Department of Chemistry

Students interested in nuclear chemistry might be better suited to the Cyclotron Institute REU Program.

Most students find the REU summer research 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 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

This is a competitive program open to undergraduate chemistry majors enrolled in 4-year U.S. colleges and 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.

Required for your application to be reviewed:

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

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

Apply online at
Application Window: December 15, 2016 - February 15, 2017
Questions may be directed to Ms. Marylin Warren at or 979-845-0520.

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

Table 1: Available Faculty Mentors and Sample Research Projects

Faculty Member Sample Project
Sarbajit Banerjee Fighting rust formation with graphene and nanostructured magnesium
David Barondeau Bioinorganic chemistry in human health and energy production
James Batteas Tuning surface interactions to control friction and wear of materials
Tadhg Begley Characterization of enzymes involved in vitamin metabolism
David Bergbreiter Green chemistry with functional polyolefins
Janet Bluemel Homogeneous catalysts immobilized on oxide supports by optimized linkers for improved activities and lifetimes
Kevin Burgess Design of molecules to perturb protein-protein interactions
Abraham Clearfield Surface functionalization of layered zirconium phosphate materials
Donald Darensbourg Biodegradable polymer synthesis from renewable resources
Marcetta Darensbourg Synthetic analogues of hydrogenase active sites and dinitrosyl iron complexes (DNICs)
Kim Dunbar Coordination chemistry as a platform for new materials and biological activity
Lei Fang Synthesis of conjugated ladder polymers for organic solar cells
Francois Gabbai Fluoride anion binding by molecular receptors. Applications in water analysis and fluorine-18 positron emission tomography
John Gladysz Werner complexes: a new class of earth abundant metal catalysts
Paul Lindahl Biophysical probes of iron metabolism in eukaryotic cells
Wenshe Liu Pyrrolysine incorporation machinery as a genetic code expansion device
Michael Nippe Molecular Approaches to Energy Conversion
Simon North Optical measurements of trace atmospheric species
Oleg Ozerov Pincer complexes of transition metals for synthesis of new materials
David Powers Storing solar energy with small organic molecules
Frank Raushel The discovery and characterization of new enzymes and metabolic pathways
Matthew Sheldon Synthetic optimization of quantum dot luminescence for use in solar cell optical concentrators and optical diodes
Dan Singleton Mechanistic studies of green reactions
Dong Hee Son Photophysical properties of 2-dimensional layered nanomaterials and their applications in catalysis
Coran Watanabe Biosynthesis of the anti-tumor agent Azinomycin B
Steven M. Wheeler Computational design of transition-metal free catalysts for asymmetric alkylation reactions
Karen Wooley Functionally-sophisticated Polymer Materials
Hong-cai Zhou Searching for ultra-stable metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or porous polymer networks (PPNs) for potential applications such as hydrogen storage, carbon capture, and green catalysis

Weekly Career Development Seminars

Every week, REU participants meet over lunch to discuss several issues relevant to careers in chemistry. Typical discussion topics are listed below.

How to Succeed in Research
Library Use: Database Searching & e-Journals
Laboratory Safety: Dow Safety Academy
Scientific Authoring and Publishing
Technology Commercialization
Career Day
Scientific Presentations
Advice from Graduate Students
Applying to Graduate School

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

LAUNCH Coordinates several brown bag lunches that REU participants across campus are invited to attend. Example topics are GRE preparation, Preparing for Graduate School, How to Write a CV, Library Resources, How to Choose a Graduate Mentor, Poster Presentations.

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 a social, allowing students to meet their mentors and advisors in an informal atmosphere. Students from REU programs across campus are invited to attend a barbeque in the first week of the program. The department has organized barbeques and trips to attend baseball games. Our Graduate Student Association in Chemistry and our local chapter of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers host social events for our REU students. 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.