Research is an extraordinary opportunity to work closely with a faculty member as early as your freshman year. It’s hands-on student engagement — guiding you through the process of discovery.
A few years ago, PC rededicated Hickey Hall following an extensive remodeling of the building. The laboratories in Hickey Hall are for the undergraduate research activities of students working with faculty members in the departments of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and engineering-physics-systems.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has two large, flexible, multi-user labs — one for chemical synthesis and the other for chemical measurement. Research opportunities are available during the academic year for credit and during the summer months for paid compensation.
Why Conduct Research?
Participation in an undergraduate research project guided by a faculty member is strongly encouraged in all programs beginning after the sophomore year.
Academic course credit may be obtained for research projects conducted during the academic year. Such credit is awarded by registration in Chemistry Research 395/396 and 495/496. The number of academic credits awarded (1, 2, or 3 credits) varies depending upon the nature and extent of the project.
Consultation with the supervising faculty and permission of the chair are required prior to registration. Academic credit cannot be granted for research projects for which the students is being paid a stipend or salary [e.g., under the auspices of the College Work Study Program]. A limited number of full-time research positions are available during the summer periods — assistants typically work on original research projects under the supervision of a member of the faculty for a 10- to 12-week period. Research assistants are paid a stipend/salary for the period of the project. Academic credit cannot be granted to an assistant under such an arrangement. Students interested in conducting original research projects typically confer with members of the chemistry faculty in the semester prior to the time that the research is to be conducted.
The research interests of the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Providence College are constantly changing and developing. Here are some areas of current research interest with which undergraduate chemistry majors can become involved.
Design and synthesis of supramolecular compounds to facilitate the transport of biologically relevant molecules through lipid membranes
Synthesis and characterization of novel organometallic compounds
Lipid membrane surface chemistry
Computational organic chemistry
Molecular modeling of iminosugar inhibitors of carbohydrate-processing enzymes
The results of these original research projects are often presented by students and faculty at regional and national meetings of the professional societies.