New synthetic routes to rare L-sugars via free radical chemistry

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

This project aims to address a major bottleneck in the science of carbohydrates by developing the first broad-scope synthetic routes to L-sugars. L-Sugars are critical components of many biologically and commercially significant molecules, but knowledge of their functional roles is impeded by the fact that most L-sugars are expensive or difficult to make. This project expects to (i) develop expeditious routes to L-sugars via new, economical, and green synthetic methods based on free radical chemistry, underpinned by theoretical calculations; and (ii)  demonstrate the application of L-configured sugars in the synthesis of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates that are currently sought-after in glycobiology. Expected outcomes include a markedly increased capacity to access pure samples of L-sugar-based biomolecules, as needed for studying their biological functions. Significant benefits in the development of vaccines, diagnostics and biomaterials are anticipated.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Vito Ferro

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of organic synthesis and spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of organic chemistry and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of organic synthesis is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process