The PhD in Chemistry programme aims to provide high calibre education and advanced training in chemical sciences. Importantly, it will take advantage of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s international and vibrant research environment to prepare graduates for research careers in any setting and equip students with highly specialised technical skills.

This programme is based extensively on self-motivated research. Students on this programme are formally registered with the University of Liverpool as off-site postgraduate research students. You will carry out research on XJTLU premises under the supervision of academic staff from both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool.

Pursuing a full-time PhD typically involves three years of conducting research and one year of writing a thesis, supported by subject-specific and general skills training and development. A full-time PhD student must submit their thesis within four years (or six years for part-time students).

The programme will be managed through collaboration between XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will receive a degree from the University of Liverpool recognised by China’s Ministry of Education.

Why should I do my PhD in Chemistry at XJTLU?

Key benefits of this PhD programme:

  • Our PhD programme equips you with a range of professional skills to maximise your future employability;
  • Our supervisors will guide you through one of the most intellectually satisfying experiences of your life;
  • The PhD degree is awarded by the University of Liverpool in the UK. The degree is recognised by the UK Department of Education as well as China’s Ministry of Education;
  • Students receive supervision from academic staff at both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool who have trained in internationally renowned laboratories;
  • XJTLU provides every registered PhD student with an international conference fund of up to 16,500 RMB. The purpose of this fund is to support students’ academic experience, encourage the dissemination of research, and enhance XJTLU’s research profile nationally and internationally;
  • As a registered full-time PhD student, you have the opportunity to apply for a research visit to the University of Liverpool for up to six months. Your accommodation and travel costs will be covered by XJTLU and the University of Liverpool; and
  • During the programme, there will be opportunities to work as a teaching assistant and develop fundamental academic and professional skills.

Research areas

Research areas within the PhD programme in Chemistry include, but are not limited to:

  • sensors
  • nanomaterial photocatalysis
  • organic synthesis and natural products
  • organic electronic materials
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • molecular electronics
  • green chemistry
  • molecular modelling
  • advanced materials and smart materials
  • drug delivery and cancer therapy
  • coordination chemistry and crystal engineering

Research environment and facilities

The PhD Programme in Chemistry boasts world-class learning, teaching and research facilities, including those for:

  • NMR spectrometer
  • Mass Spectrometer
  • SEM
  • X-ray crystallography
  • GC-MS
  • HPLC
  • UV-VIS spectrometer
  • IR spectrometer
  • Fluorescence spectrometer
  • Raman spectrometer
  • Electrochemical station

PhD students also have access to equipment in other Academies and Schools across the University

Industry-sponsored and jointly supervised PhD projects

The University has extensive research collaborations with industry partners. Opportunities are available for candidates to undertake an Enterprise Entrusted PhD Project funded by our industrial partners in one of the following research areas:

  • drug design and discovery
  • research on drug properties
  • pharmaceutical production technology
  • pharmaceutical natural products
  • drug formulation
  • pharmaceutical analysis

For these projects, you will be jointly supervised by a team of academic staff members from both the XJTLU Academy of Pharmacy and the University of Liverpool, as well as an industry honorary professor from a related enterprise who will provide guidance on research topics as well as future career possibilities.

Potential supervisors

Find out potential supervisors from:

School of Science – Department of Chemistry.

XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy.


Apply for a scholarship for a funded PhD project:
You can apply for a predefined PhD project which has received funds from the University or external funding bodies. The research topic and supervisory team for these projects have already been established.

There is no specific application deadline for each project as they will remain open for applications until the position is filled. The start date of a PhD programme is usually the first day of March, June, September, or December. You can visit the Postgraduate Research Scholarships Page for information about the specific PhD projects available or contact potential supervisors to discuss funding opportunities.

The scholarship application is only open to those applying for a full-time doctoral programme.

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