Get Your Hands Dirty (but wear your PPE)!
Getting involved in scientific research is an invaluable way to apply the knowledge you gain in the classroom to solve real-world problems. It's a great way to figure out where your passion in chemistry lies: do you love synthesizing new molecules in a chemical hood or using instrumentation to analyze data? There are so many different ways to have a career in chemistry and research will help you find the best fit for YOU. Our students can engage with faculty and senior students in the research lab starting in their first year!
Academic Year Research
Even with a busy class schedule, you can engage in research by taking CHEM 485 (Research) with a faculty member. Students will often start by taking 1 credit (3-4 hrs/week) and then as they get more independent, will take on more credit in their junior and senior years.
Research at Saint Mary’s doesn’t end at Finals Week! Many students choose to do research on campus over the summer with faculty and there are several options for funding for both students and faculty. During the summers, there is typically 3-4 lab groups conducting STEM research here on campus and internationally. Many of our students also conduct research at other institutions across the country. Check out the SCORE website to see what kind of research opportunities are available off campus!
Strengthen Your Communication Skills
Students who conduct research get the opportunity to present their work to different audiences throughout their four years at Saint Mary's. They present posters at STEM Fall Poster Day and the Saint Mary's Symposium, give oral presentations in our Senior Comprehensives, and present at local, regional, national, and international conferences!
Other Summer Research Opportunities
The National Science Foundation supports Research Opportunities for Undergraduates (REU) programs at many major research universities. These programs provide opportunities for students from undergraduate colleges to participate in summer research experiences on a university campus, supported by stipends paid by the NSF. You can find a complete updated list of these at the Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program Home Page.
The American Chemical Society has a listing of research Internship Opportunities on their Experiential Programs in Chemistry webpage or their Undergraduate Chemistry Research Opportunities webpage.
Another site to check out is the CIRRUS web page of summer research positions.