Undergraduate research opportunities in chemistry

How can I get involved in research?

  • Examine the research interests of our faculty and identify a few faculty members whose research you would like to learn more about. Talk to these faculty members about undergraduate research opportunities in their laboratories.
  • You may also talk to your TAs and course instructors about your interests to help identify research labs.
  • Once you have identified the research lab(s) that you are interested in, contact the faculty member. Get more guidance and learn how to start.

Can I receive course credit for research?

Yes! There are a number of options for receiving credit for research.

  • If your research is in the Department of Chemistry, you may register for CHEM:3994 Undergraduate Research. Semester hours earned from CHEM:3994 will count toward the Science Electives requirement of the Chemistry BS. 
  • If your research is outside the Department of Chemistry, you may register for URES:3992, URES:3993, or URES:3994. More information about the differences between these options can be found here.

Typically, three to four hours of laboratory work per week are expected for each semester hour of research credit. Please register accordingly.

What are the benefits to getting involved in research?

Research is an important component of the curriculum for most BS chemistry majors at Iowa; it provides students an opportunity to work in a faculty member's laboratory and be involved in a scientific project that is likely to be at the forefront of chemical research.

Undergraduate researchers will be involved in a unique project and may work closely with a graduate student or post-doctoral scientist. Students may begin doing research at any point in their academic career, but the best time to start is generally after the first semester of organic chemistry but before the final semester. Students will want sufficient time to develop a mastery of the relevant research and, thus, be able to make significant progress on individual projects.

Programs and summer research fellowships

Summer research fellowships

University resources

Undergraduate research

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