Undergrad Research Opportunities

There are many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research projects guided by faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and this is a requirement (6 credit hours) for our ACS approved BS degrees and for distinction in major.

There are a number of sources of support for undergraduate research experiences including DU’s Partners in Scholarship (PinS) program and Summer Research Scholarships. Additional grants are available through the Colorado-Wyoming Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CO-WY AMP).

SHINE@DU Program

SHINE@DU graphic


Program Overview

It has become obvious that the world will face severe and unprecedented environmental, health, and technological challenges in the next century. We strongly believe that these problems can only be solved, in part, by a diverse group of scientists of different genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. To this end, every summer the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Denver invites local Denver Public School (DPS) students (ages 16 and up) to participate in a paid research internship program.

During this 7-week program, students will be paired with a mentor from one of the participating 11 research groups to engage in hands-on research experience while offering equitable pay ($20/hour, up to 20 hours/week), Regional Transportation District (RTD) passes for the duration of the summer and provided group lunches every Friday. Relevant participating research areas are organic chemistry, biochemistry, and analytical/environmental chemistry; the student will be matched with an appropriate group based on their interests.

The immediate goals of this program are to reduce roadblocks for interested students by providing a flexible work schedule, pay, and transportation, while offering real-world research experience and access to cutting edge research equipment. More long-term goals are related to the creation of a scientific community for the students to rely on throughout their career and to foster the next generation of lifelong scientists from local under-represented groups in the Rocky Mountain area. If we are to weather the challenges facing humanity ahead, we must do it together.

Are you interested in applying? Please fill out this quick survey and we will be in touch:


Program Leadership

Dr. Worrell and Dr. Aron are the co-directors of the SHINE@DU program, which is supported by an NSF-CAREER Award (CHE- 2240141) to Brady Worrell.

Interested in finding out more? Check out a recent article about our program!

2024 Tentative Schedule

Week 1, June 17-21: Orientation and mentor meetup, Friday Group Lunch
Week 2, June 24-28: Friday Lunch Social
Week 3, July 1-5: Fourth of July vacation
Week 4, July 8-12: Friday Lunch & Learn Speaker
Week 5, July 15-19: Friday Lunch Social
Week 6, July 22-26: Friday Lunch & Learn Speaker
Week 7, July 29-August 2: Closing Symposium and Friday Poster Session

Class of 2023

Jay Sledge, Rangeview High School (Worrell Lab)
Melanie Contreras, MLK Jr. Early College High School (Aron Lab)
Jane Goldman, Western Reserve Academy (Michel Lab)
Jonathan Valdez, MLK Jr. Early College High School (Majestic Lab)
Sharmila Bc, MLK Jr. Early College High School (Horowitz Lab)
Jocelyne Martin, MLK Jr. Early College High School (Siemens Lab, Department of Physics & Astronomy)