CCHF Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSURP)

The CCHF Team at Emory University

Program Description

The NSF Center for Selective C-H Functionalization Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSURP) is for undergraduate students with an interest in chemistry or chemical engineering and would like experience in conducting supervised summer research. The CCHF is an NSF-funded Center for Chemical Innovation that consists of a network of 22 academic and industrial research laboratories at 15 partner institutions throughout the country.

Program Goals

The initiative focuses on broadening participation of underrepresented and under served groups in STEM. The initiative is also focused on the development and training of the graduate student mentors; and the promotion of graduate study in chemical sciences as a future professional goal. This includes having undergraduate students engaging in innovative, cutting-edge research, interacting with prominent leaders in the field and participate in a range of research experiences.

Program Activities

Students accepted to be part of CSURP are provided a supervised research experience in the fields of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. CSURP Fellows receive a competitive stipend of up to $5,000 for the 10-week program. Additional support may be provided for travel, housing, and meals. CSURP participants will present a short talk on their summer research, write a final report, and self-report (to what degree to participants attribute their summer research experience to their future plans) by completing a pre and post-program survey. This survey will discuss their future plans, and if they will be pursuing a Chemistry or Chemical Engineering field moving forward, whether that is through graduate school or employment.

Necessary Resources

Strong recruitment at 2-year and 4-year institutions and networking efforts are used to promote the opportunity especially in recruiting women and underrepresented minorities. A refined selection process is important to ensure good mentor/mentee pairing and preparation for the participants.

Notes and Tips

  • Early and effective recruitment strategies can significantly strengthen the pool of candidates.
  • Mentor/mentee matching and pre-program preparation strengthen the participants' experience.
  • Connecting with existing programs is essential from a logistical aspect and also for the students to feel connected to the greater community.

Evidence of Success

As of August 2018, there have been 41 CSURP participants over the past 5 years in which 75% are from underrepresented groups in chemistry. Of those CSURP alumni who responded to our survey, 90% are currently in or plan to attend PhD or MD programs, and 100% indicated that CSURP had a direct impact on their future plans.

Program Costs and ROI

  • Cost of this initiative in its first year (including start-up costs): an average of $7,500 per student
  • Average yearly costs to maintain this initiative: an average of $7,500 per student, varying per site of research experience
  • Average number of individuals served per year by this initiative: 5-10

References and Accessory Materials

Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CSURP) Website

Center for Selective C–H Functionalization (CCHF) Website