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All Department of Chemistry courses

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Biological RIG Seminars Self-taught Not bookable

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

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

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.

CP1 Career options for PhDs Tue 7 May 2019   11:00 [Places]

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.

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.

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, together with a tour to show participants where these instruments are located, as well as explain the procedures for preparing/submitting samples for the analysis will also be discussed.

CT2 Fundamentals of Mass Spectrometry Wed 10 Oct 2018   13:00 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.

During the last decade, mass spectrometry (MS) has become an indispensable tool in experimental biophysics, capable of providing unique information on the conformation and dynamics of biomolecules, as well as their interactions with physiological partners. In this short course, the current state of biophysical MS will be presented, with emphasis on experimental techniques that are used to study protein higher order structure and dynamics. Biophysical methods that use MS are native MS, tandem MS (MS/MS), liquid chromatography MS (LC-MS), hydrogen-deuterium exchange MS (HDX-MS), chemical cross-linking MS (CXL-MS) and ion mobility MS (IM-MS).

CT4 Solution Phase NMR Spectroscopy Mon 22 Oct 2018   13:00 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.

CT5 An Introduction to NMR Processing with TopSpin new Mon 29 Oct 2018   12:30 Finished

The aim of the session is:

  • to provide you with basic abilities to use TopSpin
  • Extract information from the NMR data, giving you knowledge about the sample.
  • Produce spectra to include in reports.

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

CT6 Solid State NMR Spectroscopy Wed 7 Nov 2018   13:00 Finished

The aim of this course is to 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. No previous knowledge of solid state NMR will be required, just 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.

CT7 X-Ray Crystallography Thu 15 Nov 2018   13:00 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.

CT8 Electron Microscopy Wed 28 Nov 2018   13:00 Finished

The first session will describe the basics of electron diffraction and the main differences from X-ray and neutron diffraction, particularly as regards the strength of the interaction and the complications caused by multiple scattering. The advantages of the method in determining unit cell dimensions will also be discussed.

Session two will concentrate on the advantages conferred by forming images with electrons but also on the inherent problems such as the effect of aberrations on the ultimate resolution. If there is sufficient time, a consideration of the information available in high resolution images will be made.

CT9 Atomic Force Microscopy Wed 14 Nov 2018   13:00 Finished

Probe microscopy is a general term for a class of microscopy in which well-defined nanoscale probes are used to interact with a sample in some manner. In this introductory lecture the necessary background principles to understand probe microscopy are explained with reference to Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy in both tapping and contact mode. This will provide the user with the necessary background to make the most of the increasingly well-used Departmental Keysight 5500 multimode system, which is operated and maintained by the Melville Lab. Probe microscopy is of interest to anyone with a need to perform single molecule or surface based studies. Typically anything involving a surface interaction is accessible and the technique is particularly well suited to studying a variety of chemical and electromechanical properties of aggregates with 1-1000 nm dimensions. Recently, the system has been used to study cellulose crystals, amyloid fibres, protein monolayers, thermal properties of polymer films, doped graphite and so on.

Other modes are available on the Keysight system such as pico-trec, electrochemical STM, EFM, KFM, MFM, and LFM and these modes will be described but not explained in detail during the lecture.

FS11 Scientific Writing: From Pain to Pleasure Fri 15 Mar 2019   12:00 [Places]

Much of scientific knowledge and information is communicated in written form, be it via journal publications, theses or in other media. However, scientific writing differs from other styles of writing quite significantly, with regard to structure, grammar and word choice. This lecture will outline the basics of what to consider when 'writing science', in order to smoothen the path to your first peer-reviewed publication, as well as your later 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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Fri 5 Apr 2019 09:30 [Places]

Submission of an MPhil 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 MPhil 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 and the session will conclude with tea/coffee and biscuits, in order to provide an opportunity to ask questions more informally.

This is a compulsory session for 1st year post-graduates.

FS4 Unconscious Bias Mon 25 Mar 2019   15:00 [Places]

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.

As a member of the Chemistry Department, you are required to complete the on-line Equality and Diversity (E&D) Essentials training module. This can be accessed at:

FS6 Time Management Self-taught Not bookable

A better grasp of your time management and knowledge of associated tools and techniques can make you more effective in your research, and can help you achieving more in fewer hours. This online course will take you through theory and exercises to allow you to try things out and make practical changes in your research life. The materials are written for researchers in Cambridge, and can be taken at your own pace so you can work through them, whatever your current time management practices are.

How to Access the Course

In order to enrol for The Time Management Toolkit, you will need an enrolment key: SPST-sas17 You can access the course and enrol at the following link:

FS7 Skills Analysis Course new Self-taught Not bookable

The Skills Analysis Survey is an online module designed to help you to assess your own skill-set and identify target areas for improvement. This is really the basis upon which you should plan all of your researcher development, so it is a highly recommended course for all postgraduate students! We encourage students to take the survey about once a year, but it’s particularly useful for those who are just starting their PhD and for those who are just entering the final year of their PhD. The online course, hosted on Moodle includes:

  • A Skills Analysis Survey to help you assess your own skillset
  • A Self-Reflection Exercise to help you consider your answers to the survey
  • Useful information on managing your personal development, training courses within the University, and other skill development opportunities.

Please enrol at the link below using the Enrolment Key: SPST-sas17:

FS8 Supervising Undergraduates Wed 16 Jan 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.

The combination of modern computing power and density functional theory (DFT) has made it possible to explore the mechanisms and catalytic cycles of complex organic and organometallic reactions. These lectures will provide a practical introduction to performing DFT calculations to elucidate reaction mechanisms. Other applications of DFT calculations will be discussed such as computing spectra and structure identification.

These lectures will be accompanied by a workshop that will show the user how to perform DFT calculations and how to use the data generated by these calculations to draw conclusions about reaction mechanisms. No prior computational experience is required.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Wed 15 May 2019 10:00 [Places]
IS1 Chemistry Library Orientation Tue 30 Apr 2019   14:15 [Places]

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.

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.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 30 May 2019 09:00 [Places]
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