PhD positions in Organic chemistry

The Navrátil research group ( offers fully funded Ph.D. positions (1.0 FTE, 4 years) for creative, talented and self-motivated researchers with strong background in Organic chemistry. The Principal Investigator, Rafael Navrátil, Ph.D., is a young, accomplished researcher with previous experience from top-tier research institutions (Scripps Research, USA, among others) and strong publication record. The research in his laboratory focuses on the development of innovative synthetic methodologies using transition-metal catalysis, electrochemistry and radical chemistry. Funding is secured by a highly competitive Junior Star grant (1 mil. EUR/5 years) awarded to excellent early-career scientists by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR).

Currently available Ph.D. topics (expected start in October 2024):

1) Molecular editing. Could we edit molecules at the atomic level in the same way as we can edit genes using the CRISPR/Cas9 method? The aim is to develop a portfolio of synthetic methods for unprecedented molecular editing (e.g., functional group migration) of complex organic compounds. Resulting methods may revolutionize retrosynthetic analysis and simplify syntheses of organic compounds, thereby enabling rapid access to novel bioactive compounds.

2) Electrochemical Metal-Catalyzed C–C and C–N Cross-Coupling Reactions. Research in drug discovery has shifted its focus towards sp3-rich compounds which display improved pharmacokinetic and solubility profiles. The aim is to develop innovative radical-based C–C/C–N cross-coupling reactions at sp3-hybridized carbon centers using transition-metal catalysis and electrochemical activation. The resulting methods will be then applied to overcome current limitations in the synthesis of bioactive compounds and natural products.

We offer:

  • Working on internationally competitive and challenging research projects with high application potential that will greatly impact current Organic chemistry and, possibly, also drug discovery.
  • Working with the state-of-the-art synthetic methods, equipment and facilities (IKA ElectraSyn 2.0, HTE-chem, HPLC-MS, GC-MS, prep-HPLC, NMR 400 and 600 with cryoprobe, glovebox, etc.).
  • Close collaborations with computational, analytical and medicinal chemists and biologists.
  • Working in a young, friendly and enthusiastic research team at the Faculty of Science, Charles University. As one of the oldest universities in Europe, Charles University represents a leading educational and research institution in the Czech Republic, fosters safe and comfortable work environment, promotes gender balance and diversity and supports further carrier development.
  • Competitive salary (inc. fully paid health insurance, sick leave and vacation) which covers living in the beautiful city of Prague. Prague offers a wide range of cultural events, sport and social activities.


  • Excellent knowledge of Organic chemistry, good proficiency in English, ability to effectively work in a team, passion for pursuing research that can make a difference.
  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in Organic chemistry or in a related field obtained within the last 2 years. Candidates with anticipated MSc defense before October 2024 are also welcome to apply.
  • Applications must include a cover letter, detailed CV and contact information for 2 references or, preferably, 2 recommendation letters. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applications should be sent by e-mail to Rafael Navrátil, Ph.D. (Tato e-mailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty. Pro její zobrazení musíte mít povolen Javascript., by 31st March 2024. Please contact us if you have any question. Online interviews will be arranged with shortlisted candidates. Please note that if you are not contacted within 3 weeks, we have given preference to those who more closely meet the criteria. Thank you for your understanding.