Short research projects for the bachelor and master students in chemistry at the University of Liège (Belgium).
1. 3rd year bachelor students (coordinator: Dr. N. Willet)
Aim of the activity:
To give a first introduction to research in a chemical laboratory, including the writing of a laboratory notebook, research ethics, communication of the results to an informed audience, and to emphasize the necessity of mastering all basic chemistry knowledge acquired previously.
The student is doing an internship of one week in one the research laboratories of the Chemistry Department, under the supervision of a researcher. The student performs experiments, takes complete lab notes, assesses his data and exploits the relevant literature. A seminar focused on short presentations is organized before the internship. At the end of the semester, the research results are presented to the whole Chemistry Department in a poster session.
2. 1st year master students: integrated research project (coordinator: Prof. A-S. Duwez)
Aim of the activity:
The aim of these integrated research projects (individual or by groups, depending on the number of students and available projects/tutors) is that the students acquire the essential know-how of research in a laboratory.
Every high-quality research starting with a sound bibliography, a very high importance is given to the bibliographic search. The student must demonstrate that he/she is able to position his/her research topic with regard to the state-of-the-art of the field. Another important goal is the development of independence skills. Time management is also an essential objective.
The total duration of the project is 6 weeks. Different topics requiring the expertise of at least two laboratories of the Chemistry Department are proposed to the students at the beginning of the academic year. A time slot in the first semester is devoted to the literature search and to the design of a series of experiments, which will be discussed with the assigned tutors. At the end of the first semester, the students present the results of their literature survey to the department members. The research in the laboratories starts in the second semester and ends with the writing of a report and an oral presentation and defense in front of the department members.
Examples of topics dealt with in 2014-2015:
Solid State NMR characterization of multi-component pharmaceuticals; Characterization of the effects of the spatial organization of ligands on small gold clusters by computational chemistry and mass spectrometry ; Photochemical activation of peptidic prodrugs; Synthesis and mass spectrometry investigation of ruthenium carboxylates; Structuration of TiO2-based photocatalytic materials using sacrificial polymeric agents; Use of coumarin chemistry for macromolecular engineering.
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