Working in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Oxford Chemistry is a dynamic department, undertaking teaching and research at the cutting edge of science. It has a diverse mix of approximately 1800 students, staff and visitors from around the globe, and research collaborations stretch from within Oxford to the Antipodes.

Chemistry Vision

“Our vision is to be a world leading department of Chemistry in scholarship, research, teaching and learning as reflected in external recognition, rankings and measures. We aim to be an outward-looking Department engaging with other disciplines, with industry and with a range of other external stakeholders from alumni to government. We also aim to be a thriving academic community in which all staff and students enjoy a stimulating, respectful and congenial working environment that is sympathetic to their individual needs and enables them to make the most of their talents and abilities”

Communication is important in a large department, and a weekly newsletter from the Head of Department’s office provides information and updates on events, news and activity. The Head of Department holds a regular forum for all employees to provide a comprehensive update of activity within the Department and to take questions.

Our Twitter account is lively and full of useful information and discussion. It is the most followed English-speaking Chemistry department account across the world and can be found at

We hold an annual Departmental Survey of undergraduate and postgraduate students, and employees, to identify where the Department is doing well and where we can improve. This information has helped us focus on what is important to the members of the Department and to continually improve the environment, culture and approach within Chemistry, making it one of the best places to work or study.

Working for Oxford Chemistry offers a range of University and Department specific benefits and opportunities.


Working at the University offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities which can be found on the University Benefits pages.

Locally, the Department of Chemistry offers a lively environment in which to work, collaborate, debate and socialise. The annual cycle of social events includes the Chemistry cricket team, the Chemistry Choir (the Keytones, who perform regularly), Christmas parties, summer events, etc. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced price catering;
  • Refreshment facilities in all buildings;
  • Extensive online and face to face training;
  • Regular Chemistry Forum, an opportunity for the Head of Department to update the Department on activity and for employees to ask questions;
  • Weekly Chemistry Newsletter outlining updates and information for all employees and graduate students;
  • Annual surveys allowing employees and students to feedback their views to the Department;
  • A small number of sponsored childcare space for new employees ;
  • Monthly and annual Reward and Recognition schemes.

Research employees have, in addition:

  • The Postdoc Forum and Group, offering online and face to face support and advice for colleagues, organising social events and representing the postdocs in the Department.
  • Opportunities to present their work within the Department and where possible, at external events.
  • Mentoring schemes for early career researchers
  • Online and face to face research specific training
  • The annual Chemistry Careers Conference for early career researchers and post graduate students, offering career ideas and guidance.
  • Support for Fellowship and funding applications
Flexibility and Family Friendly policies

The University has a range of support for students and employees with caring responsibilities, including flexible working. For those with Childcare responsibilities, there is a range of support available through In addition, the Department has a small number of sponsored childcare spaces for new employees to decrease any delay on being offered a childcare place.

The University subscribes to My Family Care, a benefit for all employees, offering access to emergency back-up childcare and adultcare, a 'speak to an expert' phone line and a wide range of guides and webinars through Work + Family space.

The Department, where possible, supports flexibility and flexible working for all employees and encourages applications.

Training and Development

Each employee has a personal development review usually held annually unless otherwise agreed, which looks at performance and development of careers.  Alongside internal mentoring on research, a career mentoring programme is offered by the Division for all research employees, normally with a person outside of the Department.

The Department holds an annual Careers Conference for DPhil students and postdocs, outlining a variety of academic and non-academic careers, and offering seminars on various recruitment related topics, such as interview techniques and applications. Other developmental events are held throughout the year.

There is also the opportunity to be involved in various Departmental committees, including the Chemistry Consultative Committee, Green Impact Team and Equality and Diversity Group.

The Oxford Learning Institute offers a range of online and face to face courses for all employees, ranging from academic and research specific to general personal development. For more information, please go to