Dean of Science

Dean of Science Douglas PhilpThe Dean of Science is responsible for all Schools within the Faculty, and represents all permanent members of academic staff within the Faculty.


  • Faculty leadership and representation.
  • School strategic planning.
  • Participate in academic promotions panels, academic appointments.
  • Lead the development of research initiatives within the institution.
  • Initiate and lead Faculty collaborations.
  • Lead the development, planning and monitoring of the academic portfolio.
  • Lead individual/capital projects as appropriate.
  • Lead and manage the decanal teams.
  • Ceremonial events (e.g. graduation, inaugural lectures).

Professor Douglas Philp

The current Dean of Science is Professor Douglas Philp. 

Douglas Philp was born in Glasgow on the last day of 1967. He graduated from of the University of Aberdeen in 1989 with a BSc Honours degree in Chemistry. Subsequently, he studied for the degree of PhD under the supervision of Sir Fraser Stoddart, firstly at the University of Sheffield and, later, at the University of Birmingham. During this period, he applied the principles of molecular recognition and self-assembly to the development of prototype molecular machines, He was awarded his PhD in 1993 for a thesis entitled Self-Assembly in Chemical Systems.

After a period of postdoctoral work at the ETH in Zürich in the research group of Professor Francois Diederich, he returned to the UK in 1995 to take up a Lectureship at the University of Birmingham. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1997 and Reader in 2000, before leaving Birmingham in 2001 to join the University of St Andrews.

His research centres on systems chemistry. This field reshapes principles from life sciences to create synthetic chemical systems that exploit dynamic systemic resolution, non-equilibrium processes and molecular replication. These systems can serve as models for the processes that led to the emergence of complex chemical systems and, ultimately, life on the early Earth.

His research has been recognized by awards from the Saltire Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.