Chemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Project

University of Glasgow

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Chemistry Undergraduate Summer Research Project

  • Host University

    University of Glasgow

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland

  • Area of Study

    Chemistry, Research

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • SCQF Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    In this six-week course you will work with University academics to complete an independent research project in Chemistry. Guided by your supervisor, you will be lab-based, carrying out experiments and conducting tests to support your research. You will learn new practical skills and techniques, and gain experience of analysing data. You will also attend weekly research seminars, developing your research skills and knowledge, and immersing yourself in the International Summer School research community.

    Your project will see you using University’s outstanding research facilities, as well as working with our world-class academic staff. You will work closely with your supervisor to produce a scientific report and give an oral presentation of your work to your peers.

    To begin with, you will prepare a summary of the known literature around your project in collaboration with your supervisor. You will get to know, analyse and evaluate the literature related to your project, and develop the skills required to carry out research in your specialist area.

    A range of research topics are available. You will be required to indicate your top three choices on your application.

    Please note: Places on this course are extremely limited and applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis.


    Details of projects below:

    1. Single Molecule Spectroscopy of Light Emitting Polymers: Watching Energy Flow in Single Chains 

    In this project you will use cutting-edge microscopy techniques to measure the light emitted from single polymer chains.  By measuring this on picosecond-nanosecond timescales we can determine how excited states move along the chain and interact with each other.  This is important to understand for organic light emitting diodes, photovoltaic cells and in more exotic domains such as quantum information science.

    2. Supramolecular Click Chemistry for Sensing and Diagnostics

    In the Bio Nano Sensing group, we work to design the next generation of sensing materials and technologies that will protect human and environmental health. We are currently building new molecular and nanoparticle systems to enable near-patient detection of liver diseases and bacterial infections, as well as sensors to measure environmental pollution arising from wastewater and sludge. To do this we synthesise optically-active, supramolecular systems – combinations of small molecules and nanoparticles that self-assemble and change colour or fluoresce when they interact with our sensing targets. To better link our molecules and nanoparticles/nano-surfaces we are exploiting very strong but non-covalent bonding, based around host-guest supramolecular interactions, enabling us to create regenerable, switchable and editable nano-systems. Relevant reading: Supramolecular Click Chemistry for Surface Modification of Quantum Dots Mediated by Cucurbit[7]uril, Katie McGuire, Suhang He, Jennifer Gracie, Charlotte Bryson, Dazhong Zheng, Alasdair W. Clark, Jesko Koehnke, David J. France, Werner M. Nau, Tung-Chun Lee, and William J. Peveler, ACS Nano 2023 17 (21) :

    3. MULTINERT: A High Throughput system for Organometallic Chemistry & Catalysis

    This project will investigate automation of reactions under inert atmospheres, allowing us to rapidly study some of the most highly reactive species known. In particular we will investigate reactive copper species which can facilitate C-N cross coupling. Using digital liquid and gas handling we will undertake multiple sensitive reactions at once for optimisation of reactivity. The student will gain digital chemistry skills as well as learning glovebox and Schlenk line technique.

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    7. The use of metal nitrides for the synthesis of ammonia 

    Complex metal nitrides, such as inverse perovskite nitrides, will be prepared, characterised and tested for ammonia synthesis.   The latter will involve both investigation of heterogeneous catalytic pathways and chemical looping which involves a two-stage chemical reaction (ie reduction of the metal nitride followed by nitrogen replenishment).

    8. Functional Materials for Raman Sensing Systems 

    The aim of the project is to develop disposable sensors capable of detecting multiple compounds with higher sensitivities, while also achieving multiplexing with multinuclear cluster based recognition compartments that interact with specific compounds. Such sensors will greatly enhance environmental monitoring and improve efficiency in industrial processes

    9. Shedding light on new organic reactivity using chemical microscopy

    In this project you will be working at the interface of chemistry and microscopy. You will build a bridge between some of the fundamental concepts of practical organic chemistry (how we expose chemicals to each other and observe their reactivity) and the field of microscopic imaging. We will create a setup composed of a bespoke low-cost microscope designed in Glasgow, a stage housing arrays of microscopic chemical reactions, and open source software translating the spectroscopic data from the microscope to evidence of chemical reactivity. This project is especially suited to those with a broad range of technical interest including chemistry, computing, and physics.


    What you will learn:

    Course aim: To provide an opportunity to undertake a research project and present the results both in the form of a research article and as an oral presentation.

    By the end of this course you will be able to:

    -Prepare a preliminary list of goals to be achieved during the project in collaboration with your project supervisor.

    -Demonstrate an understanding of the literature related to the research project.

    -Demonstrate research skills appropriate to the area of specialisation.

    -Deliver a short talk, giving the background to the project and summarising its key outcomes.

    -Write a cogent, clear and concise written report summarising their findings and/or the state of research in your chosen field.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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