Research Opportunities | Department of Chemistry

Research Opportunities

As an undergraduate, you have the opportunity to become involved in exciting, leading-edge research in a wide number of areas of chemistry. Faculty members in the department welcome undergraduate involvement in research projects, and generally can find appropriate projects at suitable levels (i.e. for students who have reached physical chemistry, those who are taking organic chemistry, for those in general chemistry).

What are some of the benefits of undergraduate research?

  • gain experience in the field
  • explore your options in science careers
  • strengthen your resume for future graduate school, medical school and scholarship applications
  • gain additional "hands on" experience and training using modern chemical instrumentation
  • get a jump-start on types of research opportunities available in graduate school
  • improve research skills - essential to graduate and medical school and many jobs
  • have an opportunity to apply your coursework knowledge (and strengthen your level of knowledge)
  • learn much that could never be learned through formal classroom coursework
  • potential opportunities to attend (and present research results at) local, regional, and national meetings which provide opportunities to network and gain a greater understanding of opportunities in the sciences
  • earn course credit - CHEM 2900, CHEM 2910, CHEM 4900, and CHEM 4910 - towards your undergraduate BS and BA in Chemistry degrees - CHEM 4900 and CHEM 4910 earn advanced hour credit
  • gain experience for possible paid internships
  • possible publication(s) in major scientific journals - many undergraduate students have co-authored research publications resulting from their undergraduate research

How do I join a research group?

  • Explore the list of faculty to learn about research in the department.
  • Discover the requirements to conduct research in each lab.
  • Arrange a meeting with a faculty member in whose work you may have interest. (You may want to schedule multiple meetings with different faculty members. It is okay to have more than one such meeting - just tell the faculty member that you are interested in doing research, and that you are looking into several different groups.)
  • During the meeting, you will want to learn about the research that is being done, what types of projects they have for undergraduates, expectations that the faculty member may have of his/her undergraduate students (i.e. hours, semesters), etc.
  • Talk with a couple of that advisor's students. Do they like their work? What is the group "atmosphere" like? Ask any other questions/raise other concerns that you may have.
  • Select a research advisor. Enrollment in undergraduate research requires special permission, which you get from the Student Services Office once the faculty member has approved you to work in their research laboratory.

For those doing CHEM 4900 or CHEM 4910 Research

One of the requirements for receiving credit for CHEM 4900 or CHEM 4910 research is that students must submit a written research report. Guidelines for the Written Research Report.