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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 Undergraduate Research Information Guide.
  2. Review opportunities listed on the Undergraduate Research Opportunities page. Note: Faculty not listed here may still be open to working with undergraduates but have not provided their information to the Director of Undergraduate Research.


  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).
    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. 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 the Fall.
    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. Following your advising discussion, email the faculty member listed in OPUS for your selected research-for-credit course to request a permission number. This will usually be the Director of Undergraduate research, currently James Kindt. Copy ("cc") your mentor to make sure they are in the loop. Specify the course number and the number of credits you have agreed to take in your email.


If your research mentor is NOT a member of the chemistry faculty, you must also fill out a Petition for Outside Research Credit and submit to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, currently James Kindt. Submit the approved petition to the Director of Undergraduate Research with your request for a permission number.


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.