University of Warwick chemist secures slice of £4m grant

Dr Mark Greenhalgh, a chemist at the University of Warwick, has secured a substantial grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish an international collaboration for his pioneering research in catalysis and molecular interactions.

The EPSRC, a key funder of UK scientific research, supports innovative projects driving progress in engineering and physical sciences.

Dr Greenhalgh’s project focuses on ’chalcogen bonding’ in catalysis, exploring unconventional molecular interactions. His collaboration with computational chemists at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) was initiated and facilitated through the EUTOPIA European university alliance and was instrumental to the successful award of this grant.

Dr Greenhalgh said "I am incredibly excited about this collaboration and believe we will achieve things together that would have been impossible on our own. This work should then act as a foundation for numerous subsequent grants and form the basis of my research group’s work for many years to come."

Professor George Christou, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Europe) said "Warwick is a founding member of EUTOPIA, a European alliance of ten universities leveraging our combined expertise to tackle global challenges. It is great to see Dr Greenhalgh’s research draw strength from a partnership with fellow EUTOPIA member VUB, exemplifying the importance of our international research collaborations."

The grant will facilitate a 15-month exchange program between Warwick and Brussels, fostering knowledge sharing and advancements in molecular interaction understanding. The project’s goal is to deepen insights into ’chalcogen bonding,’ paving the way for more effective catalysts with far-reaching impacts across various scientific fields.

"This collaborative effort exemplifies EUTOPIA’s spirit, enabling us to achieve scientific milestones beyond individual capacities," added Dr Greenhalgh.

It comes as members of EUTOPIA meet in Dresden this week (4-6 Dec) to work together to deepen the alliance’s programmes and perspectives.