Nirusha Thavarajah

Nirusha Thavarajah
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream


Nirusha Thavarajah completed her Honours Bachelor's Degree in the field of Organic Chemistry, and Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the University of Toronto.  She pursued her post-doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry at the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research (OICR)/Princess Margaret Hospital and her Master’s in intellectual property law (LL.M.) at Osgoode Hall Law School. Her enthusiasm, passion, and dedication to teaching inspired her to pursue her Master of Education (M.Ed.) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology specializing in developing modern pedagogical methods and leadership in higher education.

Research Interests: 

Developing green techniques for organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry.


  • CHMA10H3 - Introductory Chemistry I
  • CHMA11H3- Introductory Chemistry II
  • PSCB90H3 - Physical Sciences Research Experience
  • CHMC41H3 - Organic Reaction Mechanisms
  • CHMD47H3 - Advanced Bio-Organic Chemistry


2020 – Dr. Bala Maheshwaran Junior Faculty Award 2020 for Excellence in Science Education

2016 – University of Toronto Scarborough Course Instructor Teaching Award

2016 – Technological Advances in Science, Medicine and Engineering Chairs Award for Excellence in Education

January 2021 - January 2023

e-Campus Ontario ($55, 600.00) 

Project Title: Customizable Simulations for Chemistry, Environment and Engineering

Project Lead:

Prof. Mark Schmuckler, Vice Provost - Innovation in Undergraduate Education (Acting), University of Toronto

Project Team: Greg Evans (Lead Instructor 1), Nirusha Thavarajah (Lead Instructor 2),  Kimia Moozeh (Post-doctoral researcher), and Qin Liu (Subject matter expert, Project Coordinator)


November 2020 - November 2021 

Teaching Enhancement Grant ($5000.00), Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto Scarborough

Project Title: “Technical Illustrations and Guided Learning Activities for First-Year Chemistry”

Co-investigators:  Kris Kim, Marco Zimmer-De Iuliis



LEAF grant ($42,300.00)University of Toronto, Innovations in Undergraduate Education and Vice-Provost

Project Title: Academic Writing in First-Year Chemistry using Peer-to-Peer Feedback:  Experiencing the Process of Research Article Submission  

Co-investigators: Marco Zimmer-De Iuliis, Kris Kim, Ruby Sullan, and Oleksandr Voznyy



Dean’s Experiential Education Grant ($17, 1910.00), Principal Academic & Dean,  University of Toronto Scarborough

Project Title: Science on-the-go: Learning to bring Science out of the box,

Experiential learning across a variety of disciplines


Aarthi Ashok – Biological Sciences, UTSC

Francisco Estrada – Computer and Mathematical Sciences (Comp. Sci.), UTSC

Zohreh Shahbazi – Computer and Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics), UTSC

Julie Witt – Integrated Learning Coordinator


2020 -2021

Teaching Enhancement Grant ($3000.00), Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto Scarborough

Project Title: Development of Visual Schematics to Support Laboratory Technical Skills in First-Year Chemistry


Kris Kim, Marco Zimmer-De Iuliis



Teaching Enhancement Grant ($3009.00), Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto Scarborough

Project Title: Development of First-Year Chemistry Peer-Peer Learning Online Question Bank