Chemistry Research

The School of Chemistry is actively involved in a large variety of chemical research including synthesis, natural product synthesis, structure determination, theoretical and computational chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic and organic chemistry, natural products chemistry and marine biodiscovery, medicinal chemistry and materials chemistry.  Output in terms of peer reviewed publications has grown significantly in recent years and the school has graduated approximately 350 PhD students since 1970.  More than 60% of these graduates are employed in Irish Industry with the remainder working in the public sector or in education.  A number have successful careers outside Ireland. 

The School of Chemistry in NUI Galway prides itself with its active research and publication record (link to publications.html). Publications over the last number of years are evident in a wide range of analytical, organic, inorganic, physical, and nature chemistry journals. Currently research activity within the School of Chemistry involves over 60 postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in a large number of research areas.

Research areas

Research in the School of Chemistry is organized into three complementary groupings or clusters which cut across the traditional boundaries of organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.  This research aligns with themes identified in Innovation 2020 (Ireland’s strategy for research and development, science and technology), particularly in the areas of health & medical; energy; manufacturing & materials.  It is also aligned with the national priority research areas of therapeutics – synthesis, formulation, processing and drug delivery; diagnostics and medical devices.

Medicinal and Bioactive Chemistry (MBC)

Myers, Erxleben, Brunell, Murphy, O’Leary, Ronconi, Thomas, O'Duill

This cluster encompasses synthetic and natural products chemistry, with a focus on the discovery and characterisation of novel bioactive compounds/materials. Key areas include carbohydrates, marine natural products, peptides, heterocycles, bioactive metal complexes, polymers and solid-state pharmaceuticals.  Members actively engage with CÚRAM, Marine Institute, Ryan Institute, and the Synthesis & Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre. 

Bioanalytical and Biophysical Chemistry (BBC)

Cheung, Crowley, Rochev, Ryder

Using a variety of chemical, bio-analytical, and computational techniques this cluster investigates the structure and function of biomolecules and biomaterials, with applications in the bio-pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors.  There is emphasis on understanding biomolecules in complex environments, such as the crowded cell interior, and at surfaces/interfaces.  The members actively contribute to centres, including CCB, CÚRAM, NIBRT, and SSPC. There are multiple large-scale Biopharma industry engagements.

Materials for Energy and Environment (MEE)

Curran, Farras, Leech, Papatriantafyllopoulou

Here the aim is to develop novel materials and devices for energy and environmental applications. The research includes improved understanding of (bio)fuel combustion, development of nanomaterials for green energy, and novel devices for environmental analysis and biosensing. Members of this cluster are part of research centres including MAREI and the Ryan Institute. 


Research clusters in the School of Chemistry. Links to National institutes (Marine Institute, NIBRT), NUI Galway institutes (NCBES, Ryan Institute) and SFI-funded centres (SSPC, CÚRAM, MAREI), are indicated.  Cluster membership is given in the text with leaders underlined.



Entry requirements

To be eligible to enter on a programme of study and research for the degree of PhD you must have reached at minimum a high honours standard at the examination for the primary degree or presented such evidence as will satisfy the Head of School and the College of your fitness. 

Programmes available

Structured PhD in Chemistry, full-time.  This normally involves working under supervision of one of the academic staff of the School.  A list of academic staff can be found  in the link below.

Chemistry Researcher profiles with additional details

Current Post Doctoral Researchers

Mirallai, Styliana
Engilberge, Sylvain
Somers, Kieran
Burke, Ultan
Mohammadreza Baigmohammadi
Tabrizi, Leila
MacFhionnghaile, Pol
Adamson, Kellie
Henry, Sarah
Elcoraistizabal, Saoia 
Kyne, Michelle
Liu, Ya-Juan 
Melnikau, Dzmitry 
Calabro, Kevin 
Kumar, Sateesh 
Jogula, Srinivas
Kishor Kumar Keekan
Sarkar, Vikramjit
Morrow, Christine 
Young, Ryan (Ryan Institute)



Find out more

Dr. Patrick O'Leary
T +353 91 492 465