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Current Undergraduate Research Opportunities

This page contains a list of professors who currently have room for undergraduate researchers to begin through spring 2017 semester. Here are the instructions for students to find a faculty member to do research with.

  1. It is the responsibility of the student to browse through the available projects. Pay attention to the minimum requirements expected by each professor to ensure that you meets their requirements.
  2. Click here to Apply to meet with each professor you're interested in

    It is recommended that students apply for more than one professor. There is no pressure to join a group simply by meeting with a professor, but you should always come prepared for the meeting. If you do not hear a response after two weeks, please send the professor a reminder email to set up a meeting.

  3. Between your application submission and professor meeting:read at least one of the articles on the "Related Literature" for each project of interest. This will prepare you to discuss the relevent research with the professor during the interview. Refer to the "How to Read a Scientific Publication" article, which will assist you in understanding the technical terms.

  4. Meeting with the faculty researcher: come prepared with the pre-read research article, questions you have for them about their research and the work you may be doing in their lab, what you will be able to contribute to their lab. Be confident!

Deadline to receieve UROP funding for Fall 2017 semester is June 24. In order to apply for this funding, it is encouraged that students are currently working in a lab. Students will need to find other forms of credit (volunteering, class credit, etc). This page is updated between the semesters.


**Please see the Useful Resources column to learn more about How to Read a Scientific Publication, Interview Skills, Resume/CV Building Workshops, and UROP Information. Feel free to make an appointment with the chemistry advisor, Tascha Knowlton, for any helpful tips and information.

Project Description: Our group is interested in developing systems that can convert carbon dioxide to fuels, in effect "recycling" spent fuels. We are studying this using two systems. The first is focused on making soluble metal complexes that serves as catalysts. Students on this project should be excited about organic and inorganic synthesis, as well as characterization techniques (NMR, UV-vis, xray crystallography, electrochemistry). The second is focused on studying the reactivity of a class of porous solids, called metal organic frameworks. Students on this project should be more interested in analytical techniques.

Related Literature (required reading)

  • None

Area of Chemistry: Inorganic, Materials

Role of Student Researcher: Perform research

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 10-20 hrs/week

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.):
Classes: General chemistry and labs, organic chemistry and labs, quantitative analysis (preferred), inorganic chemistry (preferred).
Skills: A basic understanding of how to keep a laboratory notebook and laboratory safety.

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: The need for an analytical method capable of small-molecule detection and quantification for the purpose of diagnostics, detection of illicit substances, and environmental screening is clear. Antibodies, with their chemical specificity and high affinity, are exceptionally suited for bio-specific detection and quantification. However, utilizing antibodies for the direct label-free detection of low molecular weight substances in a noncompetitive immunoassay or sandwich assay format represents a major technical challenge. We are implementing laser-based nonlinear optical methods for the development of a a highly sensitive, label-free immunoassay which will rival current methods.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Analytical

Role of Student Researcher: Sample prep., exposure to immunological methods, laser -based spectroscopies.

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 8 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): CHEM 3000, CHEM 5700

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: Research in the Morse group is directed toward obtaining a better understanding of chemical bonding in small, reactive molecules. Current projects include:

  1. Searching for spectra of diatomic transition metals, such as VW, VTa, TaCr, etc., to determine the ground electronic state and its bond length. These sorts of molecules have multiple bonds, due to the overlap of s orbitals and d orbitals on the two centers. Understanding their bonding is relevant to ligated heterobimetallic organometallic molecules and to developing test molecules for computational chemistry.
  2. Measurement of the optical spectra of boron clusters in the gas phase. These species will be generated by electrical discharge in a supersonic expansion of diborane, and will be probed by resonant two-photon ionization spectroscopy. Previous work (in other groups) has recorded the photoelectron spectra at a low resolution (500 cm-1). We hope to record spectra with a resolution that is a factor of 100 better than this.
  3. Measurement of the bond energies of transition metals to main group atoms. Very often the electronic spectra of small transition metal molecules are extremely congested and uninterpretable, particularly as one moves to higher photon energies. In many cases, the spectra recorded using the resonant two-photon ionization technique come to an abrupt end at a threshold energy, because the excited molecules fall apart faster than a second photon can be absorbed that can ionize them. In favorable cases, this allows us to measure the bond energy in the molecule to incredibly accuracy.

Related Literature (required reading)          

Area of Chemistry: Physical

Role of Student Researcher: The student will work with graduate students on all phases of the project, learning to mix gas cylinders, operate the lasers, and troubleshoot problems in the instrumentation. Students with programming skills will be able to write code to interface lasers to the data collection programs. When spectra are obtained, students will be involved in the calibration and analysis of the spectra.

