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  • Summer research poster exhibit in 2018. Photo by Phil Engen

    Summer research program receives renewed funding

The Department of Chemistry has received continued funding from the National Science Foundation for its summer Research Experience for Undergraduate program (NSF REU).

Principal investigators for the NSF REU are professors Philippe Buhlmann and Steven Kass. The grant pays for 10 students in each of the next three years, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22, to spend 10 weeks conducting research in the department.

Participants are from schools other than the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Underrepresented minority groups and the economically disadvan­taged are targeted to maximize the impact of the program. Students from community colleges, sophomores who may be unsure of their career aspirations, and students from institutions with limited research opportunities are also targeted for recruitment. 

The students gain challenging research experi­ences in a nurturing environment, using top facilities and instru­men­tation. Their research experience is supplemented with extensive hands-on training and professional mentoring. All students give oral presen­tations on their summer research, participate in an end-of-summer research symposium where they can interact with undergraduates from local colleges, and have an opportunity to present their work at a national chemistry meeting during the following academic year. 

Professional development is fostered by a visit to a local industrial or government laboratory as well as by a weekly joint luncheon for all fellows with topics on ethics, effective oral and written communication, and career oppor­tunities. Optional activities for interested students include instrumentation training, library tutorials, and classes at the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute. There is also a variety of social activities with faculty, graduate students, and post-doctorates, where mentoring occurs in an informal setting.