Student Research Opportunities

There are many benefits to doing research as an undergraduate student. It illustrates the application of material learned in class to real problems. It is a chance to do things that professional chemists do (the correct answer is not always known beforehand!). It may provide a topic for the seminar course and something to discuss at job interviews. It allows a student and professor to work closely (the best student:faculty ratio possible, 1:1), which is valuable when the time comes to ask for recommendations for jobs and/or graduate school. It extends the typical college experience of learning information to generating new information.

Research for Credit

  • CHEM 246 | Introduction to Chemistry Research
  • CHEM 446 | Independent Study
  • CHEM 474 | Honors Thesis

Students who have completed Chem 105 or higher may enroll in CHEM 246 – Introduction to Chemistry Research with permission of an instructor. Students with junior status (60 credits) and a 3.0 GPA can take CHEM 446 – Independent Study and do research under the supervision of a faculty member.
For both courses, a student receives one credit if they spend 3–4 hours in the lab per week (during interim it would be 3–4 hours per day). CHEM 446 may also be taken for two credits if a student spends 6–8 hours in the lab per week.

CHEM 474 Honors Thesis is for students in The Honors College. Download guidelines

Research for Pay

  • Beckman Scholars Program
  • Faculty & Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration Program
  • Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • Research grants awarded to individual professors

The Beckman Scholars Program will fund two students to work for 15 months in certain chemistry or biology labs

  • full time in summer ’24
  • 10 hours/week during the ’24-25 academic year
  • full time in summer ’25.

The stipend for the entire period is $18,200. Click here for more information. Applications are due March 11, 2024.

The Faculty & Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration Program is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. A student prepares a research proposal with a faculty advisor (due February 23, 2024). If the proposal is selected, the student is awarded a salary of $3500 which can be used full time for 8 weeks in the summer or for 10 hours a week during the academic year. $600 is provided for supplies and equipment. Applications are available on the website of the Office of Student Research and Creative Activities.

The Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program supports students who wish to pursue a PhD, and who are from a group currently underrepresented in graduate programs such as African-American, Latino, Native American, first-generation (neither parent graduated from college), and low income students. More information is available from the UW Oshkosh McNair Scholars website.

Some professors in the department have research grants which include money to pay student researchers. This avenue may require a student to be patient and find a back-up job because notification of an award may not be until April or May.

Current Research Projects

The following department members have research projects that students can participate in. The department encourages you to talk to individual professors about their projects before deciding what you want to do.

Project Descriptions:

Chemistry Alumni Research Award

The Chemistry Alumni Research Award was made possible as a result of generous gifts by chemistry alumni. Established in 1997, the award recognizes undergraduate chemistry majors for achievement in and potential for productive research. Junior and senior Chemistry majors who have participated in research may apply for the Award to support professional enhancement (professional travel, books, software, memberships, journal subscriptions, etc.).

Research at Other Institutions

The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides summer stipends to do research at other universities. The universities use this program to recruit their future graduate students. You may collaborate with professors, graduate and undergraduate students in chemistry, materials science, biological science, ocean or earth sciences. The list of universities for each summer is not usually finalized until February, but since the grants are for three years, the list does not change much from one year to the next. NSF REU site

You can spend a summer or semester doing full-time research at one of the Department of Energy laboratories: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories (CA and NM). The program is restricted to US citizens.

ORISE lists paid opportunities at a variety of government labs including Department of Energy and Centers for Disease Control.

You may be able to earn credit for CHEM 495: Chemistry Research Internship during your off-campus experience.  More information is available on the Internship page.


Location and Hours

Chemistry Department offices and labs are on the 4th floor of Halsey Science Center.

Department Assistants for Halsey Science areas can be found in HS 127 or HS 142.

Mailing Address

Department of Chemistry
UW Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Contact Us

 (920) 424-1400
Faculty and staff directory