Researcher looking through a microscope

Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences

The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences of the University of Ottawa is one of the best in Canada. Our department has many research chairs and nationally and internationally recognized researchers. This includes previous winners of the prestigious Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, professors Tito Scaiano and Howard Alper.

Our department also ranks among the best in Canada in terms of faculty research grants. That means alot of opportunities to conduct leading-edge research in different disciplines at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.

For students seeking superior undergraduate training in analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, and medicinal chemistry, as well as exciting research opportunities in biomolecular sciences, our department represents an excellent choice.

A word from the Chair

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences is consistently ranked within the top 5 departments of its discipline in Canada and is one of the top 200 departments worldwide by national and international ranking bodies (QS World University Rankings for Chemistry as an example).

We are comprised of a diverse range of passionate educators and researchers including over 40 full-time professors and more than 100 active graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. These strengths are reflected in outstanding teaching ratings, plus national and international awards for innovative approaches to chemical education. Research performed by our faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows is recognized by an abundance of national and international awards, medals and other distinctions. We have two former winners of the Hertzberg Medal as well as winners of Royal Society of Canada Rutherford Memorial Medals in Chemistry as examples. I am proud to say that our department has been resilient through extraordinary challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued to develop and deliver outstanding educational and research programs by innovation, collaboration and a commitment to excellence. Our department is one of the crown jewels of the University of Ottawa - a special place that is steeped in excellence.

The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences is located in four different buildings across the downtown campus, and houses leading-edge technology and expertise in our core facilities. Our department is also home to exciting research centres that concentrate expertise, infrastructure and innovators to push the boundaries of our understanding and develop new technologies and solutions to complex problems. These centres include the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI), the Centre for Advanced Materials Research (CAMaR) and the Centre for Chemical and Synthetic Biology (CCSB). These facilities enable the training of highly qualified personnel who have the opportunity to develop the skills, expertise and passion to become tomorrow’s leaders in industry, academia and government research.

Our department is proud to offer first-class undergraduate programs in pure Chemistry (with options in Ecochemistry and Materials Science), and tremendously popular programs in Biochemistry (with several biomedically relevant options) and Biopharmaceutical Science. These undergraduate programs are mirrored by leading edge research in these same fields being conducted within our department at the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduate students can compete for Undergraduate Research Scholarships at the start of their degrees and continue to compete for Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) - Scholarships as well as prestigious scholarships offered through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). These awards are coupled with unique and innovative opportunities for hands-on undergraduate research experience.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to our department! If you are looking for an exciting and innovative environment in which to pursue your studies you will find great opportunities with us. Come join us and be part of what makes us special at the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

John Pezacki
Chair - Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
STEM Complex, room 342
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 6N5

Telephone: (613) 562-5769
Fax: (613) 562-5170
[email protected]


Number of programs in Chemistry


Number of students in Chemistry

Top 5

In Canada

Programs of study

Chemistry opens the door to many careers: The study of chemistry ranges from abstract concepts to experimental problems, from quantitative measurements to qualitative effects, from the reactions of atoms to the properties of large polymers. Applications of basic chemistry have given us improved drugs, plastics, fertilizers, textiles, paints and fuels. Knowledge of chemistry is essential in monitoring, understanding and improving the quality of the environment, and in the development of new sources of energy.

Chemistry comprises many specialized fields and interacts with all other areas of science.

It is a central science of vital importance to mankind. Theoretical chemistry is closely linked with mathematics and physics. Inorganic chemistry has close ties with heterogeneous catalysis, material science and geology. Organic chemistry extends into the fields of biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and biology.

Why study Chemistry?

Jessica Holmes
Student Voices

“The Chemistry program at uOttawa is genuinely a small family within the faculty.”

Jessica Holmes

— Chemistry recent graduate

Careers for recent graduates in Chemistry

Students with a degree in chemistry play a major role in a variety of leading-edge research projects in a multidisciplinary environment. They work in areas such as biotechnology, energy management, and nanotechnology.

You can also visit the SASS Career Center for more information:What can I do with my studies in Chemistry?

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Find a professor

Professor Directory

The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Ottawa has one of the strongest research profiles in the country.  Junior and senior research faculty alike have won some of the most prestigious national and international awards available.  Several of our professors hold Canada Research Chairs and University Research Chairs.  The quality of our research continues to be recognized through major awards and substantial funding through agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.  Research in the department covers the traditional chemistry disciplines, including organic, inorganic, physical/theoretical, and analytical chemistry.  Beyond these traditional boundaries, the department excels in a number of interdisciplinary areas, often supported by specialized undergraduate programs.

Research in catalysis has long been one of our strengths, and many of our research faculty are founding members of the interdisciplinary Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation.  Strong research programs in homogeneous catalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, fuel cells, and hydrogen storage materials mean that our department is well-recognized as a leader in research in catalysis.

Another common thread running through the research programs of a core group of our faculty comprises developments and applications in the field of biopharmaceutical chemistry.  The synergy between active research programs in natural product synthesis and biosynthesis, medicinal chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, and chemical biology, notably amongst several recently appointed faculty, has served to bolster the department’s efforts, impact, and reputation in the area of biopharmaceutical chemistry.

Faculty members and their research groups pursue diverse research programs which are not all described in this short “at-a-glance” vignette.  You are invited to continue to discover the high-impact research happening at the University of Ottawa by exploring the individual webpages of our research faculty.  You will find that our faculty members have vigorous research programs in exciting areas including synthetic organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, photochemistry, surface science, materials science, molecular magnetism, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, computational chemistry, and much more.


Contact us

Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences

D’Iorio Hall, room 103
10 Marie Curie Pvt
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5728
[email protected]

Hours of operation

Monday to Friday

September to May:
8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1:00 to 4:30 p.m.

June to August:
8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1:00 to 3:30 p.m.