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 Student Member ACS chapter is a social and service organization open to all science majors who strive to attain academic and professional success at Duquesne. Our mission is to create professional and networking opportunities that engage our undergraduate students, to serve as the centralized core of learning and activities in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and to make chemistry more accessible to the students and public. For the 2016-2017 year, the organization is operated by an executive board made up of 13 undergraduates. Membership has grown from 12 students in 2008 to over 120 as of 2016! Our student chapter has received national recognition from the national ACS office since 1998 and the highest "Outstanding" award since 2012. The student ACS chapter at Duquesne organizes various activities on campus such as "wack-a-professor" on Mole day, pizza parties, charity fundraisers, and hosting the Spring ACS local Symposium. The organization also holds an extensive and expanding presence off campus. Our organization fosters an environment where members can develop and enrich their leadership and communication skills, while serving the surrounding community.
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