REU Site: Undergraduate Research for Appalachian Students at the Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary: Intellectual Merit Funds are requested to provide a 10 week summer research experience at the Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky for motivated undergraduate students from other universities. Although these students are well-educated in the classroom, many of them will not have had any indepth research experience and we aspire to awaken an interest in careers in research or teaching through the REU program. The students will have motivational daily interactions with the graduate students, postdoctoral students, and faculty and exposure to all aspects of a modem university research environment. The primary activity will be laboratory research but enrichment activities including weekly seminars, social activities, written and oral research reports, research conference presentations, and attendance at our annual poster session are planned as an integral part of the experience. A strong effort will be made to provide a sense of belonging in the research groups and an attitude of responsibility, ownership, and pride in the research activity, qualities that breed success and motivation for the future. Broader Impacts This REU Site program is aimed primarily at students from the Appalachian region, as these students are underrepresented in science disciplines and their undergraduate institutions often do not have the infrastructure to support research programs. However, we also recognize the need to involve minority students in research, so a special effort will be made to recruit a diverse range of students from across the country, with emphasis on recruiting at U.S. institutions that have high minority enrollments. The students will be exposed to a broad spectrum of research activities that will be both challenging and rewarding and will, we hope, inspire them to pursue graduate careers in science. Although the program is only 10 weeks in duration, we plan to maintain contact with the students throughout their ensuing years in undergraduate school, mentoring them on career choices, providing letters of recommendation for graduate schools or employment activities, and encouraging them to present their research achievements at conferences and poster competitions. The success of the program will be measured by anonymous participant surveys, tracking student career paths after the REU summer, outside evaluation by a faculty member from an Appalachian school, and the cumulative statistics on publications, conference presentations, and student awards.
Effective start/end date3/15/062/28/10


  • National Science Foundation: $238,197.00


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