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NSF-REU Summer Research Program

Program Dates: June 2 - August 8, 2014.

The application deadline is February 14, 2014.

The program, funded by the National Science Foundation, focuses on interdisciplinary projects in biological, environmental, and materials chemistry. In our program, students become full members of a research group, carrying out fundamental research on topics that span the chemical sciences.  Most students find the program to be a useful way to explore the graduate school experience at a top Chemistry program. Our faculty have an outstanding record of providing students rewarding summer research experiences, usually resulting in co-authorship on publications and/or presentations. In addition to the focus on individual research projects, students will participate in weekly career development seminars, highlighted by a Career Day with Ph.D. chemists speaking about their career paths.  Students in the Chemistry REU will interact with students in other undergraduate research programs across campus.

Students receive:

  • a stipend of $5000
  • free dormitory housing.
  • one credit of summer research, with tuition and required fees paid by the program. 
  • Travel allowance
  • $500 debit card to be used toward meals. 

Who is Eligible?

This is a competitive program open to undergraduate chemistry majors enrolled in 4-year U.S. Universities  other than Texas A&M who have completed their second or third year with a 3.0 GPA or better with strong letters of recommendation. Students must have completed 2 semesters of general chemistry and general laboratory, 2 semesters of organic chemistry and organic laboratory, and preferably 2 upper level chemistry courses, which typically include any of the following: analytical, spectroscopy, instrumental analysis, advanced organic, physical chemistry, biochemistry.

We welcome applications from members of traditionally underrepresented groups, including minorities and women.

How Do I Apply?

Apply online for the NSF-REU Summer Research Program on or before February 14, 2014.

The following documents are required for your application to be reviewed.

  • Completed online application including statement of purpose and unofficial transcript
  • 2 letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation (which should be on institutional letterhead) may be sent electronically to reu@chem.tamu.edu or by mail to:

Texas A&M University, Dept. of Chemistry
Summer Research Program
PO Box 30012, College Station, TX 77842-3012

See Personal Statement Pointers (page 10) for tips about what to include in your personal statement.

Questions may be directed to Ms. Marylin Warren at reu@chem.tamu.edu or 979-845-0520.

What Projects are Available?

Click on the faculty member’s name to view their webpage to learn more about their research interests.

Faculty Member Sample Project Title
  Biological Chemistry
David Barondeau Investigating Fe-S cluster biosynthesis in eukaryotes
Tadhg Begley Biochemical and mechanistic studies on enzymes involved in vitamin biosynthesis
Kevin Burgess Design and synthesis of molecules that mimic, disrupt, or monitor protein-protein interactions
Marcetta Darensbourg Synthetic analogs of enzyme active sites:  The bioorganometallic chemistry of Acetyl CoA Synthase and Hydrogenases
Paul Lindahl Biophysical probes of iron metabolism in eukaryotic cells
Wenshe Liu Deciphering epigenetic roles of posttranslational lysine modifications
Frank Raushel Functional annotation of orphan enzymes
Daniel Romo Total synthesis and chemical biology of natural products displaying potent physiological effects
Coran Watanabe Biosynthesis of the anti-tumor agent Azinomycin B: targeting cancers
  Environmental Chemistry
David Bergbreiter Polymer facilitated green chemistry
Donald Darensbourg Biodegradable polymer synthesis from renewable resources
Simon North Atmospheric Monitoring of Trace Gases
Dan Singleton Mechanism of green oxidation reactions
Oleg Ozerov Biomass conversion approaches based on polydentate metal complexes
Hongcai Zhou Hydrogen Storage in Metal-Organic Frameworks
  Materials Chemistry
James Batteas Self-organizing nanoscale materials and devices
Janet Bluemel Nanoparticles, embedded in porous oxide materials, as catalysts with superior recycling characteristics
Abraham Clearfield Surface functionalization of layered materials
Kim Dunbar New types of conducting and magnetic materials made from molecular components
Francois Gabbai Synthesis and properties of molecular receptors for the capture of toxic anions
John Gladysz Alkene metathesis in metal coordination spheres
Dong Hee Son Photocatalysis by Mn-doped quantum well nanocrystals
Steven Wheeler Stacking interactions in conducting polymers for organic electronic materials
Karen Wooley Nanoscopically-complex, amphiphilic, non-toxic antifouling marine coating

What Else will I do?

Weekly Career Development Seminars
Every week, REU participants meet over lunch to discuss several issues relevant to careers in chemistry. The topics we discussed last summer are in the table below, along with the discussion facilitators.



How to Succeed in Research

Dr. Hong-Cai (Joe) Zhou

Library Use: Database Searching & E- Journals

Mr. David Hubbard (chemistry librarian)

Ethics: Case Studies from On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research

Dr. Simon North (Graduate Advisor)

Scientific Presentations

Dr. David Bergbreiter

Short Talks by Students

REU Students

Scientific Authorship

Dr. John Gladysz

Poster Presentations

Dr. Dong Hee Son

Career Day

Dr. Matthew Holden, U. Mass.
Dr. Tamiko Porter, Prairie View A&M U.
Dr. Jefferey Robertson, US Patent & Trademark Office
Dr. Jacqueline Thomas, Procter & Gamble

Advice from Graduate Students

Graduate Student Panel

Applying to Graduate School

Dr. James Batteas (Graduate Recruitment Coordinator)


Weekly Research Seminars
Every week, two chemistry faculty members will present short, interactive vignettes about their research. This opportunity allows you to learn about the scope and depth of research opportunities in our department.

Brown Bag Lunches
The Office of Undergraduate Research Coordinates several brown bag lunches that REU participants across campus are invited to attend. Last summer’s topics were GRE preparation, Preparing for Graduate School, How to Write a CV, Library Resources, How to Choose a Graduate Mentor, Poster Presentations.
Please make hotlinks to the webpages in parantheses from the facility name.
Research Facility Tours 
Tours are offered for many different research facilities across campus. In the past tours have been offered of:

Poster Session
REU students will participate in a University-wide poster session in the final week of the program. Students will be able to present their research to students and faculty in a wide variety of disciplines.

Departmental Symposium
Each student will deliver an oral presentation to the chemistry department in the final week of the symposium. This seminar, attended by fellow undergraduates, as well as graduate students and faculty, allowing students to present their research results to a specialized audience.

Social Events
Numerous social events are sponsored by the department and the University, and REU students often initiate others.  We kick off the program with an ice cream social, allowing students to meet their mentors and advisors in an informal atmosphere. Students from REU programs across campus are invited to attend a pizza party at the conclusion of the first week of the program. Our REU students are housed in a modern dormitory with a pool, and later in the summer, a pool party is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research. The department has organized barbeques and trips to attend baseball games. Students are enrolled in our recreation sports program to allow them to use our excellent facilities, and in the past students have created intramural teams and joined outdoor excursions. When research schedules allow, past students have organized weekend trips to Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Houston.

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