Professor Vasilios Stavros BSc, PhD

Vasilios Stavros

School of Chemistry
Professor of Physical Chemistry
Deputy Head of School

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Vas received his BSc. and PhD (with Prof Helen Fielding) from Kings College London (KCL). Following his PhD, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford (with Profs John Simons FRS and Mark Brouard), returning to KCL as a PDRA (with Helen Fielding). He then moved to the University of California Berkeley on a Lawrence Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellowship (with Prof Steve Leone).

Vas returned to the UK in 2005 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow to begin his independent research at Warwick. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009, Reader in 2013 and then to Professor in 2017. In January 2023, Vas joined the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham as Professor of Physical Chemistry.


  • PhD in Chemical Physics (1999)
  • BSc in Chemical Sciences (1995)


Vas graduated from Kings College London with a BSc degree in Chemical Sciences in 1995. His subsequent PhD studies were conducted under the supervision of Professor Helen Fielding also at Kings, and focused on electron dynamics in high energy orbitals (known as Rydberg states). Vas then undertook post-doctoral research first under the guidance of Professors John Simons and Mark Brouard at Oxford, then at Kings with Professor Helen Fielding and finally as a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Professor Steve Leone.

Vas returned to the UK to take up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in ultrafast dynamics in October 2005 before being appointed (same month) as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor in September 2009, Reader in July 2013 and Professor in 2017. In December 2023, Vas joined the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham as Professor of Physical Chemistry.

Awards, Honours and Fellowships

  • RSC Bourke-Liversidge Award – 2022
  • RSC Dalton Division Horizon (Team) Prize – 2022
  • Royal Society (RS) Industry Fellowship – 2020 to 2024
  • Fellow of Warwick International Higher Education Academy - 2018
  • RS Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship – 2017
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry – 2012
  • Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence – 2011
  • Department of Chemistry Teaching Award – 2010, 2012, 2014, 2019
  • RS University Research Fellowship 2005 – 2013
  • LBNL Fellowship (2002 – 2005)

Postgraduate supervision

We are always looking to work with highly motivated and talented scientists. Specific funded opportunities will be advertised on the Stavros Group webpages and on the jobs website (among other locations) when they are available.

Details of how to join the Stavros group:

Postdoctoral researchers

Opportunities that arise will be advertised on the Stavros Research Group website as well as in prominent (inter) national advertisers such as the jobs website or molecular dynamics news.

The Stavros group are also very active in supporting strong applicants that wish to apply for fellowships (including Newton International Fellowships, Marie Curie-Sklodowzka Fellowships etc.). The Stavros group has an excellent record of success in supporting these applications and potential applicants should contact Vas to discuss such opportunities.

PhD and MSc research students

Applications are also welcomed from suitable candidates who wish to study for a PhD within the group. Funded places for home students are available as well opportunities to support study, through scholarships, are also possible for excellent candidates from all around the world. The Stavros group has a very strong track of success in supporting these applications. Please contact Vas to discuss possible PhD and MSc research opportunities.

Other activities

Membership of Learned or Professional Societies

  • Chair of RSC Faraday Division Special Interest Group, ‘Spectroscopy and Dynamics’ (2022 – present)
  • Fellow of Warwick International Higher Education Academy (2018)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2012)

Other Esteem Indicators

  • Editorial Board of ‘Molecular Physics’ (2022 – present)
  • Editorial Board of ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society (2012 – 2019)
  • Visiting Professor University of Warwick (2022 – present)
  • Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, USA (2005 – 2006)
  • >100 Invited, Keynote and Plenary lectures at National and International Universities and Conferences
  • Member of the Faraday Division Awards (2022 – present)
  • Member of the STFC Artemis Panel (2022 – present)
  • Member of Royal Society Newton International Fellowship Award Panel (2012 – 2014)
  • External Examiner for Chemistry Degree, University of Edinburgh (2022 – Present)

Working with Industry

We have undertaken consulting and collaboration with a wide range of industrial partners in areas as diverse as skin care, agrochemicals, photonic materials amongst others.


T.T. Abiola, J.M. Toldo, M.T. do Casal, A.L. Flourat, B. Rioux, J. Woolley, D. Murdock, F. Allais, M. Barbatti and V.G. Stavros (2022),

Direct structural observation of ultrafast photoisomerisation dynamics in sinapate esters, Comm. Chem., 5: 141 (1-9).

T.T. Abiola, B. Rioux, J.M. Toldo, J. Alarcan, J.M. Woolley, M. Turner, D. Coxon, M. Casal, C. Peyrot, M.M. Mention, W.J. Buma, M.N.R. Ashfold, A. Braeuning, M. Barbatti, V.G. Stavros and F. Allais (2021), Towards developing novel and sustainable molecular light-to-heat converters, Chem. Sci., 12: 15239-15252.

M.D. Horbury, E.L. Holt, L.M.M. Mouterde, P. Balaguer, J. Cebrian, L. Blasco, F. Allais and V.G. Stavros (2019), Towards symmetry driven and nature inspired UV filter design, Nature Comm., 10: 4748 (1-8).

N.d.N. Rodrigues, N.C. Cole-Filipiak, K.N. Blodgett, C. Abeysekera, T.S. Zwier and V.G. Stavros (2018), Wavepacket insights into the photoprotection mechanism of the UV filter methyl anthranilate, Nature Comm., 9: 5188-5195.

L.A. Baker, M.D. Horbury, S.E. Greenough, P.M. Coultier, T.N.V. Karsili, G.M. Roberts, A.J. Orr-Ewing, M.N.R. Ashfold and V.G. Stavros (2015), Probing the ultrafast energy dissipation mechanism of the sunscreen oxybenzone after UVA irradiation, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 6: 1363-1368.

G.M. Roberts, D.J. Hadden, L.T. Bergendahl, A.M. Wenge, S.J. Harris, T.N.V. Karsili, M.N.R. Ashfold, M.J. Paterson and V.G. Stavros (2013), Exploring quantum phenomena and vibrational control in s* mediated photochemistry, Chem. Sci., 4: 993-1001.

G.M. Roberts, C.A. Williams, J.D. Young, S. Ullrich, M.J. Paterson and V.G. Stavros (2012), Unravelling ultrafast dynamics in photoexcited aniline, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134: 12578-12589.