Undergraduate Scholarship & Research Opportunities
Tufts Beckman Scholars Program in the chemical and biological sciences.
Undergraduate research is available either through Chem 81/82 research credit, or as paid summer/academic year research assistants.
Please note that not all available undergraduate research opportunities are listed below. Please feel free to reach out directly to any faculty member with whom you have an interest in doing research.
My research is in the field of chemistry education. I am looking for interested undergraduate students who want to be part of my research group. Together, we will perform educational research to understand how and why successful teaching and learning of chemistry at the university level works. Chemistry education research can be performed on-site or remote and is thus flexible to whatever the COVID-19 pandemic situation allows us to do. You will learn how to collect video data of classroom practices, how to conduct qualitative research interviews, and how to analyze video and audio data to answer research questions that identify different ways of productive learning and teaching in chemistry . For joining my group, you do not need to be familiar with chemistry education research, but you should bring fascination for listening to and understanding different ways of reasoning about chemistry. Engaging in chemistry education research will strengthen your research and teaching skills. If you are interested, please reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We make new molecules and develop new materials for sustainable technology. Our interests range from solar cells to OLED displays to quantum computers: places inorganic chemistry can play a role in shaping the world. We seek to answer fundamental questions about molecular and electronic structure that enable enhancements in materials properties such as light absorption, light emission, superconductivity, and catalytic activity. We also develop new strategies for finding materials that possess useful properties.
Undergraduate students interested in learning and doing chemical synthesis, molecular or materials characterization, materials selection and screening, device fabrication, or instrument construction are encouraged to contact me at email@example.com. Please include a brief description of your research interests and why you want to do research, plus a CV or résumé if you have one; we’ll then find a mutually convenient time to discuss what we might study together!
The Kritzer Lab has periodic openings for undergraduate researchers interested in chemical biology. Chemical biology is the field that investigates biological questions using chemical tools. No course prerequisites are required, but students will be asked for a considerable time commitment, preferably in large blocks (full days or half days) to dedicate to a research project. Students should visit the Kritzer Lab website at https://ase.tufts.edu/chemistry/kritzer/kritzerlab1.html and, if interested contact Prof. Kritzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Undergraduate research students who join my group participate as part of an interdisciplinary team along side graduate students and postdocs on a variety of research projects at the boundaries of chemistry, geochemistry, planetary science, and astrobiology. Descriptions of current research projects can be found at: http://planetary.chem.tufts.edu/research.html.
I usually accept 1-2 undergrads per year via Chem 81/82 or the appropriate research credit in their respective department. Prerequisite: Quantitative Analysis (Chem 42), and junior/senior class standing. A two-semester commitment is required.
Undergraduate students in my group will work closely with graduate students; post doctoral research associates; and the principal investigator. Our group is involved in a multi-disciplinary research effort utilizing the techniques of synthetic organic chemistry, cell biology, biophysics, materials science and recombinant DNA technology to develop novel methods for the rational design and construction of artificial proteins, novel therapeutics, cellular imaging reagents. Research projects in the laboratory deal with various aspects of peptide architecture, protein folding and stability, the origin of life, catalyst design, in vitro models for infection and disease, mammalian cell-surface engineering, glycobiology and nanochemistry. There is no imposed course requirement, but a strong background in organic chemistry and/or biochemistry is required.
We use computational tools, including molecular dynamics simulations and enhanced sampling methods to understand and design biomolecules like peptides, proteins, sugars, and drug-like molecules. For more information please visit our website at http://ase.tufts.edu/chemistry/lin/index.html. For Tufts undergraduate students (freshmen or sophomores) who are interested in the YSL lab, please schedule a meeting with YSL via email at email@example.com
There are several projects in my laboratory for undergraduate participation. These range from one that has potential global impact to one with strong macroscopic-molecular level visual connection.
The global impact is connected with cleaning water. World-wide, half the hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from diseases resulting from lack of safe drinking water. The Shultz group is working on developing a photocatalyst that uses readily available sunlight and environmentally benign materials to turn pollutants into harmless CO2 and water. Heavy metal pollutants are reduced to less dangerous form. The basic working material is TiO2 – familiar as the white coloration in tooth paste or salad dressing. To be a viable material, the photo efficiency must hit 15%. Our progress has raised the native 1% efficiency to 8%; only another factor of two is needed. Students in this project are involved in synthesis, kinetic analysis, and spectroscopic probe development and use. Previous students are coauthors on high-impact papers and have traveled to China to confer with our Chinese collaborators.
The visual connection project investigates the fundamental interactions between hydrogen-bonded molecules: water, acids, and ions. The visual connection is seen most strongly in understanding how ice grows from the melt. Etching an ice surface produces negative crystals with a shape that is directly linked to the molecular arrangement in the crystal. Despite the fact that ice has been around for a long time, and been the subject of numerous studies, the surface energy of ice is not well understood. Our visual connection is beginning to reveal the surface energy. Students involved in this project have built unique apparatus, developed novel environments for probing water-solute interactions, and coauthored several papers.
The Sykes group (http://ase.tufts.edu/chemistry/sykes/index.html) utilizes state of the art scanning probes and surface science instrumentation to study technologically important systems. For example, scanning tunneling microscopy enables visualization of the atomic and electronic properties of catalytically relevant metal alloy surfaces at the nanoscale. Using temperature programmed reaction studies of well defined model catalyst surfaces structure-property-activity relationships are drawn. Of particular interest is the addition of individual atoms of a reactive metal to a relatively inert host. In this way reactivity can be tuned, and provided the energetic landscapes are understood, novel bifunctional catalytic systems can be designed with unique properties that include low temperature activation and highly selective chemistry. Newly developed curved single crystal surface are also being used to open up previously inaccessible areas of structure sensitive surface chemistry and chiral surface geometries.
Physical and Materials Chemistry - Research in my group reveals how energy and molecular motion promote chemical reactions on catalytically active metal surfaces. We use a combination of ultrahigh vacuum surface analysis instrumentation, infrared spectroscopy, molecular beams, and sensitive detection techniques to prepare reactant molecules with a well-defined energy and the measure their reaction probability. Work typically involves the use and design of electronic, mechanical, and optical instruments including lasers, vacuum equipment, surface characterization, computer interfacing and control, and the acquisition and analysis of experimental data. Current experiments are exploring how our understanding of simple model systems extends to more complex chemical environments, which include structurally more complex gas phase reagents, and surfaces that are geometrically (steps, kinks) and chemically (alloys) heterogeneous.