Undergraduate Research Opportunities
WSU students and faculty are involved in a wide variety of research projects spanning all of the subdisciplines in chemistry. First and second year chemistry majors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the types of research projects that are ongoing in the department. One mechanism for doing so is to attend the WSU Research Celebration Symposium, which is held every April.
Two linked courses, Chemistry Research Proposal (Chemistry 460) and Chemistry Research (Chemistry 461) provide an opportunity for a student to write a research proposal and then do the lab work necessary to see it to completion under the direction of a faculty member. (Students may instead elect to take Individual Problems in Chemistry (Chemistry 430) at the faculty member's discretion.) Students must arrange to work with the individual faculty member prior to registering for these courses.
Students are encouraged to present their results at chemistry conferences such as NCUR and ACS national and regional meetings. Funding for student research in the Chemistry Department often comes from WSU Student Research Grants. Similarly travel is supported by the University to a modest extent. Follow the links below for more details and deadlines. Here are direct links to the application forms for these grants:
WSU chemistry faculty have been successful in recent years in obtaining funding to support summer research stipends for students. These opportunities vary from year to year, however, and are usually very limited. Students are encouraged to apply for their own external support for summer research at WSU. The Minnesota Chromatography Forum is an example of an organization that provides a yearly award to support summer research at one's home campus. (We have had two students win this award in recent years so the odds are not bad!) Students may also also take Chemistry 430 during the summer if the faculty person is agreeable.
Some of our chemistry majors, especially those interested in attending graduate school in pursuit of an advanced degree, opt to involve themselves in summer chemistry research positions at major research institutions such as the University of Minnesota. Ordinarily the student applies for such a position during their junior year. Both the CIRRUS web site and the ACS UR site provide detailed information and links about these kinds of research programs.
The Mayo Medical Center also sponsors Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in areas related to the chemical sciences.