UoA 8 Chemistry

The strength of our research expertise is reflected by our GPA score of 3.29 and UK ranking of 9th. This rise of nine places reflects our strategy to support fundamental science. 95% of our research outputs were deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. 50% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 32.0% 65.0% 3.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Outputs 22.3% 72.8% 4.9% 0.0% 0.0%
Impact 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

We are committed to generating and disseminating world-class knowledge across all branches of Chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines.

Our international research expertise, state of the art facilities and strategic partnerships enable us to be at the forefront of scientific discovery.

The key themes in this unit help foster research collaboration on an international scale, from expertise across our research groups to partnerships with global industry leaders.

During the REF period, we have secured research awards totalling £29.8M from 152 grants, representing an increase of 290% compared to the average annual income for the RAE2008 period.

We have a highly successful track record of working with businesses, ranging from local and national SMEs to some of the world's largest multinationals. Our active research links span over 40 companies and 120 universities and research institutes around the world.

With over £20 million investment in in recent years, together with extensive support from research councils and industry, our facilities provide an environment for research excellence. Amongst our specialist research facilities is the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI). Integrating researches from across the discipline, the CCI is focused on both the fundamental understanding and the strategic application of catalysis. 

Case studies

Why gold is the key to a glittering future

Our newly identified catalyst has the potential to save lives, improve health and clean up the environment.

Research themes

The following key themes, which are aligned with research council priorities, help our research activity deliver global impact:

Biological chemistryThis theme aims to probe and engineer the reactions and interactions of
biological molecules, focusing on proteins and nucleic acids. This research impacts across diverse areas from enhanced health and well-being for efficient, sustainable manufacture of chemicals.
CatalysisResearch covers a wide range of complementary disciplines, including surface science, electrochemistry, organometallic, organic and biological chemistry. Activities in heterogeneous catalysis are strongly driven by industrial applications in environmental control and chemical synthesis.
EnergyThis theme is developing materials for use in energy applications including membranes for natural gas purification and carbon capture, the design and synthesis of materials for hydrogenstorage, fuel cells and catalysts for the enhanced production of biofuels.
ImagingThis theme targets imaging probes for cellular microscopy developed from functionalized luminescent transition metal complexes, underpinned by photophysical characterization.
MaterialsResearch is focused on understanding structure and dynamics of crystalline materials and soft matter, gaining fundamental insights on crystallization processes, developing applications of materials and advancing new aspects of experimental techniques for studying materials.
Physical organic chemistryResearch is focused on developing a quantitative understanding of structures, mechanisms and interactions in organic chemistry, with applications in a range of areas such as catalysis, chemical biology, energy and healthcare.
Synthetic chemistryThis theme is developing novel methods and elucidating mechanisms to
target the synthesis of natural products or bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical or agrochemical significance.

Centres and groups

Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)Focused both on the fundamental understanding and the strategic application of catalysis, the CCI has contributed to making many processes (both in the academic research lab and in industrial large-scale reactors) faster, cleaner,
economically more viable and more sustainable.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1University of Cambridge3.54
2University of Liverpool3.50
3University of Oxford3.43
4University of Bristol3.35
5University of Durham3.31
6Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine3.30
6University College London3.30
6University of Warwick3.30
9Cardiff University3.29
10University of East Anglia3.27

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