Professional Life

The Scholarly Academic Environment at U-M

The University of Michigan (U-M) is a major research university with all of the facilities that this implies. The chemistry department’s annual external research support topped $18M in 2017. Encouragement and support for undergraduate research is a part of this: there are no distinctions in access to resources between researchers in the department, regardless of their level of experience.

Our record of commitment and engagement with undergraduate research students is high.

Expectations of professional behavior:

As an institution, the University of Michigan provides open information, support, and multiple avenues for identified and anonymous reporting of sexual misconduct and/or other forms of unacceptable behaviors.

The University has taken a strong stand on the faculty/staff/student relationship, and all members of the university community are required to complete (and renew) online training along with adding some sort of open discussion to the operation of departments and other working units.

Student professional development:

Chemistry research groups are residential (you cannot do most of your work at home!) and comparable to one-room schoolhouses, where the responsibilities for education are shared within the intergenerational community.

The relationship with mentors is found throughout one’s daily interactions between all members of a well-functioning group.

Some resources to consider when thinking about the roles, responsibilities and opportunities for productive mentoring are included here:

Greenberg (2018): Entering Mentoring
ASEE (2017): A Mentoring Workshop
Geisinger (2015): Key Actions
Masters (2017):10 Simple Rules
Toklu (2017): A Win-Win Contract

Students can achieve a variety of certifications and access important information resources using web-based programs available to every member of the U-M community.

Program for Education and Evaluation in Responsible Research and Scholarship (PEERRS),for individuals engaged in or associated with research.

Required online certification for laboratory safety:

REU Program Activities

 From our evaluations, we know that UM-REU has had a positive effect on recruiting students into the PhD pipeline, including women and individuals from other underrepresented groups. These effects are particularly true for students who were uncertain of their ability to succeed in a PhD program, and who, after REU, show the most significant gains in confidence and self-efficacy.

Collaboration on a project in any established research group. Projects are available over the full range of the chemical sciences. Every REU student has joined one of their top three choices of research group, with 272/302 (90%) hosted in their group of first choice.

Association with other groups of undergraduate research students during the summer period forms a community of 60-80 young scientists from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Smooth transition onto campus is facilitated by the research group, the chemistry department’s Office of Student Services, the dedicated undergraduate program coordinator, and by members of our ACS Student Group and Alpha Chi Sigma.

Students participate in a program of regular activities attended by all of the summer research students, regardless of their source of support.