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REU: Cross-Disciplinary Training in Sustainable Chemistry and Chemical Processes

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to offer an exciting summer research opportunity for undergraduate students. The program is run by Professors Greg M. Swain and Robert L. LaDuca, and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Our program focus is on the ever-important field of sustainable chemistry and chemical processes, also known as Green Chemistry.

The dates of the ten-week  REU Program are tentatively: May 18 - July 26, 2018

As a participant, you will receive:

  • A stipend of $4,500
  • Travel assistance up to $700
  • Free on-campus dorm-style lodging and dining plan (value ~$3,100)
  • Research abroad (Poland, France or Singapore) is also a possibility for some projects

Applications will be accepted from November 15, 2017 to February 15, 2018. Review of the applications will start during this period. Applicants will be informed of their status by early March 2018.

Please consult the Application link for details on the application guidelines and required documents.

Green chemistry involves using environmentally-friendly substances whenever possible, designing energy-efficient reactions, and minimizing environmental impact by reducing the amount of waste by-products. By developing greener and more sustainable chemical products and processes through basic research, future chemists will play a key role in minimizing the environmental impact caused by the production of medicines, soaps, fertilizers, clothing, or fuels.

Students in our REU program will engage in  faculty-mentored research projects aimed towards developing more sustainable chemical products and processes to benefit society. These include green synthesis, polymer membranes for water purification, water quality monitoring, eco-friendly coatings, energy-related materials, advanced imaging and spectroscopy of materials and surfaces, and computational approaches for understanding and predicting material properties. These leading-edge projects will cut across the boundaries of the traditional organic, inorganic, biological, analytical and physical chemistry disciplines. Students will be involved in all aspects of the research enterprise, from project design, to conducting experiments and analyzing data, to reading and discussing relevant scientific papers, and finally to preparing text and graphs for eventual publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Philosophically, our program is designed to teach you about conducting scientific research and to help prepare you for postgraduate education or to enter the workforce through development of your problem-solving skills, chemical literature and information skills, laboratory safety skills, communication skills, team skills and ethics.

Our REU program will provide an engaging experience that will give students a competitive advantage when applying to graduate schools or seeking technical careers. Through independent research, students will develop critical scientific skills and learn about techniques.  Professional development activities such as faculty seminars, safety workshops, and responsible conduct of research sessions will position students well for their future careers.  Informal social events will provide networking opportunity to meet other graduate students and faculty with diverse backgrounds and interests and discuss future career opportunities.

The Department of Chemistry is a highly diverse community of faculty, staff and students who come from regions  across the nation and the entire world. Our inclusive environment welcomes individuals of all genders, races, sizes, or sexual orientations. Our continued and ongoing diversity efforts have positively impacted the academic, professional and personal growth of our faculty and students from under-represented demographic groups.