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. Extensive research experience will be complemented with weekly professional development and technical workshops and seminars that aim to build students' communication skills across different formats, expose them to relevant topics such as team science and ethics, provide exposure to career choices, and help students prepare for and succeed in graduate studies in STEM fields. Various social activities will provide interaction with their peers across undergraduate research programs on campus and mentors within the university and the greater scientific and industrial community in the area.

Students receive (pending support approval):

  • a stipend of $5000
  • free housing
  • travel allowance
  • $600 debit card to be used toward meals

This is a competitive program open to undergraduates majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Science and related fields who have completed at least one year of college, including at least 2 semesters of college chemistry with laboratories. We welcome students from 4-year universities (other than Texas A&M) and community colleges; and encourage applications from members of traditionally underrepresented groups, including minorities, women, and veterans..

Required for your application to be reviewed:

  • Completed online application including statement of purpose and unofficial transcript with Fall grades
  • 2 letters of recommendation on letterhead to be sent directly to

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

Apply online at Texas A&M 2023 REU Application.
Application Window: December 19, 2022 (or Jan 2, 2023)- February 28, 2023
Questions may be directed to Miranda Easley 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 (pending)

Faculty Member Project Title
Lane Baker Synthesis and Characterization of Individual Nanocrystal Catalysts
Sarbajit Banerjee Atomic Resolution Mapping of Diffusion Pathways in Intercalation Hosts
David Barondeau Iron-sulfur Cluster-mediated Transformations for Sustainable Chemistry and Energy Production
Janet Bluemel Immobilizing Hygroscopic Substances on Porous and Filter Materials for Harvesting Water from Humid Air
Kevin Burgess Syntheses of Biomimetics
Marcetta Darensbourg Hidden Electrons: Synthetic Chemistry of Coordination Complexes Uncovers Sites for Electron Storage and Release
Lei Fang Incorporating Ladder Constitution into Conductive Polymers
Alison Fout Iron and Cobalt Hyperpolarization Catalysts for Imaging Cancer
John Gladysz Gyroscope Like Metal Complexes
Jaime Grunlan Polyelectrolyte-based Surface Treatment for Environmentally-benign Fire Protection of Wood and Textiles
Melissa Grunlan Shape Memory Polymer Scaffolds to Heal Bone Defects
Osvaldo Gutierrez Accelerating Sustainable Chemical Synthesis Through High Level Quantum Mechanical Calculations
Wenshe Liu Novel Chemical Biology Platforms for Drug Discovery
Quentin Michaudel Modern Organic Chemistry for the Synthesis of Sustainable Plastics
Oleg Ozerov Ligand Design for Sustainable Catalysis
Emily Pentzer Dictating Emulsion Stability by Modification of Particle Surfactants
David Powers Tools for Sustainable Upgrading of Light Hydrocarbons in the Gulf
Jonathan Sczepanski Development of Insulin-Binding Aptamer-based Biosensors for Continuous Insulin Monitoring
Matthew Sheldon Nanomaterials for Thermophotonics: Optical Cooling with All-Inorganic Perovskite Nanocrystals
Daniel Tabor Computational Design of High-Performance Energy Storage Materials
Coran Watanabe Sustainable Chemistry: Harnessing the Biosynthesis of the Azinomycins
Karen Wooley Development of Synthetic Methods for the Transformation of Insect-harvested Natural Products into Sustainable, Degradable, Next-Generation Plastics
Xin Yan Sustainable Chemistry Enabled by Microdroplets
Hong-cai "Joe" Zhou Amino-acid-derived Framework Materials for Efficient Drug Separation

Weekly Seminars

Every week, the REU cohort will meet in an informal setting taking part in seminars led by department faculty members, alumni, and industrial experts. The centrality of chemistry in solving the most pressing issues affecting the "chemical heartland" – the large area of the Gulf Coast across TX and LA that houses much of the US chemical industry will be presented. Such topics can be on impacts of climate change, plastics industry and expenditure of water and energy resources. Faculty will present fundamental principles using examples from ongoing research efforts in the department and in industrial practice. Leading industry researchers (e.g. Dow, BASF, Exxon) will present Chemistry as a vibrant and interdisciplinary science that is also at the heart of modern industries, as well as their professional journey into their particular expertise. The seminars are meant to be active learning workshops incorporating hands-on activities.

Professional Development Series

Additional seminars offered every other week will focus on scientific writing, ethics, publication, and communication. Science writing is an important skill that is sometimes overlooked in undergraduate curriculum, but is very useful beyond undergraduate studies. As part of this series, students will learn how to write an abstract and written reports of their research work, which will serve as a foundation for peer-reviewed publications. Other important and valuable sessions in this series will include discussions in Ethics in Research and a fun and interactive session on Chemical Demonstrations.

Department Research Symposium

At the end of the REU program, the Chemistry REU students will have the opportunity to present their summer results to the whole department via a 15-minute oral presentation. REU students will work very closely with their graduate student mentor, faculty mentor and research group to prepare for this activity

Research Facility Tours

Tours are offered for many different research facilities across campus. In the past tours have been offered of:

Launch Organized Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session

The TAMU LAUNCH office organizes a university-wide poster session to showcase the summer research, scholarly and creative activities done by undergraduate students from institutions worldwide, which is open to the public. This gives each student the opportunity to present the results of their REU project to the broader campus community. The posters are brought back by students to their home institutions for display.

Technical Workshops

The Chemistry department will offer one-day short courses on:

  • Crystallography Workshop: We will offer a short course on X-ray crystallography, in partnership with the X-ray Diffraction Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry. This technique is a powerful tool in structure-based understanding of different kinds of molecules but is usually not a component of undergraduate lab curriculum.
  • Computational Toolset: Computational modeling has become a critical element of chemical research, but computational chemistry literacy is not prevalent in undergraduate curriculum. A workshop will be organized that teaches the essential ideas in setting up molecular models and performing quantum chemistry calculations of common molecular and material systems and the use of high-performance research computing resources.

Social Activities

Throughout the 10-week REU program, the REU participants are exposed to social activities fostering student-faculty interactions and student-student communication and camaraderie, within the department and throughout the greater TAMU community. Some of these activities include welcome orientations and a departmental ice cream social, chemical safety trainings from graduate students and faculty mentors, several industrial lab tours within the local area, department social activities like Trivia night, First Friday in Bryan, bowling and specific research group outdoor activities like hiking and lake day.