Opportunities and Activities
Graduate students in good standing in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry are paid an annual stipend of $23,175 (as of Fall 2013). Teaching assistants typically have responsibility for conducting their own research and coursework, as well as teaching two sections of laboratory, whereas research assistants are typically paid from research grants in lieu of teaching. As part of their degree requirements, all PhD candidates are required to teach for at least two regular semesters.
Every year, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has four Bayer Fellowships available. These fellowships pay a $2500 supplement per year for two years in addition to the Fellow’s stipend. Applicants to our PhD program will automatically be considered for a Bayer Fellowship. In addition, graduate assistants are encouraged to apply for nationally competitive fellowships.
- The Bayer Scholars’ Program is designed to increase diversity in the STEM fields by supporting four Bayer Scholars, chosen each year from chemistry majors in the incoming freshman class, for the duration of their four years at Duquesne. Benefits to Bayer Scholars typically include full tuition for four years, early experience conducting original research, and mentoring on the corporate research and business environments. Bayer Scholars are required to attend regular meetings during the academic year, perform service projects for the university and community, and spend two summer internships in the Department and two summer internships at Bayer MaterialScience. We are grateful to the Bayer USA Foundation, Bayer MaterialScience, and the Bayer School for Natural and Environmental Sciences for initiating this program and to Bayer MaterialScience for considering its renewal beyond 2013-2014.
- NSF/S-STEM Scholarships are available for incoming freshmen and transfer students (2013-2017) who qualify as academically talented and economically disadvantaged. Scholarships typically pay $10,000 per year toward tuition expenses. NSF/S-STEM Scholars are required to attend regular meeting during the academic year, perform service projects, and are offered summer research opportunities. Eligibility is determined by representatives from the Department, in consultation with the Admissions Office and requires students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and some additional information with the Admissions Office.
- The Crable Endowment typically funds two junior and two senior Chemistry or Biochemistry majors. Crable Scholars typically receive funding for tuition, travel, and educational/research supplies. Applications are solicited by the Crable Mentor, a faculty member elected to a three-year term by a vote of the faculty, and selection is based on academic accomplishment. The scholarship is named for an alumnus of the department who established the endowment.
We encourage students to begin research as soon as possible and, indeed, students should approach faculty members to investigate beginning research as early as their freshman year. In addition, our summer Undergraduate Research Program is currently funded by the NSF/REU (2004-2015), NIH/SRE (2012-2016), and the NSF/S-STEM (2013-2017) programs, as well as the scholarship programs described above, the Department, the Bayer School, and individual research grants. Each summer, approximately 40-45 students participate in summer research in our department.
American Chemical Society Student Members
Our ACS student members’ chapter is a social and service organization run by student ACS members, but open to all science majors. Membership has grown from 12 students (in 2008) to almost 90 students in 2014! Our student chapter of the ACS has received national awards each year since 1988, culminating in the highest, “Outstanding”, award from the ACS national office in 2012 and 2013. During the 2012-2013 academic year, the chapter hosted 33 activities(!), including events as diverse as (1) a pi day fundraiser, on 3/14, to pie their favorite professors, (2) pizza parties, (3) a blood drive, (4) fundraising for charity, (5) organizing the 27th Annual ACS Student Members Symposium, (6) hosting speakers on resume writing and job opportunities in industry, and (7) fundraising for travel to scientific meetings. Through the ACS student members’ organization, our students learn the importance of serving others, while honing their leadership and communication skills.
Travel to Scientific Meetings
Funding is available to reimburse travel expenses for Chemistry and Biochemistry students in good standing to present their research results at scientific conferences. The department currently provides up to $150 per year to each undergraduate and will match up to $300 from a graduate student’s research advisor each year to defray the conference expenses of students who present their research results.
In addition, the Bayer School pays air fare and the department pays for lodging for undergraduate student travel to the Spring ACS meeting. In 2012, for example, the Department sent 18 undergraduates to present their work at the ACS National Meeting in New Orleans. Students are encouraged to seek funding from other sources as well.
Seminars and Symposia
The department maintains an active seminar program, with one invited speaker each week, chosen from among the world leaders in our science. The program includes at least one speaker each year chosen by our students.
Duquesne’s Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences Departments also host the annual Metals in Biology Symposium in early December. The symposium features world leaders in bioinorganic chemistry and gives undergraduate and graduate students from the tri-state area of Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia the opportunity to present their work and discuss it with experts in the field.
Research strengths in the department include several centers that provide collaborative opportunities between scientists from across the Duquesne campus with scholars from other universities and scientists in a variety of different industries:
- Agilent Center of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry
- Center for Computational Sciences
- Center for Metals in Biological Systems