Student Research

The chemistry department believes that high-quality research opportunities are an essential component of science education. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in both academic-year and summer research experiences.

Research at Bowdoin

In today's scientific environment, new facts emerge, once-outlandish speculations become realities, and disciplines evolve to incorporate new tools and methods of analysis. Thus, today's undergraduate education must go well beyond mere compilation of theories and facts; students must be encouraged to imagine new approaches to problems and be given the tools to be involved in creating these changes. This kind of dynamic and enduring education requires that students are challenged to think critically and independently to provide innovative solutions to interesting, and often unanticipated, problems.

Student conducting research

A Focus on Collaboration

Strong classroom and laboratory instruction are coupled with the opportunity to participate in meaningful scientific research with a faculty mentor. Student-faculty research is a venue where students develop their abilities to design and execute experiments as well as analyze and present their results. Students also learn to critically read the literature and implement their own ideas and solutions.

Excellent Facilities

The chemistry department at Bowdoin has been able to maintain excellent facilities for research through a commitment to faculty growth and development and through long-term participation in research. The department fosters a friendly, personal atmosphere where classroom learning and the research laboratory come together in common educational pursuits.

Research Opportunities

Summer Research

There are many and varied opportunities to undertake meaningful summer research at Bowdoin. The chemistry department's summer research program gives students a chance to become immersed in a research project where they can synthesize and apply elements of their classroom learning.

Summer fellows are expected to participate in a program of summer research. The College makes housing available beginning just after commencement continuing through the summer. The program will provide each fellow with a $450/week stipend and money for research supplies. The summer program begins in early June. Exact scheduling can depend upon your own availability and that of your advisor. The first week will include safety, literature searching, and instrumentation training. During the summer, each participant will present their research at one of our weekly lunchtime seminars.

Independent and Honors Research

In addition to the research opportunities offered by the chemistry department during the summer, qualified students can choose to undertake intensive research during the year. These research projects typically take the form of either a one-semester independent project or, if the student chooses, a comprehensive two-semester honors research project in a subject of interest.

These research projects are incredibly demanding, and require much time, effort, and preparation. Students participating in these types of research are expected to conduct independent research with close assistance and guidance from a faculty member. Students interested in pursuing independent study or honors research should consult the honors guidelines and seek guidance from faculty members.

Important Honor Project Dates