Chemistry REU at Western Virginia University

Opportunity Description:

This REU Site provides participants (10 participants per year) with ten-weeks of summer research experiences that are intellectually stimulating, have societal relevance, and improve participants’ research self-efficacy by rapidly moving participants from dependence to a relatively independent status.  REU participants carry out full-time research on a chemistry/biochemistry focused research project.

Research will be supplemented by training in:

  • general topics of basic laboratory safety and chemical management, animal compliance in research, and scientific ethics;
  • library skills specific to the chemistry discipline (e.g., use of ChemDraw, SciFinder Scholar, Web of Science);
  • basic instrumentation for chemical structure determination (e.g., crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, surface imaging techniques);
  • research project presentations by faculty advisers;
  • oral communication and poster presentation skills; and
  • career building (resumes, interviewing, elevator speech).

Other components include:

  • career mentoring by speakers from academia, industry, and governmental laboratory facilities;
  • peer mentoring by current graduate students;
  • scientific tour (e.g., National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or IBM's Allegany Ballistics Laboratory);
  • workshops on for example graduate school, career building, STEM outreach and scientific communication, prestigious scholarships; 
  • hands-on science outreach to K-6 children at local summer program (2019 outreach); and
  • culminating judged, research presentation at the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium with more than 100 student presenters. 

Participant benefits include: stipend of $5,000 ($500/week for 10-weeks), lodging, meal expenses, travel reimbursement to/from REU Site (limited to ~$250/participant) and comprehensive training to move participants toward intellectual and research independence.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

REU participants must be/have:

  • citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S. or its territories;
  • undergraduates enrolled at an institution of higher education (students from community colleges and primarily undergraduate institutions are encouraged to apply);
  • college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors as of the fall semester;
  • enrolled in chemistry or biochemistry undergraduate degree programs (baccalaureate or associate and part-time or full-time; pre-majors also considered); and
  • grade point average of 2.8 or above in STEM undergraduate coursework.

Students from groups underrepresented within the chemistry and biochemistry disciplines (e.g., women, underrepresented minorities, first generation students or those with disabilities), veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and students from socioeconomically depressed regions (e.g., Appalachia) are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Process: 

Application deadline generally falls in late January.

Completed applications include:

  1. online application, including short essay (250-500 words, see Advice below);  
  2. official or unofficial verifiable undergraduate transcripts;
  3. one-page resume; and 
  4. a recommendation letter (that includes telephone contact information) from a faculty member within your discipline or from a research mentor (preferably from a faculty member at your home institution) which addresses your potential/abilities/motivation for engaging in research. 

Any offer is contingent upon successful completion of a reference check (i.e., phone conversation with recommender) and may include telephone interview of the applicant.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact: