Student Research Opportunities
There are many benefits to doing research as an undergraduate student. It illustrates the application of material learned in class to real problems. It is a chance to do things that professional chemists do (the correct answer is not always known beforehand!). It may provide a topic for the seminar course and something to discuss at job interviews. It allows a student and professor to work closely (the best student:faculty ratio possible, 1:1), which is valuable when the time comes to ask for recommendations for jobs and/or graduate school. It extends the typical college experience of learning information to generating new information.
Research for Credit
- CHEM 246 | Introduction to Chemistry Research
- CHEM 446 | Independent Study
- CHEM 474 | Honors Thesis
Students who have completed Chem 105 or higher may enroll in CHEM 246 – Introduction to Chemistry Research with permission of an instructor. Students with junior status (60 credits) and a 3.0 GPA can take CHEM 446 – Independent Study and do research under the supervision of a faculty member. For both courses, a student receives one credit if they spend 3–4 hours in the lab per week (during interim it would be 3–4 hours per day). CHEM 446 may also be taken for two credits if a student spends 6–8 hours in the lab per week.
CHEM 474 – Honors Thesis is for students in The Honors College.
Research for Pay
- Faculty & Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration Program
- Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
- Research grants awarded to individual professors
- STEP positions
The Faculty & Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration Program is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. A student prepares a research proposal with a faculty advisor (usually due in February); if the proposal is selected, the student is awarded a salary of $3000 which can be used full time for 8 weeks in the summer or for 10 hours a week during the academic year. $550 is provided for supplies and equipment. Applications are available on the website of the .
The Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program supports students who wish to pursue a PhD, and who are from a group currently underrepresented in graduate programs such as African-American, Latino, Native American, first-generation (neither parent graduated from college), and low income students. More information is available from the UW Oshkosh McNair Scholars website.
Some professors in the department have research grants which include money to pay student researchers. This avenue may require a student to be patient and find a back-up job because notification of an award may not be until April or May.
The Department has several STEP (Student Titan Employment Program) positions each year. Most are research positions. They are advertised through Handshake.
Current Research Projects
The following department members have research projects that students can participate in. The department encourages you to talk to individual professors about their projects before deciding what you want to do.
- Schuttlefield Christus
Chemistry Alumni Research Award
The Chemistry Alumni Research Award was made possible as a result of generous gifts by chemistry alumni. Established in 1997, the award recognizes undergraduate chemistry majors for achievement in and potential for productive research. Junior and senior Chemistry majors who have participated in research may apply for the Award to support professional enhancement (professional travel, books, software, memberships, journal subscriptions, etc.).
Research at Other Institutions
The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides summer stipends to do research at other universities. The universities use this program to recruit their future graduate students. You may collaborate with professors, graduate and undergraduate students in chemistry, materials science, biological science, ocean or earth sciences. The list of universities for each summer is not usually finalized until February, but since the grants are for three years, the list does not change much from one year to the next. NSF REU site
You can spend a summer or semester doing full-time research at one of the Department of Energy laboratories: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories (CA and NM). The program is restricted to US citizens.
ORISE lists paid opportunities at a variety of government labs including Department of Energy and Centers for Disease Control.
Many summer positions are also listed at CIRRUS (Chemistry Internet Resource for Research by Undergraduate Students)
WebGURU (GUide to Research for Undergraduates) offers lots of suggestions on how to find and benefit from a research experience.
You may be able to earn credit for CHEM 495: Chemistry Research Internship during your off-campus experience. More information is available on the Internship page.