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Overview

Walker lab. Student in lab.

REU: Cross-Disciplinary Training in Sustainable Chemistry and Chemical Processes

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to offer an exciting summer research opportunity for undergraduate students. The program is directed by Professor Greg M. Swain and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Our program focus is on the ever-important field of sustainable chemistry and chemical processes, also known as Green Chemistry.

The program is open to MSU and non-MSU students.

The dates of the ten-week REU Program are (tentatively): May 20 - July 29, 2022.

The deadline for applications will be February 15, 2022

As a non-MSU participant, you will receive:

  • A stipend of $6,000 (10-week program)
  • Travel assistance up to $700
  • Free on-campus dorm-style lodging and dining plan (value ~$3,500)

Applications will be accepted from December 1, 2021 until February 15, 2022. Review of the applications will start during this period. Applicants will be informed of their status by early March 2022.

Green chemistry involves using environmentally-friendly chemicals and materials whenever possible, designing energy-efficient reactions, using renewable energy sources, and minimizing environmental impacts by reducing the amount of waste by-products generated. By developing greener and more sustainable chemical products and processes through basic research, future chemists will continue to play a key role in minimizing the environmental impact caused by the production of value-added chemicals, energy, medicines, soaps, fertilizers, clothing, and fuels.

Participants in our REU program will engage in faculty-mentored research projects aimed towards developing more sustainable chemical products and processes to benefit society. These include green synthesis, polymer membranes for water purification, water quality monitoring, environmentally-friendly coating systems for corrosion control, solar energy conversion, energy-related materials, advanced imaging and spectroscopy of materials and surfaces, and computational approaches for understanding and predicting material properties and assessing the fate of environmental pollutants. These leading-edge projects cut across the boundaries of the traditional organic, inorganic, biological, analytical and physical chemistry disciplines. Student participants are involved in all aspects of the research process, from project design, to conducting experiments and analyzing data, to reading and discussing relevant scientific papers, and finally to preparing text and graphs for eventual presentation and or publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Philosophically, our program is designed to teach one about conducting scientific research and to help prepare you for postgraduate education or to enter the workforce through development of your problem-solving skills, chemical literature and information skills, laboratory safety skills, communication skills, team skills and ethics.

Our REU program (since 2014, over 50 participants so from across the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico) provides an engaging experience that gives students a competitive advantage when applying to graduate schools or seeking technical careers. Through independent research, students develop critical scientific skills and learn about laboratory techniques and measurement methods.  Professional development activities, such as faculty seminars on green chemistry topics, chemical and laboratory safety training, responsible conduct of research discussion sessions, effective mentoring, and discussions about the importance and value of diversity, fair treatiment of all, and inclusive ideas and environments will position students well for their future careers.  Informal social events will provide networking opportunities to meet other graduate students and faculty with diverse backgrounds and interests, and to discuss future career opportunities.

The Department of Chemistry is a highly diverse community of faculty, staff, and students who come from different regions across the nation and the entire world. Our inclusive environment welcomes and supports individuals of all genders, races, religions, physical abilities and sexual orientations. Our continued and ongoing diversity efforts have positively impacted the academic, professional and personal growth of our faculty and students from under-represented demographic groups.

MSU and the REU program are committed to maintaining a campus environment that is safe for the participants. Policies are in place that support this commitment. As members of the MSU community, participants have a right to be free of, and a responsibility to refrain from, any conduct that may be sexual harassment or sexual assault, or any other form of harassment or discrimination including age, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, as well as other categories. The PI will review with the students what their responsibilities are and what to do in case of an incident.

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