Undergraduate Research Opportunities
How to Get Started
- Check out the overview of current research in the Department of Chemistry. Identify a few projects that interest you, and then contact the faculty member(s) conducting the research.
- Ask your chemistry course instructor about their research or research in general in the Department of Chemistry.
- Talk with Dr. Onchiri or Prof. Posey about your interests. They can assist you in identifying faculty who are conducting research that aligns with your interests.
Research participation is by arrangement with a faculty member. You can receive course credit for participating in research by enrolling in CEM 420 – Independent Research or CEM 400H – Honors Work. An override is required to enroll in CEM 420 or CEM 400H. You must complete an independent study application before an override will be entered. It is also possible to do research without enrolling in a course.
- Melanie Cooper: email - research webpage
- Research on how students learn chemistry and how we can assess their understanding.
- Melanie Chiu: email - research webpage
- Polymer synthesis-- developing methods for making and characterizing plastics with new or enhanced properties.
- Students who have completed or are taking organic chemistry are preferred.
- Marcos Dantus: email - research webpage
Opportunities for Freshmen or Sophomores only.
- Femtosecond time resolved mass spectrometry—figuring out how molecules fragment.
- Using ultrafast laser spectroscopy for chemical/biological sensing.
- Tailoring ultrashort laser pulses to control chemistry.
- Computer simulations.
- Elad Harel: email
- Programming for real-time data acquisition at extreme speeds (C++, LabView, and/or Python).
- Detecting contaminants in biopharmaceuticals using AI-assisted coherent spectroscopy.
- Super-resolution remote imaging at large distances.
- Automated spectral-temporal-spatial analysis of quantum dots and other nanoparticles.
- Katharine Hunt: email - research webpage
- Adiabatic quantum computing.
- Entropy of qubit states and time-dependence of the entropy.
- Sean Liddick: email
- Total absorption spectroscopy of short-lived neutron-rcih Zn isotopes.
- Multiple interaction detection in a light emitting scintillator.
- Electromagnetic transitions rates in neutron-rich Mo isotopes.
- Experimental light distribution from isomeric nuclear configurations.
- Aaron Odom: email - research webpage
- Novel methods for organometallic synthesis and catalysis. Students who have had or are currently taking organic chemistry preferred.
- Greg Swain: email - research webpage
- Electrochemistry of diamond and diamond-like carbon materials.
- Structure and anti-corrosion properties of inorganic conversion coatings for aerospace aluminum alloys.
- Analytical assays for biological and environmental analytes using flow injection analysis with electrochemical detection.
- Tim Warren: email - research webpage
- Energy science - converting ammonia to electricity.
- Bioinorganic chemistry - understanding how nitric oxide works in biology.
- New organic methodologies that convert C-H bonds to functional groups.
- Angela Wilson: email - research webpage
Commitments of two semesters or more preferred (not for last semester seniors)
- Quantum mechanical studies of transition metal and heavy element chemistry – physical chemistry.
- Environmental chemistry - geochemistry.
- Software development/machine learning (variety of projects including quantum dynamics, quantum mechanics).
- Protein-ligand interactions – drug design, environmental impact of contaminants.
- Complex electronic structure of heavy elements.
Research-related Scholarship Opportunities
- CNS Undergraduate Research Scholarships (MSU College of Natural Science, awarded for Fall, Spring, & Summer semesters).
- Dean’s Research Scholars Program (MSU College of Natural Science, application deadline early March).
- Goldwater Scholarship (National, requires nomination by MSU).
- Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transforming(SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program (US Department of Defense).