Physical Sciences Research

Chem lab

Research Opportunities

Research is a key component of our degree programs and takes place throughout the calendar year. By working closely with faculty members in generating new scientific knowledge, you will gain critical skills that prepare you for future careers in chemistry, biochemistry/biotechnology, physics, material science, and Earth and space sciences.

There are several ways to get involved in research:

  • You can perform research as part of an independent study course for college credits
  • You can apply for a summer undergraduate research fellowship (SURF), which is available through various federal and state sources.

Your research experience will also count toward departmental honors. Consult the Departmental Honors Program in physical sciences, for more information.

If you are interested in conducting research with a faculty mentor, follow the steps below:

  1. First review their research labs below and choose a research project that matches your interests.
  2. Next, contact the professor who is overseeing the lab, using the email address provided, and express your interest in joining the lab.
  3. After you have been accepted into their lab, you will need to fill out the Independent Study Application Form, which includes a short research proposal. 
  4. After you complete the application, submit it to your research mentor, who will write a brief paragraph stating how you will be evaluated for grading purposes. You will hand in the form to the chair of the Physical Sciences Department and be registered in your research mentor’s course automatically.
  5. Due dates for submitting your Independent Study Application Form are November 15, if the research project is to be undertaken in the spring, and by April 15, if the project is to be undertaken in the summer or fall.
  6. You must submit a new application for independent study each semester that you wish to perform research for credit.

Faculty Researchers
Research Interests: Bioenergetics, Metabolism, DNA damage response, Protein purification, Structure function studies
Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: Fluorescence, Tryptophan, Micelles, Fluorescence anisotropy, Binding studies
Materials Science
Research Interests: Thin films, metals, mechanical properties, colloids, crystal structure, crystal growth, soft materials

Research Interests: Biodegradable Polymers for Drug Delivery Applications
Chemistry, Oceanography
Research Interests: Fate and transport of road salt in Rhode Island freshwater systems and the potential impacts on the Narragansett Bay watershed; Biogeochemical cycles and chemical distributions in coastal waters, including Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island Sound, and Block Island Sound
Analytical Chemistry
Research Interests: Ion analysis of freshwater systems, metal analysis, atomic absorption spectroscopy, chromatography
Inorganic/Organometallic Chemistry
Research Interests: Green Chemistry, Renewable Chemical Feedstocks, Organometallics, Catalysis, Inorganic Synthesis, Ligand Synthesis, DNA-binding Metal Complexes, Metal-based Antitumor Compounds
Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Research Interests: Electronic devices, Micro/nano structured materials, Transport measurements in thin films, Optical characterization, Electrochemical growth
Research Interests: Surface physics, thin film growth, phase transitions
Research Interests: Theoretical & Computational physics with a focus on Renormalization-Group Theory, Field Theory, Diophantine Polynomials, Number Theory, Riemannian Topology, Ising Networks, Competition
Research Interests: Polymerase kinetics, DNA repair, cancer, melanoma, protein purification, protein dynamics, fluorescence resonance energy transfer ​ 
Research Interests: Surface and Interface Physics, Crystallography, Ion Bombardment, Geiger-Muller tubes and fast pulse counting, Electron Spectroscopies, Monte Carlo Simulation, XPS core and valence models