This REU Site award to Georgia State University (GSU), located in Atlanta, GA, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2018-2020. This program, funded by the Division of Chemistry in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate, recruits undergraduates from community colleges and primarily undergraduate institutions to participate in hands-on research in different laboratories at GSU. Research projects at the interface of chemistry and biology are available for student participants. This program also provides the training, mentoring, skills, and motivation for students to pursue a scientific career, thereby creating a vibrant, diverse, and well trained scientific workforce critical to advancing discovery and innovation. The program is open to all undergraduates, but there is an emphasis on recruiting local students. There are many nearby institutions with limited research opportunities that provide a diverse student pool, and by remaining close to GSU, students have a chance to develop long lasting communities and mentoring relationships.
Students participate in hands-on research, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, on a topic that captures their interest. A wide variety of projects are available to the students, including - but not limited to - synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry, glycoscience, diagnostics, protein design, protein dynamics, enzyme catalysis, drug design and nucleic acid structure and function. The individual projects advance scientific knowledge, promote independent thinking, and teach students to work in a collaborative manner. Students also participate in regular professional development activities designed to strengthen the skills necessary for a successful career in STEM. The activities include networking events, group meetings, and seminars. Seminar topics include scientific writing and presentation skills, critical analysis, ethical and societal issues, career advice, and transferring to four-year colleges (for community college students). The research activities improve our fundamental knowledge of chemical and biological processes, and the diverse student participants are well educated and trained to join the scientific workforce.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.