Students at all levels are encouraged to undertake original research under the supervision of a member of the chemistry faculty through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). It is the goal of the undergraduate chemistry program to encourage students to become active members within the departmental academic community. Interaction between undergraduates, faculty, and graduate students is strongly promoted through class and laboratory contact, advising, and through more informal functions.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
The UROP advisor for the Chemistry Department is Prof. Alex Radosevich (Room 2-321, x3-4503). If you are interested in a chemistry UROP you should make an appointment with him to discuss your research interests and to receive advice on how to find a position in the department.
Please note that credit is obtained for undergraduate research by registering for 5.UR or 5.URG and by submitting a for-credit UROP application before the UROP deadlines. To receive credit, students enrolled in 5.UR (research for Pass/Fail grade) must file a progress report with the UROP coordinator. To receive credit, students enrolled in 5.URG (research for letter grade) are required to submit a ten-page final written report to their research advisor prior to the last day of classes. Please note that 5.URG may be taken for up to 12 units per term, not to exceed a cumulative total of 48 units.
For more detailed information about UROP, please visit the UROP Office website.
5.39 Research and Communication in Chemistry
To enroll in 5.39 for the Spring 2019 term:
- Write a summary paragraph about your research, using the format in this example from Nature.
- Ask your UROP advisor to email Jennifer Weisman to confirm that they approve of your enrollment in 5.39. If your advisor has already emailed Professor Radosevich to approve enrollment in 5.39 there is no need to have them email Jennifer as well.
- As a reminder, the research must be conducted on the MIT campus and be a continuation of a previous 12-unit UROP project or full-time work over the summer. The research must under the direction of a member of the Chemistry Department faculty
- The approval from your advisor and summary paragraph should be submitted by 9:00am on Monday, January 28th. You will be notified about permission to enroll in 5.39 no later than the end of the day on Friday, February 1st.
Students preparing a thesis should enroll in course 5.THU in the semester they intend to submit their thesis (generally the spring of senior year). At least two semesters of research (summer UROP is considered to be the equivalent of a semester of research) in addition to the “5.THU semester” usually constitutes the minimum research experience that can provide the basis for a satisfactory thesis. Research toward a thesis carried out prior to 5.THU can be conducted for credit under 5.UR, 5.URG, or as “UROP for Pay.” Students enrolled in 5.THU may not simultaneously enroll in 5.UR or 5.URG in the same semester and may not receive financial support that semester through the UROP program, although they may be directly employed by faculty members as research assistants.
STYLE AND LENGTH
The student’s advisor will provide guidance concerning the specific style and organization appropriate for the thesis. In general, the style should be appropriate for a full journal article in the student’s particular area of chemistry. In most cases the thesis will include sections entitled “Introduction and Background,” “Results and Discussion,” and an Experimental Section. Literature citations should follow the format required by typical journals in the specific area of research.
The thesis should be double-spaced and typically will be 25 to 50 pages in length—under no circumstances should the length exceed 100 pages. The thesis should begin with a Title Page followed by a one-page Abstract, both conforming to the format described in the publication “Specifications for Thesis Preparation” prepared by the MIT Libraries Archives Department (14N-118). A Table of Contents should also be included in the thesis.
SUBMISSION OF THE THESIS
Students completing a thesis in Fall term must submit their thesis no later than Friday, January 18, 2019. Students completing a thesis in the Spring term must submit their thesis no later than Friday, May 10, 2019. One copy of the thesis should be submitted to your Research Supervisor, and two printed copies and a pdf file for the Department of Chemistry should be submitted to the Chemistry Education Office (6-205). If you would like to have a personal, bound copy of your thesis please submit a total of three printed copies to the Chemistry Education Office.
EVALUATION OF THE THESIS AND UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
The student’s Research Supervisor will read the thesis and determine the letter grade the student will receive for course 5.THU. In general, students should enroll in 5.THU for 6 to 21 units. An Undergraduate Research Symposium is held each spring and all students completing theses are encouraged to make an oral presentation at the symposium. Information about the Undergraduate Research Symposium will be posted on the Department of Chemistry website by Professor Alex Radosevich, the Symposium Coordinator.