Organisation profile

Organisation profile

The Department of Chemistry is a thriving, growing department embracing interdisciplinary research to overcome society's major challenges.

Supported by world-leading facilities, we produce fundamental and applied research of an exceptional standard, with a focus on interdisciplinary, problem-solving research.

We strive for our diverse research community to meet its full potential. We were the first chemistry department in the UK to receive an Athena SWAN Gold award for our gender equality practice, which was recently renewed in recognition of our commitment and achievements. And we provide expertise and advise policymakers as well as collaborating with industrial partners.

The Research Excellence Framework 2021

We’re a top ten department - according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021) - with the majority of our research and impact rated as a world-leading 4* - REF’s highest rating.

Research strengths

We have a distinctively interdisciplinary structure of nine research themes, founded on our strengths in inorganic, organic, physical and biological chemistry.

  • Archaeological and Paleoenvironmental Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Biological Inorganic Chemistry
  • Chemical and Structural Biology
  • Green and Sustainable Chemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance and Hyperpolarisation
  • Molecular Materials
  • Photochemistry and Spectroscopy
  • Synthesis, Catalysis and Mechanisms

University research themes

Interdisciplinary research is one of our strengths. We collaborate across the University's research themes – areas of research excellence that cross departmental boundaries. We have particularly strong partnerships within three themes:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Technologies for the Future
  • Environmental Sustainability and Resilience


We are home to a number of specialist research centres:

  • Centre for Hyperpolarisation in Magnetic Resonance (CHyM)
  • Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry (CoEMS)
  • Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE)
  • Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories (WACL)
  • York JEOL Nanocentre
  • York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL)


We offer state-of-the-art equipment and analytical services to help external organisations deal with chemical problems:

  • Chromatography
  • EPR spectrometers
  • Laser/Raman spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Microanalysis
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Spectroscopy techniques
  • Thermal analysis
  • X-ray diffraction

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or