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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K039571/1
Title: Core Capability for Chemistry Research at Oxford
Principal Investigator: Softley, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Oxford Chemistry
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2013 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 1,156,521
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Chemical Structure
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The development of modern chemical science is almost entirely dependent on highly sophisticated instrumentation to provide research chemists with information on molecular structures, their properties and their interactions with other chemical or physical species. Such information is critical for the design and development of new pharmaceuticals for improved health, new materials for safer and greener societies, and for myriad fine chemicals that underlie modern living. It is also essential for the invention of novel chemical processes that are required to make these. Primary amongst the instrumental methods employed by research chemists are Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry (MS). NMR may be considered a cousin of the more widely recognised technique of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) used clinically to investigate the structure of tissues in our bodies. Rather than detailing the structures of whole tissues, NMR provides chemists with exquisite detail on the structures of individual molecules by defining the environments of atoms within the compound and the way in which these are joined (bonded) together. Mass Spectrometry is a technique for weighing individual molecules and thereby defining the type and number elements that comprise the target molecule. Thus, through the combined application of NMR and MS techniques, researchers can reliably identify chemical structures. This knowledge, in turn, provides the foundation for understanding chemistry, chemical reactions and hence advances in numerous lines of modern chemical research. The Chemistry Department at Oxford University supports very substantial NMR and MS research facilities that provide core research infrastructure for ~ 600 chemists, and makes available a diverse range of state-of-the-art analytical methods for structure characterisation. Whilst these facilities include instruments of modern specification, installed or upgraded within the last 5 years, it also houses a significant number of instruments that are over 10 years old and lack the capabilities, efficiency and reliability of their modern counterparts so are in need of replacement (in much that same way that a car over 10 years old would not match the specifications of a modern vehicle and is likely to need replacing to achieve the best and most reliable performance). Thus, in this application we are seeking funds to replace or upgrade 3 NMR spectrometers and 3 mass spectrometers with state-of-the-art instruments so as to better support current research activities within the Chemistry Department and with the many departments or institutes with which it collaborates. This will also ensure access to reliable instruments in future years, removing our dependence on analytical instruments that are no longer fit for purpose in modern research laboratories. This new equipment will help ensure the department remains at the forefront of research and teaching in the chemical sciences by providing the critical research infrastructure this demands.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk