Undergrad Research Opportunities
The chemistry faculty at IU South Bend are actively engaged in chemical research, and welcome undergraduate participation in their research projects. Research opportunities are available for all levels of background and expertise and usually can be tailored to your schedule. Students involved in research can gain experience in all aspects of research, from writing grant proposals, acquiring and analyzing data, and utlising state-of-the-art techniques to presenting posters and/or seminars at local and national professional meetings.
Whether your career plans include working in industry or pursuing post graduate work, an undergraduate research experience will give you a competitive edge and the skills to succeed in the laboratory. All chemistry majors are encouraged to pursue research opportunities as early and as often as feasible.
Ways to get involved in research
For academic credit: Academic credit with an associated grade can be given for research projects. Talk with any of the chemistry faculty to arrange for number of credits and discuss a research project that will be best for your interests and time constraints. Credit can be earned any semester, including summer sessions. Chemistry majors cannot count research credits as a chemistry elective.
For summer stipend from faculty: Several faculty have funds for either full or part-time undergraduate students involved in research projects during the summer. Contact any member of the chemistry faculty to discuss projects and stipends.
For summer salary from SMART program: Alternatively, students can write a proposal for a grant from theSMART program to provide summer salary and research expenses for summer research. Full and half awards are available. Contact a chemistry faculty member who will help you write a proposal for this competive award. Recipients of this award have a nice line on their resume and a competitive edge after graduation.
For research experience during the academic year: Students can be involved in a research project during the academic school year as well as during the summer without registering for a research course. Faculty members can help design an appropriate research project that fits with your schedule and interests.
Research at other institutions: There are several ways to gain invaluable research experience at large universities while still a student at IUSB. NSF (National Science Foundation) funds many REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) for summer research both abroad and domestically. Stipends, housing, and often travel are included in typical REUs. Although there are some exceptions, most REUs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 and some prior research experience. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. Chemistry and Biochemistry majors are encouraged to apply for REUs. Most application deadlines are in early February. Contact Dr. Gretchen Anderson for information on other research opportunities outside IU South Bend.
How to get started
Determine what field of chemistry you would like to do research in, and talk to the appropriate chemistry faculty member. He or she will tell you about the various on-going projects, and together you can decide which activities best suit your interests and background.
Research opportunities are also available in other science departments at IU South Bend. Chemistry majors may choose to pursue an interdisciplinary project in biology, physics, computer science, etc. Talk to the faculty in these departments about their current research projects.
Students from other scientific disciplines are also encouraged to join the chemistry faculty in research. If you would like to earn academic credit, check with your academic advisor to determine your department's policies on counting credits toward graduation.