Message from the Director

Director TSUJII, Yoshinobu
(Professor, Laboratory of Chemistry of Polymer Materials)


 The Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) was established in 1926 as the first research institute at Kyoto University, further dating back to 1915 in which the Specialized Center for Chemical Research as its predecessor was launched at the College of Science, Kyoto Imperial University for the study of special medicinal substances including “Salvarsan,” that is, arsphenamine. Our founding vision was to “Excel in the Investigation of Basic Principles of Chemistry and Their Applications.” Since then, the ICR has continuously produced outstanding research achievements and flourished into a large-scale organization with five research divisions: Synthetic Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Multidisciplinary Chemistry, and three research centers: Advanced Research Center for Beam Science, International Research Center for Elements Science (IRCELS), and Bioinformatics Center. Currently, approximately 120 faculty members, 210 graduate students, and 60 researchers are engaged in research activities in 30 different laboratories in total supervised by full-time professors. Furthermore, we have 5 laboratories supervised by visiting professors.

 The research field at the ICR encompasses not only chemistry (including physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry) but also physics, biology, and informatics. The graduate schools to which our laboratories belong as cooperative ones accepting graduate students cover diverse fields of science, engineering, agriculture, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine, and informatics. These laboratories are spearheading cutting-edge research and yielding outstanding results in their own and correlated research areas. The legacy of our founding philosophy continues today and describes the essence of our research activities. With this vision in mind, we have entrusted our scientists to choose and pursue research topics at the forefront of advanced chemistry with bottom-up paradigms. Whether or not the human race maintains sustained growth is a key issue of this century.

 The ICR members are actively involved in interdisciplinary research projects with bottom-up in mind in order to create new knowledge as well as to contribute to the future of our society in materials-related fields. Actually, one of our major issues is the creation and development of bio-inspired smart materials from the viewpoint of not only academic interests but also a policy, aiming to achieve green innovation and fabricate a sustainable society through “zero loss” or effective reduction of the effects/loads on the environment at the production/transportation/usage of materials/energy. For this, the ICR collaborates with the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere and the Institute of Advanced Energy to start the MEXT-supported joint research project as of April 1, 2015. The ICR is also currently collaborating with domestic/overseas universities and research organizations (with 70 official international collaboration agreements) and functioning as a Joint Usage/Research Center proclaiming the Frontier/Interdisciplinary Research Core for Deepening Investigation and Promoting Cooperation in Chemistry-oriented Fields supported by MEXT (2nd stage since 2016). In addition, the ICR, IRCELS in particular, is making a significant contribution to the MEXT Project of Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences (IRCCS; 2016-2021) as one of four core research institutions from Japanese national universities. Further, we also strive to foster and secure young researchers through these activities as well as the graduate education mentioned above. For instance, in 2012 we restarted an in-house annual grant system named “ICR Grant for Promoting Integrated Research.” These activities will help to ensure that the ICR serves as a global research core in the chemistry-oriented fields.

 Finally, we appreciate your continued encouragement and support.

April 2018


Our Vision

The founding philosophy of the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) is to “Excel in the Investigation of Basic Principles of Chemistry and Their Applications.” Our research is grounded on the core values of freedom, independence, and harmony. As a key part of Kyoto University, the ICR is committed to contributing to the harmonious development of the global community by solving fundamental chemical issues.


We regard chemistry as a broad area of the natural sciences and strive for balanced development; the platform of basic research into the true nature of matter serves as a foothold for more applied studies. We strive to be flexible and responsive to the challenges of our global society.


Through research in an integrated environment of world-class laboratories, we aim to train and develop talented people with broad experiences, high level of problem-solving skills, and hence highly organized leadership towards the harmonious development of the global community.

Relationship with Society:

As researchers and educators of chemistry, we endeavor to deepen our exchanges with local communities and the Japanese society. We envision contributing to solving global problems through active scientific exchange with international researchers and institutions. Lastly, we commit ourselves to achieve the accountability to society through internal/external reviews and information disclosure.