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2      

Minimum number of hours/week required: 5 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Recommended prerequisites:

CHEM 3060 or experience/aptitude in programming

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description:

1) Measurement of alkali cation affinities of aliphatic amino acids

2) Measurement of hydration enthalpies of metal dications

3) Reactions of transition, lanthanide, and actinide metal cations

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Physical

Role of Student Researcher: Perform research, analyze data, perform calculations, and write up results

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 1-4

Minimum number of hours/week required: 10

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Physical chemistry is a real plus

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Potential Paid Position
  • Work Study
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: A new type of single nanoparticle mass spectrometry is used to study surface chemistry and optical properties of nanoparticles.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Analytical, Physical

Role of Student Researcher: Work on experiment with graduate students

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 8 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Physical Chemistry

  • Volunteer
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: My group has embarked on a multidisciplinary research program centered on the themes of mechanistic bioinorganic chemistry and bioinspired catalysis. The driving scientific interest is in metalloprotein mechanism and translation of information learned about how metalloproteins work into development of useful molecular solutions to problems in health and energy. To solve these problems, we synergistically leverage technical expertise in small molecule synthesis, molecular biology and biochemistry, spectroscopy, and theory, which makes for a rich training environment for students.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Biological, Inorganic, Physical

Role of Student Researcher: protein prep, small molecule synthesis, resonance Raman spectrometer building, calculations

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 20 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): General Chemistry

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: Solution synthesis of metal chalcogenide nanostructures. Students involve in this project are expected to devote a rigorous amount of time on the synthesis of new materials, characterization, and device fabrication. Expectations are extremely high!

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Inorganic, Materials

Role of Student Researcher: Synthesis, characterization, and device fabrication

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 40 hrs/wk (over the summer), 15-20 hrs/wk (during fall and spring)

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Willingness to learn and take control of the project

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Potential Paid Position
  • Work Study
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: Current research in Zharov Group is aimed at design and investigation of novel nanomaterials with applications in alternative energy and sustainability. The work is conducted in three main areas: (1) nanoporous colloidal membranes, (2) hybrid ion-conducting materials and (3) supercapacitors. Within these three areas, several new directions evolved recently or are evolving, including (1) self-assembled porous materials, (2) catalysis with surface-immobilized Au nanoclusters, (3) mixed matrix membranes for pervaporation, (4) carbon-based nanoporous materials for capacitive energy storage, and (5) applications of porous colloidal films in biosensing.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Materials

Role of Student Researcher: work with a graduate student on a project

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2

Minimum number of hours/week required: 10 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): None

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Work Study
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: Research in the Flynn group emphasizes studies of the structure and time-dependent structural fluctuations (dynamics) present in biologically active macromolecules (mostly proteins, but other molecules are examined as well). The main goal of the research is to understand how cellular conditions influence the physical behavior of complex molecules. The research combines modern methods in molecular biology (such as cloning, cell culturing, protein overexpression and purification) with high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies to privide a detailed view of molecules under both in vitro and cellular conditions.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Analytical, Biological, Physical

Role of Student Researcher: Students play a central role - in this group undergraduate researchers fill the roles that are traditionally filled by grad students

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 2 years if possible

Minimum number of hours/week required: 10 hrs/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Most students enter near the end of their second year and have completed (most of) organic chemistry. Other highly motivated chemistry majors will be considered.

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

Project Description: Our projects are focused on designing developing and using organic synthesis to address and gather information about issues of concern to those interested in chemistry, materials, biology, and medicine.

Related Literature (required reading)

Area of Chemistry: Organic

Role of Student Researcher: Synthesis, NMR, working both with a grad student and independently

Minimum number of semesters to be dedicated to project: 1

Minimum number of hours/week required: 10 hr/wk

Minimum requirements (Skills, prerequisite coursework, etc.): Interest in science, especially chemistry

Potential Form of Work Credit:

  • Volunteer
  • Paid Position
  • Work Study
  • Prepare a UROP Proposal
  • Complete an Honors Thesis
  • Earn Class Credit

Research Page

 

Resources

How to Read a Scientific Publication

Refer to this article as you read each publication. It will help you understand and critically assess the content of the literature.

Career Services

Meet with our Career Coach - Eric Bloomquist - to get help with the following:

  • Resume/CV Review
  • Interviewing Help
  • Networking

Get Paid to Do Research with UROP

Once you have found a professor to work with, you can apply to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and get paid $1200 your 1st semester, and $600 the following semester.

Last Updated: 5/23/17