Carroll College, Helena Montana

Undergraduate Research

Research at Carroll College

Many faculty in the Chemistry department conduct research continually (see pictures of the summer 2014 research students below).  Opportunities to work on research in the areas of mechanistic investigations, materials synthesis, development and optimization of new synthetic methods, environmental monitoring and remediation, as well as developing new methods of chemical education are all projects that welcome the participation of our STEM majors.  

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Victoria Kong (left, sophomore biology major) and Erin Hanson (center, junior chemistry major) worked with professor Rowley to investigate the fundamental chemical mechanisms behind the harvesting of renewable solar energy. Meghan Benda (right, senior chemistry major) worked with professor Pharr on the synthesis of a novel compound that should emit blue light and has potential applications in new technologies including Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs). Click through the slideshow to see more pictures.

Current research projects include:

  • neurodegenerative diseases of prion protein (Gretch)
  • synthesis, testing, and optimization of materials for use in OLED's (Pharr)
  • investigation of fundamental chemical mechanisms behind the harvesting of renewable solar energy (Rowley)
  • catalytic activation of nitriles using abundant transition metals (Thomas)
  • chemical education (Thomas, Strode)

If you would like to participate in one of these projects, or suggest a research project of your own, contact the professor you are interested in working with.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs)

Besides the research opportunities available at Carroll, the National Science Foundation supports summer undergraduate researchers at other institutions across the country.  A stipend, typically $5,000-5,5000 and housing are frequently covered by the program.  Many programs pay for the student research to travel to a national conference and presnt their work.  A wide variety of research projects are available, at U.S. institutions both nearby (Montana State University) and far away.  A complete listing of host institutions and research foci are available at the NSF-REU website.

Additionally, various other organizations offer summer research internships, both in the country and abroad.  Visit the Career Services website at Carroll to get a listing summer undergraduate research opportunities

Often Carroll students use the research conducted over these summer programs to complete an honors thesis.  Carroll College has a strong record of placement in these often highly competitive programs.  In the past decade 36 Carroll students have participated in the NSF-REU program at 23 different locations including:

  • Jet Propulsion Lab (Pasadena, CA)
  • Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)
  • Monsanto Corporation (Soda Springs, ID)
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • USDA ARS Poisonsous Plant Research Laboratory (Logan, UT)
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orelans, LA)

If you would like to discuss the possibility of summer research through the NSF-REU program contact Dr. Pharr.

Research Opportunities!

If you are interested in conducting research with one of the chemistry professors at Carroll click on the links to your left to see what we are studying.  You can also send us an email and we would be happy to set up a meeting to discuss our research and opportunities to join our research group.  

Internships

Carroll's Biology and Chemistry Programs offer students excellent internship opportunities with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Shodair Hospital Cytogenetics Laboratory, private environmental consultant firms, and the Montana Heritage Program. In addition to the academic credits earned during the internship, students have an opportunity to apply classroom principles to real problems around Montana.