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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

Alumni Support

The Department of Chemistry is continually striving to improve on its excellence in both teaching and research. Recent developments include a major redesign of the first year undergraduate laboratory experience creating an integrated laboratory course focused on problem solving and research-led learning (RELITE) and an investment of £420,000 in a 600 MHz NMR spectrometer enabling state-of-the-art analytical experiments to be conducted. There are many ways in which you could help current and future generations of undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers in the department. Please contact if you would like to help with any of the schemes below.

Careers advice and support

Do you have time to help our current students with their career choices? We would like to recruit a team of volunteers who could provide informal advice to students either by email/phone or by attending one of our employability events. Please contact if you are willing to help.

Undergraduate book bundles

Undergraduates still read for a degree in Chemistry at Durham. A full set of first-year textbooks for one student could be funded by just one Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £10 per month.

Undergraduate Research Internships

Summer internships enable students to gain further experience of chemical research, continuing on from their practical classes. Additionally, enhanced laboratory skills will assist in keeping our graduates at the top of the employability tables for chemistry graduates in the UK (, subscription required)

We have recently established an internship fund, from alumni support and departmental resources, to allow undergraduate students to work alongside Durham Ph.D. students and postdoctoral research staff during the summer vacation. However, demand for internships often exceeds the availability of funding. An internship gives students a taste of research work and experience of working in a chemical environment. Each 6-8 weeks bursary cost approximately £230 per week. This could be funded by just 3 Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £5 per month.

Undergraduate travel bursaries

Many of our undergraduates manage to secure prestigious summer placements at overseas universities. Such placements not only enable students to continue with their research led education, but also to develop their independence and initiative. We would like to ensure that financial means are no barriers to taking up such placements, and seek alumni support to establish a travel fund in order to provide assistance to this group of students. A £400 bursary could provide sufficient funding for travel and subsistence for a European placement, which could be funded by just three Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £10 per month.

Postgraduate travel bursaries

Presenting their own research at international conferences, and being exposed to the world-leading research of others greatly enhances the postgraduate student experience. While project supervisors always try to find funding for their students to attend one international conference, alumni support for postgraduate travel bursaries would greatly enhance our ability to send students to more overseas events. A £1000 bursary could provide sufficient funding for travel and registration fee for an international conference, which could be funded by just three Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £20 per month

Academic excellence prizes

Academic prizes encourage our very able undergraduates to strive to reach their full potential.

Alumni donations help to fund prizes to reward outstanding achievement and recognise excellence in scientific writing for some of our very best students. A £200 prize could be funded by just three Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £5 per month.

Outreach Activities - Enthusing Future Generations

We have a strong outreach programme aimed at encouraging the next generation of chemists. You might like to contribute to our schools visit programme, events such as Durham’s “Celebrate Science” or help support our NESIP activities, which bring local school children to the Department to undertake a week-long research activity. £500, which could be funded by just three Chemistry alumni making a regular gift of £12.50 per month, would enable us to continue our investment in fun and exciting marketing materials that can be distributed at these events and used as prizes for students who engage/answer questions during sessions.

Undergraduate laboratory support

Chemistry is a practical subject. Your gift can help us keep the teaching laboratories and equipment at the forefront of UK universities. A £100 donation to the Department would provide the glassware a first year student needs to start practical work.

Royal Society of Chemistry Group Membership

The Royal Society of Chemistry offers special deals for group memberships. Student membership of the RSC for all first-year undergraduate chemists could be funded by just 3 alumni making a regular gift of £20 per month for 3 years.

Academic support

Chemistry students are encouraged to spend at least 40 hours per week on their academic studies leaving little time for part time work. The university and colleges administer a number of funds aimed at relieving student hardship.


We want to attract the best students from around the world to Durham. Please contact us for ways in which you can help these students with the costs of studying in the U.K.

Funding the Future

Chemistry has high ambitions for the future. We're looking for innovative ways to bring new people to join the Department and hope to be in a new building by 2024. Please do contact us if you'd like to help with these endeavours.