Chemistry is a discipline that deals with substances at the molecular level, and is a core science that is essentially involved in the development of a wide range of academic fields, from the study of materials, material science, and energy to life, medicine, and the environment. The major roles of chemistry are in the understanding (clarifying the structure) of molecules, in their design, in their synthesis, and in the creation of superior molecules. Chemistry has created new substances with functions that do not exist in the natural world, and hand in hand with the world’s other core industries, such as the pharmaceutical and agricultural industry, electrical and electronic industry, and the automobile industry, has led the development of our material civilization. This is why chemistry is considered a central science. However, as the target phenomenon becomes more complex and the required functions become more sophisticated and diversified, we confront various problems that our conventional academic systems cannot handle. Furthermore, the production of environmentally friendly substances, which is commensurate with the sustainability of society, has become indispensable. We are now in an era where to overcome our present difficult situation we must broaden and deepen our exploration and understanding of new academic areas across and beyond the realms of existing disciplines, while at the same time, each deepening and refining our own expertise.
Tohoku University’s chemistry has a world-leading historical legacy, focused on the field of organic chemistry, of elucidating different kinds of phenomena at the molecular level. These results extend into all fields of chemistry including new catalyst development, natural product synthesis, new drug development, and biosensor technology. The goal of the newly started International Joint Graduate Program in Integrated Chemistry, namely GP-Chem, is to step into different fields such as physics, and the life and information sciences from the field of chemistry, an area in which Tohoku University has particular strengths, and standing on the foundation of a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry, carry out interdisciplinary research capable of meeting new challenges (see the figure below). Therefore, in this program we will build an educational system well-balanced between specialized and interdisciplinary fields, and develop talent well able to respond to problems, and who can commit to the innovation that will open up the way to future science.
International Joint Graduate Program in Integrated Chemistry
Start in April 2022
GP-Chem is a four-year program commencing from the second year of the first half of the doctoral course (master’s course), and the students in the program are selected from the following majors in the graduate schools of Tohoku University: Chemistry in the Graduate School of Science; Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biomolecular Engineering in the Graduate School of Engineering; all majors in the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Graduate School of Information Science, Graduate School of Life Sciences, and Graduate School of Environmental Studies. In addition to the usual curriculum, we aim to set up a menu including 6-month international joint research at overseas partner schools and the planning and operation of international summer schools to cultivate international leadership.
In addition to the above seven graduate schools, faculty members from the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Institute for Materials Research, the Advanced Institute for Materials Science, Environmental Conservation Center, and the Center for Data-driven Science and Artificial Intelligence participate in the interdisciplinary education. In this program, together with academic staff of the overseas partner schools acting as research training destinations, we will build an international and tightly-woven supervisory system that brings together faculty members from inside and outside the university, and develop integrated graduate school education that cultivates both an encompassing overview of, and practical skills in, chemistry.
By actively conducting joint research and student exchanges with overseas collaborative education and research institutes, we achieve a practical international education that aims to develop talent which has high expertise and that can play an active role internationally in a wide range of fields from the academic to the practical.
Lectures will be conducted in English, and the quality of education will be guaranteed by introducing QE (Qualifying Examinations). In addition, we will provide various aids such as financial support and overseas travel support so that GP-Chem students can concentrate on their studies.
Many of the problems facing humankind need to be solved at the molecular level. Developing talent that can solve such global problems using he power of chemistry is an urgent task. On the basis of our educational program that covers a wide range from fundamentals to applications and as well as other related fields, and together with top-level overseas collaborative faculty members from various backgrounds, we will form an international education base that provides advanced and comprehensive education in all fields of chemistry. In this way, we strive to nurture and develop researchers and engineers who can lead the world’s most advanced academic research and technological development in chemistry and related interdisciplinary fields, and can play an active, independent role in the international community. We look forward to motivated students’ participation in this program.