The Department of Chemistry has a very active undergraduate research program. Research facilitates experiential learning and demonstrates the nature of science. Many of our students conduct research for three or more years and their work has resulted in publications. Check out the “Undergraduate Publications” list to see what UVA chemistry majors are researching.
Students interested in Undergraduate Research have several options and resources to help them find and conduct research. To find a lab that you might be interested in working in go to “UVA Participating Faculty” or utilize the Medical School UNLEASH program.
There are one-credit seminars (CHEM 3910, 3920) that introduce students to research opportunities and teach tools useful in research and in courses.
2. Research for Credit
One important thing to keep in mind is that students can conduct research for chemistry credit in any department with any faculty member as long as it is a scientific research experience. For example, you can register for CHEM 3951 but your research can be done in the Department of Pharmacology. Successful completion of two semesters (6 credits) of undergraduate research would also satisfy the research requirement needed for ACS Certification. Students may do research over multiple semesters. Students just getting starting should sign up for 3951 for their first semester. Register for CHEM 3961 for the second semester; CHEM 4951 for the third semester; CHEM 4961 for the fourth and additional semesters. These courses can be repeated if you have more than 4 semesters of research. The professor for the course is Linda Columbus, not your faculty mentor.
Students should register for 3 credits and work 10 hours/week in the laboratory. Less credit is an option and should be discussed with your faculty research mentor. Typically, students that conduct research for 5-7 hours/week would register for 2 credits and for less than 5 hours, 1 credit. If a student is registering for less than 3 credits then they should enroll in CHEM3951 regardless of how many semesters fo research they have conducted.
3. Summer Research
UVA Chemistry students can conduct research in laboratories on campus, in the United States, or in foreign countries. Typically students are paid during the summer. Credit for the major is not given for summer research.