Currently the Department has 19 academic staff and 14 technical or attendant staff, of whom 3 are employed full-time in the workshops which provide electronic, glassblowing and mechanical services. The Departments research effort will be further strengthened this year when a Science Foundation of Ireland Fellow will bring his research group to the Department. The undergraduate honours course in Chemistry provides students with a broad base in the subject, with approximately equal time being given to each of Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry. A four year course in Computational Chemistry produced its first graduates in 2001. The course and its sister course Computational Physics combine a strong education in the physical sciences with training in computational methods. A third degree programme in Medicinal Chemistry commenced in 1999 and is especially tuned to fostering and training the creative talent and skills required for the Pharmaceutical industry, which is a major employer in Ireland. The Department, which is the largest in the Science Faculty, also provides courses in Chemistry to other Science students and to students of Pharmacy, Engineering, Medicine and other Health Sciences. Since 1987 the Department has taught, with the Physics Department the Moderatorship for Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials - an honours course specialising in the study of materials for electronic, optoelectronic and related applications.
The Department has a strong research community consisting of the academic staff, Fellows Emeriti and over 70 postgraduate students and a dozen postdoctoral fellows. Postgraduate students initially register for an M.Sc. and may subsequently transfer to the Ph.D. register after satisfying the examiners on the basis of a report and viva voce examination. The Department is at present undergoing a transition. New laboratories for all its undergraduate teaching have been built during the past five years. The former Main Building now houses the Departmental Office, two lecture theatres, three research laboratories, some instrument rooms and some staff accommodation. The recently opened Sami Nasr Institute for Advanced Materials houses five of the staff, the major physical chemistry teaching laboratories and six purpose-built research laboratories with instrument rooms. It is the centre for the Department's very substantial research effort in Advanced Materials and Nanomaterials. The Department is also scheduled to receive space in the new Institute for Information Technology and Advanced Computation, the construction of which is about to begin. The Departmental Library, which is also in the Main Building, takes some 120 Periodicals, many with very long runs. All Irish and British publications are received by the Main College Library under copyright Law.
Research income is earned from national, international and commercial sources. This year each of the three main strengths of the Department has been successful in the Higher Education Authority's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). Staff members will benefit from awards in Nanomaterials Research, in High Performance Computing and in the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (jointly with University College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland).