University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Undergraduate Research

Chair of SURP Committee

Dr. Ahmed Heikal
Office: 235C-SSB
Phone: 218-726-7036

Administrative Specialist

Ms. Jill Custer
Office: 246 Chem
Phone: 218-726-8832

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is uniquely positioned to emphasize undergraduate research experience to interested students in order to promote critical thinking, knowledge synthesis, problem solving, and communications as well as teamwork skills. There are four mechanisms for engaging students in research:

  1. Students may choose to gain a research experience for credits by registering for Chem 3194 (Chemistry Research). The research adviser expects the students to spend at least 3 hours/week in the laboratory for each 1 credit. It is recommended that interested students start their undergraduate research experience as sophomore or juniors at the latest. Research for credits is usually recommended for the first semester in a given research laboratory in order to (i) ensure a mutual research interest with their chosen adviser and (ii) familiarize themselves with lab protocols as well as experimental methods. Following a consultation with their faculty adviser, students may then apply for:
  2. Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) and/or
  3. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to continue their research experience
  4. Based on the availability of research funding, advisers may choose to support outstanding students using their research grants.
  5. Funds are available to support undergraduate student travel to present research. Students should work with their research adviser to develop a budget then submit funding request and budget to the Department Head. In addition, Swenson College of Science and Engineering has funding to support undergraduate student travel. Download the PDF form here.

Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (SURP)

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry involves undergraduate students in research with faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and affiliated programs. The research opportunities for SURP students include a variety of areas including analytical, biochemistry, biogeochemistry, bioinorganic, inorganic, organic, biophysical, and physical chemistry. The research program runs for ten weeks during the summer (June through August) with a number of planned social and recreational activities, plus weekly seminars. Students present their projects, progress and results at a poster fair (SURP Poster Symposium) during the last week of the program.

To be eligible for these competitive SURP awards, students must (1) be undergraduate majors in Chemistry or BMB, (2) have completed at least two years of college-level chemistry coursework, (3) be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America. Preference will be given to students who (1) are completing the third year of the Chemistry or BMB curriculum, (2) plan to attend graduate school, and (3) have not previously received a SURP award. (download an application)

The SURP award is based on a competitive evaluation of academic performance, transcripts, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. SURP award is $4,300 per student and does not include housing, health insurance or transportation. The Swenson Family Foundation and faculty research grants provide the financial funding for SURP awards.

General Resources and Specific Programs for Summer Research Opportunities:

If you do not see a particular program that you might be interested in below, go to their department's website and look under "undergraduates" then "undergraduate research" or "REU".

University of Minnesota-Duluth/Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry:

University of Minnesota/Materials Research Science and Engineering Center:

Cornell Center for Materials Research:

Pennsylvania State University / Chemistry:

University of California-Los Angeles / Chemistry & Biochemistry:

Mayo Graduate School Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship:

University of California-Berkeley Amgen Scholars Summer Research Program:

Amgen Scholars Program:

University of Michigan / Chemistry:

University of Rochester, NY / Chemistry:

University of Minnesota/ Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Programs:

University of Virginia/Chemistry:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln:

University of Kansas/Chemistry:

National Science Foundation / REU sites:

Summer Research Programs in Biophysics:


Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) of the University of Minnesota offers financial awards twice yearly to full-time undergraduates for research, scholarly, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member. UROP affords undergraduates a unique educational experience of collaborating with a faculty mentor on the design and implementation of a project. At the same time, faculty members have the opportunity to work closely with students and receive valuable assistance with their own research program. UROP adds a new dimension to the undergraduate experience. It also encourages students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special projects. Projects are expected to contribute to the student's academic development. General information on the UMD website and more specific information is on the SCSE web.

UROP competitive applications are judged on the quality of the proposed project, the strength of the collaboration with the faculty sponsor, and the educational benefit to the student. Students with the strongest proposal may receive a maximum award of $1,700 for both stipend (up to $1,400) and laboratory supplies ($300).