Doctoral study in Chemistry

Why study with us?

New Zealand’s leading and largest Faculty of Science* brings together 10 diverse schools and departments to provide outstanding quality teaching and research opportunities. Our doctoral students work with some of the nation’s leading researchers and benefit from the faculty’s connections with international universities and industry. You will also have access to high-quality laboratory and field research facilities.


Research opportunities

We welcome PhD proposals in areas including:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Green Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Physical and Materials Chemistry
  • Structural and Computational Chemistry
  • Wine Science

Our people

Many of our knowledgeable scientists are major contributors in their field.

(and search for relevant topics)

Research topics

See a selection of past and present research topics:


  • Development of bioanalytical techniques for mode of action studies of tumor-inhibiting metal complexes | supervised by Christian Hartinger
  • Polymer Chemistry | supervised by Jianyong Jin
  • Dynamic interaction between beta-lactoglobulin and pectin | supervised by Duncan McGillivray
  • Analysis of airborne vapours present at former clandestine  methamphetamine laboratories | supervised by Gordon Miskelly
  • Time-resolved resonance Raman spectroscopy of aryl-diphosphenes | supervised by Cather Simpson
  • Catalysts for Green Oxidation Chemistry | supervised by James Wright

Wine Science

  • The effect of fining treatments on the chemical and sensorial profiles of Marlborough Sauvignon blanc press fractions | supervised by Bruno Fedrizzi
  • Use of conducting polymer based redox mediators for determination of antioxidants in beverages | supervised by Paul Kilmartin
  • Key aroma compounds of Sauvignon blanc wines - enological and chemical processes affecting wine quality | supervised by Paul Kilmartin
  • Application of grape maceration techniques for white wines to increase phenolic compounds and anti-oxidative capabilities while maintaining sensory quality | supervised by Paul Kilmartin
  • Characterisation of the primary aroma compounds in Central Otago Pinot noir grapes | supervised by Paul Kilmartin
  • Impact of Juice Oxidation on the Formation of Varietal  Thiol Aromas in Sauvignon Blanc Grapes and Wines | supervised by Paul Kilmartin

Food Science

  • Berries and Human Health | supervised by Laurence Melton
  • Use of natural antioxidants and proteins to retard oxidative deterioration of fish oil | supervised by Laurence Melton
  • Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of Potent Compounds from Selected Microalgae | supervised by Conrad Perera
  • The research project is entitled "From Vine to Fruit Bowl - Routes to Kiwifruit Softening" | supervised by Conrad Perera
  • Elucidation of the mechanism of Vitamin D degradation in powdered milk | supervised by Conrad Perera

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Studies towards the asymmetric synthesis of 1,4-benzodioxane neolignans | supervised by David Barker
  • Total Synthesis of the Dineolignan Ophiocerol and Derivatives | supervised by David Barker
  • Synthesis of bioactive natural products and associated analogues | supervised by David Barker
  • Vaccine design for lectin targets | supervised by Margaret Brimble
  • Total Synthesis of Aspergillus Spiroketal and its analogues | supervised by Margaret Brimble
  • Synthesis of marine derived natural products Aigialospirol and its analogues | supervised by Margaret Brimble

For more information about PhD theses and topics you may be interested in, or supervisors and their past research, please use the search function on the Libraries and Learning Services catalogue.

Scholarships and awards

See our University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship page for scholarship opportunities. Or search our database for scholarships that may be available.

Help and advice

Please see our Doctoral students section for further information, advice and contact information.

Apply for doctoral study