Participation in scientific research is one of the best ways for students to learn about the method by which ideas are proposed as hypotheses and tested by experimentation to gain a better understanding of our world. Research experiences are one of the most rewarding educational experiences for students as they prepare for the next step in their career.
In the Department of Chemistry, we are interested in providing students an experience that reaches far beyond formal course work. Undergraduate students work under the direction of a faculty member on a specific project agreed upon by the faculty member and the student. Initially, the students' project will be designed by the faculty supervisor, but as students progress, they are expected to work independently and become self-motivated to make significant contributions to the project. Students will learn standard chemical techniques, develop scientific inquiry, conduct experiments, interpret results, and make conclusions. Ultimately, students are expected to present their results at both local and national conferences (e.g., SOARS, UNF Natural Science Poster Session, Florida Associate & Meeting Expo), as well as publish their work in scientific journals as co-authors. These types of experiences are valuable for students wishing to attend graduate school or that may be looking for positions in chemical industry. Presentations and publications can provide students with an edge when applying to professional programs, such as medical school or pharmacy school.
The research descriptions of faculty research interests will help undergraduates identify possible areas of research. Opportunities are available in the Department of Chemistry with many faculty, but please consider starting the process early. Many faculty require students to complete at least one semester of CHM4911 as a volunteer before registering for credit towards the degree in CHM4910. In some cases, faculty may have a waitlist for joining their research lab or require a rigorous application process to be completed. Reach out to individual faculty for more information.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED IN RESEARCH?
If students are interested in this opportunity, then they should decide which professors they'd like to work with and then ask them if they have any research opportunities in their labs. Students are advised to email the professor with the completed Undergraduate Research Program Application, introduce themselves, and ask to arrange a meeting to discuss any research opportunities that the faculty member may have in their lab.
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
1. RESEARCH AS A VOLUNTEER
Students can enroll in a zero-credit hour research course called Chemical Research Experience, CHM4911. In this course, students gain exposure to laboratory research by participating and conducting chemical experiments under the supervision of chemistry faculty. There is no cost to students for enrolling in this course but provides a record of research experience on their transcript.
2. RESEARCH FOR CREDIT
Students can enroll in research courses for 1 - 4 credits counting toward the major electives called Chemical Research, CHM4910. Courses are available during the whole year, including the summer session. Students are expected to be in the lab for 3-4 hours per credit hour and submit a 2-3 page at the end of the semester to their faculty advisor.
3. RESEARCH FOR PAY
Some Department faculty may have research grants that allow them to pay undergraduate students to carry out research in their laboratories. The specifics on the number of hours and pay vary. Most likely students would already have volunteered in the faculty members lab to participate in research for pay.
4. UNF DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS
Each summer, the Department awards research fellowships for undergraduates to carry out research with a faculty mentor. Each fellowship awarded provides the student $2,000 for 15 hours/week for 12 weeks. Applications are due in mid-Spring and more information can be found here: Research Fellowships Webpage.
5. OTHER RESEARCH FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
- COAS Undergraduate Research Scholar Award (apply in Academic Works)
- UNF Office of Undergraduate Research Grants