REU Site: Research in Chemistry at WVU
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded REU Site: Research in Chemistry at West Virginia University (Award # CHE-1852369) has been funded by the Division of Chemistry. Read below, see the 2023 flyer, and apply (Jan 20 priority deadline, March 3 application close). Application link opens in October 2023.
This REU Site provides participants (8 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. Site objectives are to:
- provide authentic research opportunities for students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry and attending predominately undergraduate institutions;
- involve participants in research projects that benefit society, either directly or indirectly;
- improve participant understanding of the research enterprise (from project inception, attainment of funding, to research completion, and dissemination of results); and
- retain participants within the chemistry/biochemistry major and encourage them to continue to post-baccalaureate opportunities.
REU Program Dates
May 21-July 28, 2023 (10 weeks in duration)
Currently, the 2023 REU Site: Research in Chemistry at West Virginia University is being planned as an onsite program according to schedule. Due to the ongoing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability for an onsite program may change at any time. Please note that WVU may cancel the 2023 REU Site if, in WVU’s sole discretion, the state of the COVID-19 pandemic has not improved sufficiently for WVU to safely hold the program.
REU Site Location
Who Can Apply
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 2023 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.
NOTE: WVU students are not eligible for this WVU-based REU Site. WVU students are encouraged to apply to REU Sites at other institutions or to the WVU-based SURE Site. Another resource to search REU Sites by category (e.g. FR, SO, International, Community College, or Undocumented Students) is REU Finder.
REU Participant Benefits
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.
Applications for the summer 2023 Chemistry REU Site will open in October 2023. The priority application deadline is January 20 and the application will close on March 3, 2023. Rolling offers will be made until all positions are filled.Apply Now
Completed applications include:
- online application, including short essay (250-500 words, see Advice below);
- official or unofficial verifiable undergraduate transcripts;
- one-page resume; and
- 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.
Advice to Student Applicants
Before beginning the online Student Application, we suggest you take some time to fashion your short essay so that you can spell check, proofread, and obtain feedback on it before submission. In your short essay (250-500 words), you should state your motivation in applying to the REU program (i.e., Professionally speaking, what do you hope to get out of/learn from the program? How can you contribute to research ongoing at WVU? What do you bring to the table? What area(s) of research are of interest to you and why are you interested in those specific areas and, more generally, in scientific research? Why should you be awarded a REU appointment this summer?). A good essay is important! Use the “Personal Statement” tips available at the WVU Career Services Center and at ASPIRE.
Priority will be given to applications completed by/before January 20, 2023 (including
letters of recommendation). The application portal is expected to close at 11:59
pm on March 3, 2023. Completed applications will be reviewed and offers
made prior to the January 20 application priority date and prior to the
March 3, 2023 close date. Rolling offers will be made until all positions
Available Research Projects
Participants will receive an integrated experience where research and education are concurrent priorities. Available research projects (in summer 2022) addressed fundamental questions related to the chemistry of health, including for example, the development of therapeutic drugs for detection or treatment of diseases (Alzheimer’s, cancer); and catalysis in chemistry, including for example, the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals using sustainable and biocompatible methods, and examining the combustion process, both experimentally and theoretically, in order to reduce environmentally harmful emissions. Projects will focus on the potential of research to benefit society both directly and indirectly in the fields of health care, forensics/criminology, energy, sustainability, and transportation. REU participants will engage in joint efforts with expert faculty advisers to enrich their educational experience. Read about each faculty member for more information on available research projects. Research projects may vary from year to year and will be updated as needed.
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 in 2022.
Team Building Activities
To facilitate formation of the REU cohort, REU participants will engage in team building activities biweekly on weekends. The state of West Virginia and the Laurel Highlands area of Western Pennsylvania offer a multitude of outdoor recreational activities within one-hour drive of WVU. Past participants have engaged in:
- biking on the Mon River Rail-Trail;
- team escape from a local Escape Room adventure;
- hiking at Coopers Rock State Forest;
- team-building ropes course (high and low ropes elements) at the WVU Challenge Course;
- caving at Laurel Caverns; and
- white water rafting at Ohiopyle State Park on the Youghiogheny River Gorge.