“Wherever we look, the work of the chemist has raised the level of our civilization and has increased the productive capacity of our nation.” ― Calvin Coolidge

Chemistry is not just about 'white lab coats' and 'funky equipment'; it's about discovering new ways of looking at the world, and exploring novel techniques to make it better.

In the School of Chemistry at UNSW, we give our undergraduate students lots of opportunities to learn about and perform cutting edge research as part of one of our research groups with interests spanning the full spectrum of chemistry and chemistry-related interdisciplinary fields. You can hear about how research works, the next big discoveries and the scientific career from working researchers at all career stages from PhD students to Nobel Prize winner. 

What is research?

  • It can be in any field.
  • It involves making or discovering something new.
  • It involves making independent decisions.

What activities will you do while being involved in research?

  • Analysis of scientific papers.
  • Presentations of your research and the research of others.
  • Development of a hypothesis.
  • Running complex experiments that evaluate if a hypothesis is correct.
  • Analysis of sometimes ambiguous data.
  • Determine the next step and a new hypothesis.

What do you learn from doing research?

  • Think critically about complex problems.
  • Independence.
  • Analyze multifaceted situations.
  • Overcome fear of difficult situations.
  • Become comfortable learning new concepts.
  • Develop logical solutions.
  • Work as a team solving challenging problems.

In summary, learning how to do research will develop skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Come join us!

Opportunities for undergraduate research

As an undergraduate you can take CHEM2999 or CHEM3998 (6 units of credit) and work with a supervisor at UNSW. You would explore new ideas and develop your skills as an independent thinker in the lab. 

Please note: To enrol in our undergraduate research courses, we require students to have a WAM of 65. CHEM2999 has a formal prerequisite of CHEM1041 or CHEM2041. CHEM3998 is designed for third year students who have already completed at least 18 credit points of Level II Chemistry courses.