Message from the Director

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


 Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) was founded in 1926 as the first research institute of Kyoto University with the founding vision to “Excel in the Investigation of Basic Principles of Chemistry and Their Applications.” ICR is a successor to the Specialized Center for Chemical Research established at the College of Science of Kyoto Imperial University in 1915 for the study of a special medicinal substance called “Salvarsan,” that is arsphenamine. Ever since, ICR has continuously carried out outstanding research and flourished as a large-scale organization with five research divisions and three research centers: Division of Synthetic Chemistry, Division of Materials Chemistry, Division of Biochemistry, Division of Environmental Chemistry, Division of Multidisciplinary Chemistry, Advanced Research Center for Beam Science, International Research Center for Elements Science, and Bioinformatics Center. Currently, almost 120 faculty members, 210 graduate students, and 60 researchers are engaged in research activities in 30 laboratories directed by fulltime professors and 5 laboratories supervised by visiting professors.

 Research at ICR encompasses a wide range of scientific disciplines, including physics, biology, and informatics besides chemistry. Graduate schools to which our laboratories are affiliated as a “cooperative lab” cover a broad range of fields such as science, engineering, agriculture, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine, and informatics. These laboratories are spearheading cutting-edge research and yielding groundbreaking results in their special fields. The legacy of our founding philosophy continues today and describes the essence of our research activities. With the founding vision in mind, we have entrusted our scientists with the responsibility of choosing research topics within advanced chemistry-related fields. Thus, ICR members are actively involved in interdisciplinary research projects with bottom-up paradigms in order to create new knowledge and contribute to the future of materials-related fields. One of our major challenges is to design and create smart materials from the viewpoint of not only academic interest but also green innovation and establishment of a sustainable society through “zero loss” in the production/ transportation/usage of materials/energy. Toward the future, we have been collaborating with the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere and the Institute of Advanced Energy since 2015 as part of the MEXT-supported joint research program. For the MEXT project of Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences (2016–2021), ICR (most importantly, International Research Center for Elements Science) has been making a significant contribution as one of the four core research institutions from Japanese national universities. ICR has also been collaborating with both domestic and overseas universities and research institutions (with 70 official international collaboration agreements) and functioning as a Joint Usage/Research Center supported by MEXT since 2010. On the basis of highly evaluated global activity in chemistry-oriented fields as well as interdisciplinary fields, ICR was newly certified as an International Joint Usage/Research Center by MEXT in 2018. In order to foster and secure young researchers through these activities, we also have original programs of unparalleled research and graduate education, including an in-house annual grant system named “ICR Grant for Promoting Integrated Research.” These collaborative achievements ensure that ICR serves as a global research core in chemistry-oriented fields.

 Finally, we appreciate your continued encouragement and support.

April 2019


Our Mission

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.

Outreach :

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.