2014 Chemistry

Updates for Summer 2015 coming soon

Many details currently appearing on this site are still for Summer 2014. By mid-November we'll have our Summer 2015 updates in place, ready for you to browse and apply!

REU in Chemistry

We're engaged in cutting-edge research on the catalysts, drugs, nanomaterials, and sensors of the FUTURE!

Join our team and we'll make HISTORY!

Chemistry scholars

2014 Dates and Stipend

Start: June 2, 2014
End: August 6, 2014
Stipend: $5,000

Contact Info

Ms. Kerry Vondrak
Recruiting Staff Assistant

Who Should Apply

Related majors and areas

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree
For more information, refer to the eligibility page.

This program encourages applications from students with sophomore or junior standing and those planning to pursue an advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) upon completion of the bachelor's degree.

How to Apply

Steps and Required Items

To apply, follow these application steps to submit the following materials.

Application Timeline

  • Fri., Nov. 15, 2013 — Application opens
  • Sat., Feb. 1, 2014 — Priority deadline
  • Mon., Feb. 17, 2014 — Application deadline
  • Sat., Mar. 15, 2014 — Decisions complete
See more timeline information.

Events and Benefits

Program Events

  • Campus and department orientation
  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium


  • Competitive stipend
  • Double-occupancy room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access
Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

Research and Mentors

Chemistry lab work

The Chemistry SROP is focused on curiosity driven basic research. As such, the projects are specifically tailored to stimulate student curiosity by provoking students to ask "Why?" and "How?" about their research. Participants will progress from undergraduate textbook learning to discovering and solving challenging research problems during the 10-week program.

This SROP offers a wide range of topics, including: organic radicals, medical imaging agents, protein-DNA interactions, enzyme-assisted organic synthesis, catalytic nanoparticles, synthesis of algal quorum-sensing molecules, and drug-protein interactions. The faculty mentors bring strong records of commitment to one-on-one mentoring of undergraduates in their research laboratories, and each brings their own multidisciplinary approach, specific research objectives, and experimental methods.

Students will learn and experience a wide range of communication skills during SROP meetings, in mentor group meetings, career development seminars, lunch discussion groups, social activities, and visits to local industry. The program concludes with students presenting their research findings at a campus-wide poster symposium.

2014 Mentors and Projects

Late stage introduction of fluorine into drug-like molecules
To prepare PET radiotracers, the student will learn how to synthesize and prepare them by fluorination reactions with the "cold" (19F) isotope. What are the challenges involving the synthesis of the radiotracers with the "hot" (18F) isotope?
Analytical and Bioanalytical
Biological Mass Spectrometry
To characterize complex covalent and noncovalent biochemical interactions, the student will learn how to amplify DNA, isolate proteins, or study protein glycosylation.
Quorum-sensing molecules
To synthesize new amphiphiles for materials science and biosensing (collaborative) and to understand the synthesis of popular-linked bioactive molecules for cell biology studies (collaborative). Will also investigate new antimycobacterial agents (collaborative) and new reactions of organic peroxides.
Chemical Biology
Expanding the genetic code
To learn how protein structure determines its function, the student researcher will use the multidisciplinary tools of molecular biology and bioorganic chemistry to add chemically modified unnatural amino acids to the genetic code of a bacterium so it synthesizes protein molecules modified at specific and relevant locations.
Analytical and Bioanalytical
Rapid Analysis of Drug-Protein Interactions
To understand how drugs act on the body, the student will learn how to develop new analytical methods for studying the interaction between drugs and blood proteins. What are the driving forces for this interaction and how strong is it compared to a chemical bond?
Organic Radicals for Organic Magnets, Spin Labels, and MRI Contrast Agents
To prepare the spin labels, students will learn how to synthesize stable organic radicals. Free radicals are typically highly reactive, why then are some radicals such as nitroxides persistent and how to make them more stable?
Novel functional materials
To create materials with new properties for electronics, photonics, sensors, and energy storage, the student will synthesize new types of carbon nanotubes and modified graphene.
Chemical Biology
Tracking proteins in the cell
To allow monitoring of the precise spatial and temporal locations for proteins involved in cell motility, students will modify genes so they are specially labeled.
Nanocluster catalysts
To synthesize new catalysts for use in energy production and energy storage, students will prepare nanomaterials with designed shapes and composition.