To provide new collaborative opportunities for minority-serving institution (MSI) chemistry faculty and their students, the Department of Chemistry has created the Creating Bonds with Chemistry program. This program seeks to forge enduring faculty-to-faculty relationships, and also to provide enriching research experiences for the MSI Principle Investigators’ (PIs’) undergraduate students. The focus is on relationship building with PIs at MSIs with an undergraduate concentration and, through the collaboration, enhancing their research programs through deep intellectual engagement with MIT PIs/Students and access to MIT’s facilities/infrastructure. The pilot program commenced in the summer of 2021. The success of the model established, and with sufficient funding, additional partnerships are planned.
Once the selected MSI and MIT PIs have developed a collaboration plan, students associated with the MSI PI’s group will be invited to spend up to 9 weeks in the MIT Department of Chemistry over the summer, carrying out the pertinent collaborative research. As part of the selection process, the MSI PI will ensure that the candidates are in good standing, have a demonstrated interest in basic research, and have an interest in a career in the sciences.
The visiting students from the MSI supporting the collaboration will be known as Chemical Bonding Fellows (CBFs). They will benefit from the dual supervision of their joint Principal Investigators (PIs) and will conduct their research in the MIT chemistry laboratories. A mentor (postdoc or senior graduate student) will be assigned to each Fellow for the duration. Travel costs, accommodations, health insurance, and a weekly stipend will be provided. We also encourage the CBFs to participate in the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP)’s educational and social activities, and will cover the costs associated with this outstanding MIT program as well.
The MSI PIs are funded and invited to visit the MIT Chemistry Department during the summer when the CBFs are at MIT, and on occasion during the school year as the collaboration requires. The Creating Bonds with Chemistry Program covers the PI’s cost of airfare and up to three nights at a local hotel. The expectation is that this will allow for two days of interaction between the visiting faculty member and the research group of the host MIT faculty member.
No proceeds from the funding sought will be used to support MIT Chemistry faculty or MIT Chemistry students.
The Creating Bonds with Chemistry Program also supports the collaboration between the MSI PI, and, by extension, the CBFs, through a discretionary gift from MIT Chemistry to the department. This gift can be used for support of students, materials/chemicals/supplies, travel, or whatever is critical to this program
The foundational objective of MIT’s Creating Bonds with Chemistry Program is enduring faculty-faculty and department-department mutually enriching relationships. This goal will have tangible outcomes that include the publication of the MSI-MIT collaborative research in top journals, increasing the MSI PI’s completeness for federal research funding, and enhancing the MSI institutions’ chemistry programs through research experiences and an expanded engagement with MIT. The collaborations also avail the MSI PI’s access to state-of-the-art laboratories and cutting-edge research being conducted in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. The sum of all of these activities/benefits is certain to help with our central goal of increasing the number of URG chemistry majors pursuing advanced degrees in chemistry.
Please consider a donation to support the Creating Bonds with Chemistry Program.
The Department of Chemistry is deeply appreciative of the following for their support of this program:
- The Fred J. Brotherton Foundation
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund
- Scott Denmark, ’75 (V)
- The Fish Family Foundation
- Bruce Frye, PhCD ’76 (V)
- Gilead Sciences, Inc
- Allena Goren, PhD ’19 (V)
- Professor Jeremiah A. Johnson
- Frank Laukien,’84 (VIII)
- Gen Li
- John C. Roberts, PhD ’91 (V)
- Professor Timothy M. Swager