Chen Lab

Undergraduate Research

Research-Based Courses

Experience in a research laboratory is now considered a vital part of any course of studies within the sciences. The Chemistry Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recognizes the importance of this research experience and offers numerous ways for students to participate in faculty mentored research. We advise Chemistry majors to become involved in research as soon as their course of studies allows. Generally this means finding a research advisor and beginning a project by Spring semester of the Junior year. However, there are faculty members within the Chemistry Department who eagerly accept Freshmen and Sophomores in their research groups. Students that wish to participate in a research project should contact Ruthanne Paradise, the Undergraduate Research Coordinator (341E ISB), to briefly discuss their research interests.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry are required to take Chemistry 388 Independent Research Project (3 cr). Those B.S. Chemistry majors who are also members of the Commonwealth College may fulfill this 3 credit research requirement by enrolling in Chemistry 499Y and 499T Honors Thesis (3cr. each). Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry are not required to take any research-based courses; unless they are members of the Commonwealth College in which case they may have to fulfill the Honors Thesis requirement (Chem. 499Y and 499T). A number of other research-based courses allow students to pursue laboratory research throughout their undergraduate years at UMass. The following PDF gives a complete listing of research-based courses offered by the Chemistry Department.

Important Note: In order to participate in research and enroll in research-based courses, students must obtain the necessary laboratory safety certification; additional information is available from Undergraduate Program Manager in the Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Office, 341G Integrated Sciences Building (ISB).

Registration Procedure:

1. Meet with Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Prof. Ruthanne Paradise and find a faculty research mentor.

2. Get a course add request form from the Undergraduate Program Office, 341G ISB.

3. Fill out the form and have your faculty research mentor sign it.

4. Hand your completed form in to the Undergraduate Program Office in 341G ISB. You will be given the necessary safety materials. After you have completed the EH&S safety course, then you may add the course.

Due to the required laboratory safety courses, it is very difficult to add any research-based courses at the beginning of a semester. It is imperative that you plan ahead and arrange to take research-based courses the semester before you plan to begin research.

UMass Faculty Sponsors

Chemistry Undergraduate Research Opportunities (PDF)
(Updated October, 2012)

Research Assistant Fellowships

These are funding opportunity for Honor College students doing research in your lab.