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college of arts and sciences chemistry students in research

UVM Undergraduate Chemistry Means Research

Chemistry students perform research directly with our professors

Department of Chemistry

Chem Undergrad Research

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Chemistry

Laboratory research in chemistry at UVM:

  • CHEM 291 - Undergrad Research. Special study in chemistry and related disciplines with an assigned faculty member. Findings are submitted in written form. Credit as arranged with maximum of 4 hours per semester and 12 hours for the undergraduate program.
  • Undergraduates may work with any faculty member on a research project of mutual interest to the student and faculty. Research can be performed for academic credit (CHEM 291) during the academic year.
    • Students with a major in chemistry enrolled either in the UVM Honor's College or in the the College of Arts & Sciences Honor's Program will generally use research hours gained in their junior year through CHEM 291 for initiating their research that will lead to their completion of their honor's thesis in their senior year.
  • Undergraduate research can produce results that will be published in the scientific literature. See undergraduate publications for a recent list of publications involving undergraduate research.

Funded research opportunities in Chemistry at UVM:

Research funding and stipends are also available to undergraduates to perform research during the academic year and particularly during the summer through several mechanisms:

The Martin E. Kuehne Organic Chemistry Summer Fellowship for a UVM chemistry major wishing to pursue research in organic chemistry during the summer with a Chemistry faculty member. The Martin Kuehne Fellowship was established by a gift from Louise Foley, Ph.D., who graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from UVM in 1965. Prof. Kuehne (now emeritus) was an important force in Dr. Foley's life as an undergraduate at UVM. Dr. Foley comments: "At a time when women were given few opportunities, Prof. Kuehne selected me to do summer research in his group and thus made it possible for me to discover my love of doing research in organic chemistry."

  • Awardees:
    • 2013: Rebecca B. Watson
    • 2012: Evan M. Sherbrook
    • 2011: Meredith J. Zeller
    • 2010: Meredith J. Zeller
    • 2009: Chelsea Duhaime

The A. Paul Krapcho Chemistry Summer Fellowship for a UVM undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry major wishing to pursue research in chemistry during the summer with a Chemistry faculty member. This award has been generously funded by Paul A. Anderson, Ph.D., who graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from UVM in 1959. Prof. Krapcho (now emeritus) has been an inspiration to numerous undergraduate chemistry majors, igniting love for chemistry.

  • Awardees:
    • 2014: Christopher M. Kenseth & John P. O'Keefe
    • 2013: Eva A. Rouanet
    • 2012: Andrew E. Spaulding
    • 2011: Andrew K. Geissler
    • 2010: Douglas B. Fox
  • Through the Honors College Office of Undergraduate Research:
    • Summer Research Awards provide prestigious, competitive awards to outstanding undergraduates who wish to pursue a specific research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Summer programs offer a $3,500 stipend and up to $1,500 for expenses & supplies.
      • Deadline is early March
    • The mini-grant program offers students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty scientist on individually designed research projects. Mini-grants provide up to $500 for a semester during the academic year and $1000 for the summer for research expenses & supplies.
  • The College of Arts &Sciences Academic Programs for Learning and Engagement (APLE) offers a $3000 summer fellowship for two outstanding undergraduates to pursue a research with a faculty member.
    • Deadline is early February
  • Funding for summer stipends for students performing research with professors who have research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other agencies.
  • Competitive national summer fellowships made to students to perform research at UVM. Examples:

Special courses for independent study in chemistry:

  • CHEM 039 - Introduction to Research Overview of methods, areas, and instrumentation of modern chemical research, including hands-on laboratory experiences and written and oral presentations of a research project. Prerequisite: score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry examination or permission of department. Two hours each. Credits: 2.
  • CHEM 040 - Introduction to Research Overview of methods, areas, and instrumentation of modern chemical research, including hands-on laboratory experiences and written and oral presentations of a research project. Prerequisite: score of 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry examination or permission of department. Two hours each. Credits: 2.
  • These courses are taken one-on-one by the student with faculty. A faculty mentor is assigned who will arrange for the student to rotate through the research laboratories of several faculty members. The length of stay in a faculty lab is optional depending upon the interests of the student.
    • CHEM 095 - Intro Special Topics. Credits: 1-4
    • CHEM 096 - Intro Special Topics. Credits: 1-4
    • CHEM 195 - Intermediate Special Topics. Credits: 1-6
    • CHEM 196 - Intermediate Special Topics. Credits: 1-6
    • CHEM 198 - Readings & Research. Credits: 1-3
    • CHEM 282 - Senior Seminar. Oral and written presentation of a subject of current chemical interest. Credits: 1

Research at other institutions and with companies:

The Department of Chemistry receives notices of opportunities from other schools and companies for summer employment and fellowships for students to work in chemistry and chemistry-related areas during the summer months.

  • Examples:
    • The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. An REU site may be at either a US or foreign location.

Interaction with other chemistry students:

Chemcats is a student-run group sponsored by the Department of Chemistry for students in chemistry to meet as a group.  The group plans chemistry related activities and field trips.

Interaction with chemistry faculty and graduate students:

Upper-level majors usually attend the weekly chemistry seminar series where outside speakers come to talk about their research. The topics cover a broad range of chemistry and biological aspects of chemistry.  Students have the opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers.

The Department of Chemistry maintains a family atmosphere.  There are a variety of social events where Department members get together informally as a group that include the upper undergraduate majors.

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