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Get Involved in Research

The opportunity to participate in scientific research as an undergraduate is one of the most exciting features of Emory College. Research allows you to work alongside graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty to develop new ideas to solve real-world problems. Many of our students produce results that lead to publications and research is also great preparation for graduate school and a wide range of chemistry careers.


  1. Familiarize yourself with potential chemistry research mentors. Tips for learning about research and talking to mentors are available in our Chemistry Undergraduate Research Guide.
  2. Review opportunities listed on the Undergraduate Research Opportunities page.
  3. Looking for more advice? Check out this article from Nature for practical tips on how to find a good undergrad research lab match and make the most of it!


  1. Identify a research mentor (see above.) You should secure a spot in a lab before applying for research credit.
  2. Once you have secured a research mentor,  schedule an advising meeting with your mentor. Make sure to discuss the following:
    What research course should I take?Research for credit can be received in CHEM 399R, CHEM 499R, or CHEM 495 (Honors). See "What's the difference?" (below) to understand which course you should take.
    How many credits should I take?You can receive 1-4 credit hours for research work. For each enrolled credit hour, you will be expected to participate in 45 total hours of research-related activities over the course of the semester. This corresponds to 3 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters.
    What are your expectations? Make sure you understand what you are expected to contribute and how you will communicate your research efforts to your mentor. It will not be possible to identify exactly how you will spend every hour, but you should have a clear sense of how you will decide where to spend your time.
    What safety training should I complete?If you are new to research or entering a new lab, you must complete safety training specific to the techniques, chemicals, and instruments in your mentor's lab. You should not enter any lab without proper training and safety gear and enrollment in research credit alone does not satisfy safety training requirements.
  3. Once you’ve had a meeting with your research mentor to discuss the upcoming semester, request a permission number to enroll in the appropriate research course by submitting this online form

What's the difference between research courses?

CHEM 399R: Choose this course if you are enrolling in research for credit as your first research experience

CHEM 499R: Choose this course if you already have some research experience either from 399R or from conducting research as a volunteer or paid researcher. Note: If you are enrolled in CHEM 499R, you are required to participate in chemistry's annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Spring semester. This is true even if you complete your research for credit in Fall/Summer.

CHEM 495RW: Choose this course only if you are in the Honors Program and you are in the semester in which you’ll be writing and defending your Honors Thesis. Note: For an overview of the College Honors Program, please visit this site as well as the program's FAQ page.


If your research mentor is NOT a member of the chemistry faculty, you must also fill out a Petition for Outside Research Credit. Do this before requesting a permission number.  You will upload your completed petition within the permission number request form.  A petition is required prior to enrolling in your first semester of CHEM 399R and prior to enrolling in your first semester of CHEM 499R.  You do not need to re-petition if you are continuing in the same research lab and course or transitioning from CHEM 499R to CHEM 495RW.


Undergraduates may apply to spend time in a laboratory without receiving course credit. You should follow the same steps to identify opportunities of interest and you will still be required to complete safety training. You cannot receive retroactive credit for research completed in prior semesters. The Chemistry Research Information Guide may still be helpful in understanding how to identify potential mentors.


Vincent Conticello Headshot
Vincent Conticello
Director of Undergraduate Research
Emerson E203