How can I find out about the areas of research carried out in the Department of Chemistry at Lafayette?
The faculty in the Department of Chemistry work with our students to carryout research in a range of chemical subdisciplines in a variety of chemical topics. Students carrying our research in the Department of Chemistry will normally work within the specific research focus areas of their faculty mentor, so students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the areas of research in the department, to help them identify departmental faculty member(s) carrying out work that interests them and that may be relevant to their future interests. Information about specific faculty members’ research areas can be found on some faculty web pages linked to the Department of Chemistry website, by viewing the recent faculty/student research posters posted in the 2nd and 3rd floor hallways in Hugel Science Center, by searching their research publications at Lafayette in the Skillman Library Catalog or in Google Scholar, or by attending open student and faculty research presentation seminars in the department. Of course, students are also encouraged to arrange to talk directly with specific faculty members about their areas of research interest.
What qualifications do I need to become involved in research in the Department of Chemistry?
There is no standard set of qualifications required to carry out research in the Department of Chemistry, although some faculty prefer or require that their research students have completed certain prerequisite courses that prepare them with the fundamental skills important to carryout relevant work in their lab. Because faculty cannot always mentor all of the students who may wish to work in their labs, students’ experience, major, academic record, available time limitations, and ability to consider a longer-term commitment necessary to more fully develop their research, may all be factors in a faculty member’s willingness to agree to mentor a prospective research student. For students seeking to complete an honors thesis, there are College-wide academic requirements for earning honors that must be met.
How do I get involved in research in the Department of Chemistry?
Students interested in carrying out research in the laboratory of a faculty member should learn about the areas of research in the department, and then arrange to meet with faculty members to discuss the possibility.
What are the expectations for students carrying out research in the Department of Chemistry?
Although many of the specific expectations of the research experience in each laboratory are defined by individual faculty mentors, there are some expectations that are required of all students who carryout research in the Department of Chemistry. Students enrolled in research for academic credit are expected to contribute a minimum of an average of 10 hours/week on work relevant to the project throughout the semester. Students carrying out work in chemical research laboratories and instrument rooms must read the Department of Chemistry Chemical Hygiene Plan, and agree in writing to abide by the stated regulations to help ensure the safety of all involved in the work. Students are expected to adhere to the College and departmental statements of academic honesty.
Can academic credit by earned for research work?
With prior approval of a faculty mentor, students can enroll in several research courses in the Department of Chemistry:
Are there opportunities to be paid for research work?
A student working with a faculty member may be able to be paid, supported by the Lafayette College EXCEL Scholars Program for eligible students, or in some cases, by research grant funds acquired by a faculty mentor. This can occur during the academic year, January interim session, or during a full-time summer research experience. These resources are normally limited, so students interested in working for pay should discuss this possibility with a faculty research mentor. Students may not simultaneously earn both academic credit and be paid for their research work.
Is it possible to carryout research for neither academic credit nor pay?
Occasionally students participate in a limited research experience with a faculty member, for which they earn neither academic credit nor pay. This can be a desirable option for students who are just becoming initiated in research, and/or perhaps do not anticipate being able to meet the work hour expectations for students carrying out research for academic credit.