Student Programs

Chemistry Opportunities (CHOPS)

The Chemistry Opportunities (CHOPS) program invites approximately 20 highly qualified prospective students to the UW-Madison Chemistry Department for an all-expense-paid weekend to explore the chemistry Ph.D. graduate program.

CHOPs group


The Catalyst program is designed to help first-year graduate students from underserved populations succeed in the chemistry graduate program at UW-Madison.

Catalyst Students

Graduate Program News

  • John Berry

    WSJ: Clean energy from ammonia: UW discovery a step toward carbon-free economy

    UW-Madison scientists have discovered a new way to capture energy from an everyday product that could be a key step to a carbon-free economy. Researchers in professor John Berry’s chemistry lab found that ammonia combined with a catalyst containing the metal ruthenium spontaneously produces nitrogen, releasing electrons that can be siphoned off.

  • Chemists discover new way to harness energy from ammonia

    A research team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified a new way to convert ammonia to nitrogen gas through a process that could be a step toward ammonia replacing carbon-based fuels. The discovery of this technique, which uses a metal catalyst and releases, rather than requires, energy, was reported Nov. 8 in Nature Chemistry and has received a provisional patent from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

  • An exciting discovery from an incorrect hypothesis

    A hypothesis can be a scientists' best-educated guess about how an experiment might turn out or why they got specific results. Sometimes, they're not far off from the truth. Other times, they're wrong. Being wrong isn't always a bad thing. Often, it means that the researchers get to discover something new and exciting. This exact scenario happened when the Burstyn and Buller lab decided to work together on a project.

  • More Graduate News posts

Graduate Student Spotlight

  • Merenini

    Grad Spotlight: Princess Merenini

    Princess Merenini, a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, was one of the 2019 Pei Wang Fellowship award recipients. The Pei Wang Fellowship honors the late Pei Wang (Ph.D. 1952, chemistry) by gifting this award to honorable graduate students at UW–Madison. Merenini is an international student from Nigeria. She moved to the United States in 2016 to pursue her undergraduate education at Savannah State University (SSU). Growing up in Nigeria, Merenini was taught that there were only four “prestigious” career paths: medicine, law, engineering and pharmacy.

  • Nick Riley

    Grad Spotlight: Nicholas M. Riley

    Nicholas M. Riley is a graduate student from Louisville, KY, who attended the University of South Carolina as an undergraduate. He currently works with the Coon Research Group. Tell us about your research. My graduate research …

  • Summer Research Snapshot: Graduate Student Steven Chapman

    The weather in Madison is slowly cooling down, undergraduates are moving in, and the first football game of the season is one week away. We are nearing the end of summertime in Madison. Today marks …

  • More Grad Student Spotlight posts

Graduate Program Contacts

Helen Blackwell

Position title: Norman C. Craig Professor of Chemistry, Associate Chair for the Graduate Program, Director of Graduate Studies


Phone: 608.262.1503

Arrietta Clauss

Position title: Director of Graduate Student Services


Phone: 608.262.0363

Taylor Mathewson

Position title: Graduate Coordinator


Phone: 608.265.0517