Students who engaging in undergraduate research develop an understanding of the related scientific phenomena and the underlying concepts, which serve to bring classroom knowledge into sharper focus. Students also develop an understanding of how scientists discover new knowledge and are better prepared for summer research experiences, internships, graduate school, and the job market. Furthermore, graduate schools are more and more expecting undergraduate research experience.
When scientists seek answers to their questions they study the relevant literature, propose explanations, and gather, analyze and interpret data. Frequent collaboration with your faculty mentor and your peers are a necessary part of the research experience and helps you keep your focus and connect your daily or weekly laboratory work with the project.
Working on a research project requires a personal commitment. Participating in answering a scientific question requires motivation, time, willingness to learn, and an interest in sharing your results with the scientific community.
Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in laboratory development projects, informally join a research group, participate in a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), or register for research course credit (CHM 499). Participation is not limited to chemistry majors or upperclassman. We encourage all interested students to participate at a level appropriate to their experience and interest.