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Research opportunities

Gain invaluable experience in one of our research labs

We want you to get involved in the cutting-edge research done here and we provide many opportunities to do just that. The practical skills and knowledge you acquire in a research lab really helps you in your courses, and when you start a career or apply for graduate degrees.

We have active projects in traditional chemistry sub-disciplines (analytical, organic, inorganic, physical) and interdisciplinary areas like materials chemistry, nanotechnology, or drug design. 

Doing research in a faculty researcher's laboratory gives you a glimpse into what scientists do. You face real scientific problems, hone problem-solving and laboratory skills, use state-of-the-art equipment and develop your own research interests. Plus, you get to know faculty and graduate students.

Research takes place all year round. Positions can last a semester or continue for more than a year. Students work for pay or as volunteers and there are many awards and fellowships to apply for.

Student research experiences

Research laboratories

Lauren Longobardi worked on three very different summer research projects in organic, inorganic and organo-metallic chemistry labs. Under the guidance of professors and graduate students, lab work helped her figure out what she loved to do.

“It's nice because it’s great to be able to work in your area of interest. It’s a really useful job experience,” she says.

"There are opportunities galore," adds student Maneesha Rajora. "If you are productive and you can multitask, if you have those lab skills, you can be an asset.”

In her first research position, Maneesha created materials for lithium ion batteries. In her third year, she worked on nasra reactions with Professor Jean Burnell.

Any research gives you that basis to go into graduate studies," she says. "You learn time management, you learn basic laboratory procedures, safety procedures. Things like that really help.”

Honours or majors research projects

Fourth year Chemistry students should think seriously about doing an Honours or Majors research project for academic credit. First-year DISP (Dalhousie Integrated Science Program) students also participate in a research project during their winter term.

“I would recommend an honours project to anyone, especially if you are considering grad school,” says Lauren Longobardi. "It really prepares you for the future. It’s your project, it’s very unique to yourself.”

She believes it's an essential step in learning how to be a chemist and an academic. “You sit down with your supervisor and discuss ideas, methodology and planning," she explains. "The key is lab time. It’s demanding, but the support is there."