Richard Roberts Building at night

About Chemistry at Sheffield

The Department of Chemistry has a rich history of excellent research and inspirational teaching: there are four Nobel Prize winners who have either worked or studied in the department. Today, researchers are working on a diverse set of challenges, from antimicrobial resistance and environmental sustainability, to new technological solutions for industry.

Research spans chemical biology, light-matter interactions and theory, polymers, materials and nanoscience, and supramolecular chemistry and catalysis. This provides the basis for a substantial and varied portfolio of research grants, collaborations with industry, and research institution partnerships.

We are currently home to more than 500 undergraduate students and almost 150 postgraduate students, as well as students based in China who we teach through our collaboration with Nanjing Tech University. They are supported by more than 40 academic staff, plus teaching staff, who are committed to helping our students understand complex chemical theories, and how to apply them in the lab.

Our undergraduate courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics, so that our students graduate with all the skills they need for a career in science.

We are also committed to inspiring the next generation of science students through a regular programme of activities for local schoolchildren: Kroto Schools Laboratory

Equality and diversity

We have been awarded an Athena SWAN silver award for our commitment to equality and diversity. Learn how we're creating an inclusive environment.

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Green Impact

We take recycling and sustainability seriously. See the steps we're taking to reduce our carbon footprint.

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Our teaching and research partnerships with academic, industrial and professional bodies stretch across the globe. Find out who we work with.

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From Nobel Prize winners to the first Briton in space: we're proud of our global alumni community. Discover how you can stay in touch.

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Nobel Prize winners

The following scientists either worked or studied in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Sheffield.

Lord PorterLord Porter of Luddenham FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967

Lord Porter (Professor of Physical Chemistry 1955-66) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 with Ronald G.W. Norrish and Manfred Eigen for their discovery of flash photolysis, a technique which enabled chemists for the first time to measure the speed and mechanism of certain reactions that occurred too quickly for detection by conventional methods.

Richard RobertsSir Richard Roberts FRS
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993

Sir Richard (BSc Chemistry 1965, PhD 1968) shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 with Phillip Sharp for their discovery of "split genes", thereby disproving the long-held theory that genes in plants and animals were made up of continuous segments of DNA. This has important biological, medical and evolutionary consequences.

Harry KrotoSir Harry Kroto FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996

Sir Harry (BSc Chemistry 1961, PhD 1964) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley for discovering a new form of carbon, "buckminsterfullerene", which stands alongside the two other well-defined forms, diamond and graphite.

Read Sir Harry's Department of Chemistry obituary

Fraser StoddartProfessor Sir Fraser Stoddart FRS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

Sir Fraser (ICI Research Fellow then Lecturer 1970-1978; Reader in Chemistry 1981-1990) shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa for the design and synthesis of the world's smallest molecular machines.

Find out about Sir Fraser's return visit to our department

The history of chemistry at Sheffield

The team behind our student-run magazine, Resonance, published a two-part history of the Department of Chemistry in issues six and seven. You can read both parts in full on our news pages:

The History of the Department of Chemistry

Duke of Edinburgh

Chemistry in 1954