VICHF IREU | International Research Experience for Undergraduates

globe flaskThe VICHF IREU program is a 10 week summer research internship focusing on the development and application of C–H Functionalization for the synthesis of organic molecules of biological and material significance. The program is open to undergraduate students majoring in chemistry from universities nationwide.

The VICHF program is generously supported by the National Science Foundation as part of the Science Across Virtual Networks initiative (NSF-SAVI), to encourage global scientific collaboration. This summer research program seeks to cultivate interest in C–H Functionalization among U.S. undergraduate students and future scientists, especially those from groups underrepresented in the chemical sciences. The program aims to encourage its participants to pursue graduate study and academic research in the chemical sciences.

To be eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Each year up to 8 students will be selected for the fellowship. Applications for the 2016 fellowships are now closed.  Applications for 2017 fellowships will be accepted beginning in November of 2016.

The VICHF IREU program has been designed to provide an immersive experience in cutting-edge C–H Functionalization research. By combining the key aspects of a traditional study abroad experience with programmatic C–H Functionalization education these fellowships provide an intense cultural and scientific experience.


Program Overview

Introduction to C–H Functionalization Science Seminar

March – This introductory seminar will include online lectures from our international collaborators, providing an overview of all of the research being done in the VICHF. It will include talks from previous fellows about their experience in the program. This introduction will be supplemented by online modules and reading material.

Pre-departure Orientation Meetings

April/May – Meeting online every two weeks leading up to the start of the fellowship we will provide an overview of the program and build a forum for participants to discuss and prepare for the upcoming experience. During these meetings we will be discussing expectations of the program, connecting fellows with their contacts at the host institutions and dealing with the logistics of the program.

International Research Experience

June/July – The exact dates of the experience will vary based on the different host locations, but the fellows will spend 8 weeks working in host labs. Participants will be matched with an English-speaking research mentor. Projects will have been discussed between the international research partners to provide an engaging and meaningful experience of C–H Functionalization chemistry. During their research experience fellows will be involved in online meetings with their international collaborators regularly, including technical discussions, educational presentations and professional development sessions. Key experiential factors include:

  • Fellows will have hands-on experience with C–H Functionalization chemistry.
  • Fellows will be immersed in a collaborative environment, connecting with international research partners and programs.
  • Fellows will improve their language skills and gain invaluable cultural experiences.
  • Strengthen the collaborative bonds between international research partners.

Mid-Program Meeting

Mid-July – This meeting, half way through the VICHF-IREU experience will provide an opportunity for the participants to share their science, ideas and experiences. With this group setting participants can reflect on their experiences in the first half of the program, share tips on how to operate in an international research lab and make connections to the other participants in their cohort.

Return Meeting and CCHF Annual Meeting

Early Fall – The culminating experience of the VICHF-IREU will be a poster presentation at the CCHF Annual Meeting in early Fall, which brings together researchers from across the United States to discuss the cutting-edge of C–H Functionalization technology. During this four day meeting students will have the opportunity to interact with researchers from across the Center, participate in professional development sessions that will focus on integrating their international experience into future academic and career plans and a seminar highlighting further opportunities for engagement.