Safety Training Mon 7 Oct 2019   13:30 Finished

Part of Induction Week

Advanced induction training for experimentalists introduces some of the department’s special chemical hazards including explosives, hydrogen fluoride and cyanide, and restricted chemicals, and illustrates the consequences of incorrect waste disposal. Experimentalists are made aware of the biological hazards in the department and how these are controlled with a suitable risk assessment, safety cabinets and the need for the appropriate inactivation method to be applied. Attendees are alerted to the hazards and damage caused by non-ionising radiation, glassware and sharps, oil baths and lifting equipment. The induction concludes by directing the experimentalist to compulsory University-provided specialist training courses, the requirement for fire awareness training and sources of Health and Safety information.

Chemistry: SF4 Pressurised Gas & Cryogens Tue 8 Oct 2019   09:00 Finished

This course will cover safe storage and use of cryogens, safe use and stores of compressed gas, and aspects of oxygen depletion with respect to the above.

Chemistry: SF5 Introduction to Demonstrating Wed 9 Oct 2019   11:00 Finished

We view demonstrating to undergraduate students as a key part of postgraduate education.

Demonstrating is compulsory for 1st and 2d year postgraduate students with the right background (we do not wish to place anybody in the undergraduate laboratories for whom this would be inappropriate).

Demonstrating is also open to all MPhil, 3rd/4th year graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Master Time and Focus - Wellbeing event new Thu 21 Jun 2018   12:00 Finished

'Enhance focus, reduce stress, use time more wisely and be more productive.

Learn to:

  • Establish a method that works for you to enhance focus for the most important work (Deep Work)
  • Reduce distraction and prioritise more effectively
  • Establish 1 daily high quality mini break, to relieve stress, reduce self criticism and strengthen resilience
  • Create the space to recognise your achievements each day - increase self awareness and confidence
  • Combining proven neuroscience & mindfulness based techniques into useful daily habits.
run new Tue 29 Oct 2019   09:30 Finished

« Description not available »

Single Cell RNA Sequencing new Mon 2 Mar 2020   16:00 Finished

The course will outlay bioinformatic analysis of cell populations from single-cell RNA including visualisation, clustering and functional analysis of genes. This will be using the programming language R and packages such as Seurat. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop to follow along.

Lesson 1

  • 4.00 - 4.45pm = Setting up
  • 4.45 - 5.00pm = Break, questions
  • 5.00 - 6.00pm = Introduction to scRNA-Seq

Lesson 2

  • 1.00 - 1.45pm = QC, Normalising, Feature Selection
  • 1.45 - 2.00pm = Break, questions
  • 2.00 - 3.00pm = Scaling, Dimensionality reduction, Determining dimensionality of dataset

Lesson 3

  • 1.00 - 1.45pm = Clustering, UMAP/t-SNE
  • 1.45 - 2.00pm = Break, questions
  • 2.00 - 3.00pm = Cluster biomarkers, Assigning cell type identity, Differential expression, Enrichment

Lesson 4

  • 1.00 - 1.45pm = Work on dataset from Stanford/literature/own dataset
  • 1.45 - 2.00pm = Break, questions
  • 2.00 - 3.00pm = Work on dataset from Stanford/literature/own dataset

Are you a post-doc (or a PI) at Chemistry applying for grants? Do you need to write a Data Management Plan (DMP) as part of your grant application but don't know how? Are you a post-doc (or PI) who is just interested in learning about writing data management plans? If so, this session is for you.

You will increasingly be required to write a DMP as part of your grant applications, but it is also useful to write one whenever you begin a research project, to help you plan how to manage your data effectively from the start.

During this session you will learn everything you need to know about data management plans:

  • What they are
  • Why they are increasingly required as part of grant applications
  • What to include in data management plans
  • Tools to help writing data management plans
  • See example data management plans

Refreshments will be provided (tea, coffee, and biscuits).

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