- Find a faculty supervisor. Approach a faculty member who is doing research that interests you and request to work with them. Together you will settle on the research project details. See the research brochure for a list of items you’ll need from your faculty supervisor.
- Pass the department’s safety test. Go to the ChE department office (Chem Sci room 203) to sign up to take the test.
- Complete the enrollment request form. Go to the Department’s undergraduate research webpage to complete the enrollment request form.
- Verify your registration. You will be contacted once you’ve been enrolled in the class. Verify your registration by checking your schedule on Banweb.
All students enrolling in the Departmental research courses must pass the Chemical Engineering Department Safety Exam. Any individual who is requesting a key to a laboratory in the Chemical Engineering Department must also pass the Safety Exam.
The first step is to study for the exam. The study materials for the safety exam are located at this link. The three items to study are listed under Manuals.
When you are ready to take the test, please contact Mo Anton in the Department Office (Chem Sci 203, 487-3132, firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule a time to take the test. You must get an 80% to pass. You are allowed to retake the exam, if needed.
I can recommend two large programs that sponsor undergraduate research:
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, sponsored by the National Institutes of Science and Technology (NIST)
NSF through the REU program sponsors summer research programs at many universities. These are competitive programs and an excellent way to check out if you are interested in graduate school. You may obtain more information about the REU program from the NSF website. Undergraduate students sponsored with NSF funds must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its possessions. NSF maintains a website that allows you to search by topic for REU programs throughout the country. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.
NIST sponsors an undergraduate research program (SURF) that brings students to their Gaithersburg, MD location (near Washington D.C.) to do research with government scientists. This program requires that your university apply for you and cost-share your application. Thus if you are interested in the NIST program, you will have to interest a professor here at Tech to cosponsor your research. For more information see the NIST SURF website.
Undergraduate research is an excellent idea for all students, but it is an especially good idea for those who are interested in attending engineering graduate school after completing their B.S. degree in chemical engineering. Check out our short video on the subject.
There are three paths to undergraduate research experience at Michigan Tech (for information on off-campus possibilities, click on the tag below), and all three of them begin with speaking with a professor. You must go to individual professors, presumably those who do research in areas that you find interesting, and discuss with them what types of opportunities there are to do research in their laboratories.
There are three types of research arrangements possible:
- Research for credit;
- Research as a part-time job;
- Research as an unpaid intern. Continue reading