Welcome to the webpage for the research group under the supervision of Dr. Robert Phipps, at the University of Cambridge. We are interested in developing new methodology in synthetic organic chemistry, to expedite the assembly of molecules and increase efficiency in synthesis.




Paper Published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

2 December, 2020

Congratulations to Avene, Rupert and Basia whose collaborative paper with Dr. Kristaps Ermanis and Prof. Jonathan Goodman "A Computational and Experimental Investigation of the Origin of Selectivity in the Chiral Phosphoric Acid Catalyzed Enantioselective Minisci Reaction" is published in JACS. 

Review published in Nature Chemistry

4 November 2020

Congratulations to Rupert and Avene whose review article "Exploiting attractive non-covalent interactions for the enantioselective catalysis of reactions involving radical intermediates" is published in Nature Chemistry

PhD Studentships Available for Oct 2021

29 September 2020

There is an industrial CASE PhD studentship funded by the EPSRC and AstraZeneca available to carry out a PhD from October 2021. See Opportunities page for more info. Also there will be opportunities for PhD funding available through the Department of Chemistry graduate recruitment process. See here for more info. The 2020 Graduate Open Day is being held online on 5 November 2020. Please register to find out more or contact Robert (

Review published in ACS Catalysis

September 8, 2020

Congratulations to Alex, Phil and Padon whose review article "Recent Developments in Enantioselective Transition Metal Catalysis Featuring Attractive Noncovalent Interactions between Ligand and Substrate" is now online in ACS Catalysis

Paper published in Synlett

July 1, 2020

Congratulations to Basia, whose work Acid and Solvent Effects on the Regioselectivity of Minisci-Type Addition to Quinolines Using Amino Acid Derived Redox Active Esters is published in Synlett as an invited article to feature in an upcoming Cluster on Heterocyclic Chemistry!

Paper published in Science

March 12, 2020

Congratulations to Georgi, James, Antti and David, whose work Enantioselective Remote C–H Activation Directed by a Chiral Cation is published in Science!

Paper published in Chem. Sci

January 18, 2020

Paper published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

November 11, 2019

Congratulations to Rupert, whose collaborative paper with the Sigman group, Predictive Multivariate Linear Regression Analysis Guides Successful Catalytic Enantioselective Minisci Reactions of Diazines,  is accepted in JACS!

Paper published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

Aug 5, 2019

Postdoc Position Open

August 3, 2019

We have a funded postdoc position open in the group. Click here for link to the advert and application details.

Harrison Meldola Prize

May 7, 2019

Congratulations to Robert, who has been named as a recipient of the 2019 Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize for "inventive research on the application of non-covalent catalysis to selectivity in synthetic organic chemistry"! Click HERE for more

Invited Paper Published in Special Issue of J. Org. Chem.

May 22, 2019

Congratulations to Bernie, Mada and Violeta, whose work Ion Pair-Directed Borylation of Aromatic Phosphonium Salts is published as part of an upcoming special issue in JOC on Advances in C-H Bond Functionalization!

Minisci reaction review

March 19, 2019

Congratulations to Rupert, whose review Recent Advances in Minisci-Type Reactions has been published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.!

Paper published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.

October 8, 2018

Congratulations to Will and Robert, whose work Site-Selective Cross-Coupling of Remote Chlorides Enabled by Electrostatically-Directed Palladium Catalysis is published in JACS!

Welcome new students

October 4, 2018

Welcome to new PhD students James, Barbara, Phil and Alex as well as Part Three students Guy and Lauren!

Holly passes her viva!

June 5, 2018

Congratulations Holly!

Paper published in Science

April 5, 2018

Congratulations to Rupert and Holly, whose work Catalytic enantioselective Minisci-type addition to heteroarenes has just been published in Science! The paper has been highlighted in C&E News - click here - and Chemistry World - click here

PhD Studentship and Postdoc Position

March 2018

There is a postdoctoral position to start in mid 2018. Please get in touch if interested.

Meta-selective C-H activation review

October 2017

Our review on methods to access the meta position of arenes is published in Chem. Soc. Rev.! Congratulations Madalina and Georgi! Click HERE for full details

New starters

October 2017

Welcome to new PhD Students Ben, Robert and David and Part III students Violeta and Bernie

H-bonding directed meta-borylation

September 2017

Our paper on hydrogen bond-directed borylation is published in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.! Congratulations Holly and Georgi! Click HERE for full details.....



Department of Chemistry
University of Cambridge



©2018 Robert Phipps