Feb 12, 2018
student at poster
Our Undergraduate Summer Research Program offers UCLA undergraduates the opportunity to carry out research with a faculty mentor during the summer.
Applications for Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Summer Research Fellowships are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is March 14th and the chemistry or biochemistry faculty mentor must agree to supervise the student during the summer. For more information and/or to submit an application, visit the Summer Research Fellowship information and application website. Fellowship stipends are awarded in the amount of $3,000.
For more information about the Summer Research Fellowships visit the department's Research Opportunities website. Questions about the fellowships should be directed to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Undergraduate Office, attention Denise Mantonya, denise@chem.ucla.edu, 310-825-4660.
(From left) 2017 Raymond & Dorothy Wilson Research Fellow Omar Ebrahim with his graduate student mentor Marco Messina. Prof. Jose Rodriguez with 2017 CARE SEM SPUR Scholar and undergraduate researcher Evelyn Hernandez.
Not only is summer research experience typically one of the most meaningful parts of an undergraduate education, it also enables students to pursue science research rather than having to accept a summer job in an unrelated field (e.g. Starbucks, etc.). For many students, experiencing research in a lab is a real game-changer -- many who previously thought they were headed to pharmacy, medical, or dental school, realize how exciting research is, and begin to consider research as a career.  
"Prior to coming to UCLA I had no idea what scientific research was or that a career could be made out of it. I thought the only thing you could do with a science degree was go to medical school" said undergraduate researcher Evelyn Hernandez who works in Prof. Jose Rodriguez's group. "Being in the Rodriguez lab changed this for me and I have loved my time there. Not only do I get to perform cool experiments, but I've had the opportunity to work closely with faculty, postdocs, and graduate students that are amazing mentors to me. After I graduate this spring, I will be starting graduate school in the fall to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Without this research experience, this would not have been possible!"
By conducting research during the summer, students gain skills that help them in their lab courses and, as a result, they excel in classes they may have previously dreaded. They develop a network of friends and colleagues who can be very helpful when looking for employment and discovering other opportunities.  
“My summer internship allowed me to distinguish the difference between being a student and being a scientist,” said 2017 Raymond & Dorothy Wilson Research Fellow Omar Ebrahim, an undergraduate student studying organic chemistry and materials science, who conducted summer research in Prof. Heather Maynard’s laboratory. “There is a tremendous difference between learning from a textbook and actually struggling with the enigmatic mess that ends up in your flask."
We are currently raising funds to support future named Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships. If you are interested in making a contribution please contact Denise Mantonya, denise@chem.ucla.edu, 310-825-4660.