Carnegie Mellon University

Chemistry Summer Research Program

May 28 - August 2, 2024

Carnegie Mellon hosts the Mellon College of Science Summer Scholars Program, a NSF-funded research experience for undergraduates (REU). This will be the 4th year of the program, which is hosted jointly with chemistry, math, physics, and biology. Summer scholars work with graduate students at CMU professors to complete an 8 week research experience (May 28- Aug 2) with topics including environmental chemistry and sustainability, catalysis, and biomaterials. The program is hosted by the MCS Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and includes weekly professional development workshops and social activities designed to enrich the summer experience.

Scholars receive a competitive stipend, travel allowance, and housing support. Applications for the 2024 summer experience are now open!

Research Opportunities

► Bio Inspired Catalysis

► Biomaterials

► Machine Learning and Catalysis

► Environmental Chemistry

► Analytical Chemistry

Project Descriptions

  • McDonough Lab: A summer research opportunity is available in the McDonough laboratory investigating the bioaccumulation of per/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in marine benthic organisms. PFASs are toxic water contaminants that are ubiquitous in marine environments and are often stored in sediments at impacted sites. The sediment-water partitioning of these ionizable pollutants is difficult to predict using traditional equilibrium partitioning models. We will be conducting experiments in which marine polychaetes will be exposed to PFAS-fortified marine sediments and the accumulation of PFASs in polychaete tissue will be measured over time to determine uptake rates, biota-sediment accumulation factors, and elimination rates, and to describe the impacts of water and sediment quality parameters on these values. These data will be used to advance our understanding of the predominant biological reservoirs for PFASs and to investigate the mechanisms that drive PFAS partitioning and uptake between marine sediments, porewater, and benthic biota.
  • Garcia-Bosch Lab: A summer research opportunity is available in the Garcia-Bosch lab to develop catalysts based on 3d metals (Cu, Fe) capable of performing oxidative transformations (e.g. C-H hydroxylation reactions, alcohol dehydrogenation) using green oxidants (dioxygen and/or hydrogen peroxide).
  • Kurnikova Lab: Details coming soon!
  • Gomes Lab: Details coming soon!

Application requirements

  • Unofficial transcripts of each institution that you attended, regardless of whether you received a degree there. 
  • An official copy will be required in the event that you are accepted.
  • Updated Resume or CV
  • 1-page statement of purpose explaining previous experiences, your motivation for wanting to participate in this program, and your research interests. Please describe any barriers and challenges to gaining research experience that you have encountered.
  • One letter of recommendation 

Questions can be directed to:

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