Choosing a Research Group
Chemistry and chemistry-affiliated faculty members will present short talks on their research during Orientation. These talks will introduce the student to the research group, but the talks should NOT serve as the sole basis for choosing a research laboratory. The student should consider the following questions to help make the decision about which group to rotate with and ultimately join:
- Is the group right for your personality? Is the group size comfortable for you? Is the group dynamic right for you? Are you comfortable with the people? (Keep in mind that groups change as students come and go; you will interact longest with students who are closest to you in terms of years in the program.)
- Does the faculty member communicate well with you? Do you like the faculty member’s management style? Will you work successfully with this faculty member as your research advisor?
- Is the group right for you scientifically? Does the research interest you? Are you excited about the group’s approach to science? Are there several projects you would be eager to work on? Are there instruments or techniques that interest you? Is the faculty member accepting students on the project(s) you are interested in?
Students without External Funding
Students admitted in the M.S. program are encouraged to take 2-4 courses in their first semester, typically the fall semester. The students do not participate in lab rotations or join a research group in the first semester. In the second semester, M.S. degree students who want research experience are encouraged to set up appointments with faculty of interest to find out more about the research opportunities. The student and faculty can discuss the option of a research or coursework M.S. degree and the required research credits.
Students with External Funding
Students admitted in the M.S. program who come with their own funding, either a fellowship or government support (typically military personnel), are encouraged to contact faculty of interest the summer before they start the MS program, typically in the fall. Upon arrival, the students are encouraged to set up meetings with faculty of interest to find out more about the research opportunities in their first semester. The students do not participate in lab rotations or the group-joining procedure. The student and faculty can discuss the option of a research or coursework M.S. degree and the required research credits.