Our department offers abundant research opportunities for students both during the academic year and during the summer months. Our faculty are engaged in research projects which lend themselves to undergraduate participation. In tackling the challenge of advanced and independent laboratory work, our students begin to understand the nature of science and the scientific method. Participation by all students is strongly encouraged, as it builds a greater appreciation of the nature of science and their chosen field. The opportunity to perform independent research has motivated many of our students to continue their education either in an accredited graduate program or in a professional school in a number of medical fields.
Often, faculty and students jointly present their research results either at national professional meetings, Rider Independent Scholarly Research & Creative Activities Presentations (ISCAP) Day, or as written research papers submitted to scholarly journals.
Independent Research & Study (CHE, BCH, or PHY-490)
During the academic year students can elect to do independent research for up to four credits per semester. Prior to the start of each semester in which research credits are obtained, the student and their faculty research mentor develop a plan for the student's researches. This plan will outline the research project, relevant past research and expected results. Once approved by the department, the plan is also submitted to the Dean of the College and/or the Associate Dean of Science. During the course of the semester, it is expected that the student and faculty mentor maintain regular contact to discuss the student's progress. Towards the end of the semester the student is expected to submit a written report of their results. Up twelve credits of a 490 course may be counted towards graduation.
Given an independent research of sufficient depth, a student may also develop an honors thesis in their senior year based upon the work done during their independent research studies. An honors thesis should have more breadth than the usual end-of-semester report.
Summer Research Opportunities
Summer research opportunities in our department provide a student with the experience of full immersion into research. It is not uncommon for students to participate in summer independent research at Rider in the summer before their senior year in order to initiate work on a project for which they intend to write an honors thesis. Summer research can be done for college credit as above. However, more commonly, individual faculty members are able provide summer research students with a salary for their work. Often our faculty members use research grant money to support research students.
A scientific internship in an industrial setting allows our students to reinforce and expand upon the skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the classroom by applying it in the workplace. This real world experience also allows students to test their career goals and build their professional foundations, while giving them a competitive edge in the job market. At Rider University, we have established contacts and partnerships with many local chemical and pharmaceutical industries to facilitate the placement of students from our chemistry program through internships.