Industry

Oxford Chemistry aspires to bring about world-leading advances in fundamental chemistry that lead to transformative changes in our understanding and knowledge of the discipline. We strive to translate our research into applications to tackle global issues in healthcare, energy, security, the environment, food, and water supply.

We seek to establish strong links with industry and work with our partners to identify the challenging problems facing industry, and collaborate to turn our fundamental research into real-world applications.

Our industrial partners cover a diverse range of fields, from agrochemical, energy, petrochemicals and fuel additives, to pharmaceutical and healthcare technologies; from chemical, analytical, specialist materials and thin films, to the food, automobile, and instrumentation manufacturing sectors. We also have strong collaborations with the NHS and other public sector organisations.

Solutions For Our Future - a film from the Chemical Industries Association

This film explores the value of the chemical industry and the importance of investment in innovation, research and safety. Highlighted from Oxford Chemistry are the Oxford-SCG Centre of Excellence with Director Dermot O'Hare, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthesis for Biology and Medicine with Director Martin Smith, and Oxford Nanopore with co-founder Hagan Bayley. 

Read a transcript of the film

Ways to collaborate with us

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Oxford is one of the leading chemistry research departments in the world and our facilities for research and teaching are among the best in the UK. We are committed to training up the next generation of scientists and aim to engender in our postgraduates the skills and qualities to become outstanding researchers. Around 450 graduate students are currently working in Oxford towards a Masters or DPhil in Chemistry. There are a variety of opportunities to become involved with graduate training within the Department.

Core postgraduate programmes

Industry-focused research projects can be undertaken by our graduate students on our core MSc and DPhil programmes. Graduate courses are offered in four areas of chemistry:

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology

Opportunities are available for full or part-funding of studentships, such as EPSRC Industrial CASE awards.

More information about our core programmes can be found on the University's course pages.

Centres for Doctoral Training

The Department hosts two CDTs and a Wellcome Trust-funded DPhil programme, each designed in collaboration with industrial partners. There are a number of ways that you can get involved as a partner.

The Oxford Inorganic Chemistry for Future Manufacturing Centre for Doctoral Training (OxICFM CDT) is a multi-disciplinary, EPSRC-funded programme in inorganic chemical synthesis. The CDT brings together over 50 academics, 10 industrial partners, and 17 international centres of excellence in synthetic inorganic chemistry. Partner companies and businesses can be involved in research and the delivery of teaching students in several different ways, including lectures, case studies, problem solving sessions and site visits. See the OxICFM CDT website or contact the Programme Manager (admin@oxicfm.ox.ac.uk) for ways in which your company can become involved.

The Synthesis for Biology and Medicine Centre for Doctoral Training (SBM CDT) is a 4-year DPhil programme that offers joint academic-industrial training in cutting-edge synthesis and its impact on significant problems in biology and medicine. Students undergo a rigorous training programme in modern synthetic chemistry in Year 1, including training by industrial partners, before undertaking a full-time research project towards their DPhil. Building on the existing EPSRC-funded centre, altogether the SBM CDT is supported by 11 pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies. The centre operates an open access model between industry and academia to ensure the free exchange of information and expertise between all partners. For more information on how to get involved as a partner see the SBM CDT website or contact the Programme Manager at SynthesisCDT@chem.ox.ac.uk.

Chemistry in Cells (CiC) is a DPhil programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, that provides training for physical/chemical-sciences graduates to develop and apply quantitative physical science techniques to research at the interface with biomedicine. A highly multidisciplinary programme, CiC has collaborators including the Francis Crick Institute, The Rosalind Franklin Institute, GSK, Janssen, and Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD UK). For more information on how you can get involved, please contact Dr Tracey Marr, CiC Programme Manager.

Lectures and symposiums

Industrial collaborators are able to provide training by sponsoring or participating in lecture series and mini-symposiums. For more information or an informal discussion please contact Dr Rachel MacCoss, Senior Research Facilitator for Chemistry.

Recruitment Events

The Department provides a high-quality training and career development environment, as illustrated by the impact that our graduates demonstrate in science, industry, business and society. A survey of 160 of our DPhil graduates showed that ~30% went directly into research and development in industry.

Industry partners are able to hold recruiment sessions for our students and postdoctoral researchers. Typically these involve a company presentation, followed by a reception for interested undergraduates,  postgraduates and postdocs. If you would like to hold a recruitment event in the Department please contact Charles Bell for an informal discussion.

Consultancy makes our knowledge and expertise available to industry, business and the wider community and can provide access to our state-of-the-art equipment. It enables businesses to address new challenges, further research advances, and gain new perspectives. It may also lead to long-term relationships and collaboration.

Over 60 of our staff are registered as consultants with Oxford University Innovation (OUI) and have provided consultancy to over 80 companies.

Examples of the consultancy services available are:

  • Specialist opinion
  • Technical and professional advice
  • Expert witness services
  • Horizon scanning to aid strategic planning
  • Master classes on the current state-of-the-art
  • Patent process optimization
  • Advisory boards

Our Synthetic Chemistry showcase demonstrates ways in which our experts can work with you.

See our research themes to find an expert to work with.

Contact Consulting Services at OUI to arrange a consultancy.

Major lectures and lecture series

A major lecture or series of lectures of particular interest to your industry may be sponsored. We also welcome invitations to present the Department’s research in industry sites. For more information or an informal discussion please contact Dr Rachel MacCoss, Senior Research Facilitator for Chemistry.

Periodic Magazine sponsorship

Our annual magazine Periodic is read by around 10,000 alumni, staff, students and visitors. To sponsor or advertise in Periodic contact Susan Davis, Alumni Relations and Communications Officer.

Awards and prizes

The Department offers several prizes for outstanding scholarship, for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, many of which are generously supported by benefactors and sponsors. To discuss sponsorship options contact Dr Rachel MacCoss, Senior Research Facilitator for Chemistry.

The Department hosts a number of Visiting Professorships for industrial scientists. If you are interested in a holding a professorship, please contact execasstchem@chem.ox.ac.uk to find out what options are available.

Current Visiting Professors

Dr Malcolm MacCoss FRSC, Visiting Professor of Chemistry for Medicine
Consultant and founder of Bohicket Pharma Consulting

Dr Vipul Patel, Visiting Professor in Chemistry
Head of Flexible Discovery Unit at GlaxoSmithKline