Department of Chemistry

Undergraduate Research Programs and Summer Research Opportunities

CHM 499: Procedures and Requirements

Students interested in participating in undergraduate research for course credit are requested to become informed about all of the research projects being conducted in the department. Specific project information may be available on the web, in printed materials, presented in a seminar, or discussed directly with a research mentor.

Students must discuss the available research projects with each departmental research mentor prior to selecting a first, second, and third choice of mentor. This completed form is to be turned-in to the department chairman prior to choosing a research project or registration for CHM 499. Students and research mentors will be notified of the decision by the department concerning the choice of mentor.

The BS degree in chemistry requires 2 credit hours of research. This is the minimum requirement. Each credit hour requires a minimum of 3 hours weekly laboratory work. Project specific requirements will be determined in consultation with the research mentor and documented in the CHM 499 registration form. It is required that research projects totaling 2 credit hours be summarized in a final report and projects totaling 3-4 or more credit hours be summarized in a thesis. Presentation of the project results on campus and/or off campus at research or scientific meetings is encouraged. Your thesis an hour presentation of your results and pertinent background and can be substituted for your paper and presentation in Seminar (CHM 461).

Registration for CHM 499 is usually completed at the beginning of the semester. Sophomore status is required.

Registration for CHM 499 during the winter term for 2 credit hours requires a minimum of 6 laboratory hours per day.

During the semester, CHM 499 registration is usually limited to one semester hour due to limited availability of the student and mentor.

Grants-In-Aid for Student Research

Grants-in-aid for student research are available from the University's Undergraduate Research Program. Awards are normally made in amounts up to a maximum of $500. Awards are available to support student research in any field. Grants may be used to purchase needed equipment/software, consumables, texts and other media – basically anything needed to accomplish the research. (

Professional Travel for Students

Support is available from the University's Undergraduate Research Program to help with expenses up to $500 incurred by students traveling to professional meetings and conferences. Students supported through this fund are expected to be actively involved in the proceedings of the conference they are attending. Active participation includes making oral presentations, submitting posters, or being part of a panel. (

Student Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF)

SURF is an opportunity for the Elon community to learn about the avenues of research and scholarship our students are pursuing each year. Information about the upcoming SURF and guidelines for the Forum are detailed on the web page for the Undergraduate Research Program (

2007 Presentations:

  • Geoffrey M. Lynn (Dr. Mark D. Lim & Dr. Charles S. Craik)."Determination of a Specificity Element for Mt-Sp1 Specific Chemical Probes "
  • Ashley L. Black (Dr. Lisa M. Ponton)."Analysis of North Carolina Wastewater Effluent for the Presence of Estrogenic Compounds"

2006 Presentations:

  • Kyle Troester (Dr. John Reilley)."Effect of 8-Methoxypsoralen-UVA on the Enzyme Catalysis of Histidine to trans-Urocanic Acid by Histidase"
  • Charles Mueller (Dr. Eugene Grimley)."The Synthesis, Purification and 13C, 19F, and 31P NMR Field, Resonance, and Ortho-Effect Substituent Effect Correlations in Mono-Substituted Triphenyl Phosphines and Triphenyl Arsines"
  • Joshua Guske (Dr. Lisa Ponton)."Analysis of Estrogens by SPE and HPLC"

2005 Presentations:

  • Ashley Biscoe: "Determination of Aqueous Heavy Metal Ions in Multicomponent Systems"
  • Mary Caruso: "Characterization of a Novel Palladium Complex"
  • Christopher Seigfred: "Y-Aromaticity: Why the Trimethylene Methane Dication is More Stable than the Butadienyl Dication"
  • Geoffrey Lynn: "Dynamic Light Scattering Applied Toward Elucidating the Mechanism of Pattern Formation in Periodic Precipitation Reactions (Liesegang Reactions)"
  • Kyle Lunsford: "Electrical Resistivity Measurements Applied Towards Elucidating the Mechanism for Periodic Precipiation Reactions"

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program

This program provides stipends and research support for students to work collaboratively with a faculty mentor on a summer research project. SURE operates in conjunction with the Science Fellows Program. (

Rawls Undergraduate Research Scholarships/Grants

Rawls Undergraduate Research Scholarships/Grants are intended to encourage and support students in any discipline who are engaged in faculty mentored, independent research. The goal of research conducted by Rawls Scholars must be to contribute in meaningful ways to the knowledge base in a discipline; thus, Rawls Scholarships/ Grants are intended to support the highest quality undergraduate research. (

National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

NCUR brings together undergraduates from across the country to share their research as oral presentations, poster presentations, performances or exhibits. NCUR occurs in March or April at a host university. Typically, the application deadline for NCUR is in November. NCUR's application review process is competitive. The Undergraduate Research Program provides travel, lodging and registration for students approved by the program and accepted by NCUR. (

Internships and REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates)

Summer internships (not for credit) and REUs can be great ways to expand your experience in your field. Not only does an outside internship or REU boost your resume, but it also allows you to experience what chemistry is like in the “real world”.

NSF-REU programs information:

The University’s Career Center has information on gaining credit for internships:

Recent Internships and REUs:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • NASA
  • Notre Dame
  • University of Tennessee – Knoxville
  • Arkansas State University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • Idaho National Lab
  • Mote Marine Lab

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