Research & Outreach

Research Opportunities

Research in our department spans the traditional Organic, Inorganic, Materials, Physical, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, and Biochemistry areas.

At the same time, our strength is the interdisciplinary and modern approach to chemical research. Our interdisciplinary research areas in Molecular Design & Synthesis; Biomedical Sciences; Biology-Inspired Chemistry and Physics; Energy, Catalysis & Green Chemistry; Devices, Assembly & Nanochemistry; and Structural Chemistry, Spectroscopy & Advanced Analysis, provide a glimpse at this tradition. The areas and their boundaries are overlapping by nature. Various UCSB Organizations and Institutes provide support and a forum for collaborations. For a full list of our department research areas, please click here.

CHEM 99/199

These courses: Chem 99 - Introduction to Research, and Chem 199 - Independent Studies, provide undergraduate students with an excellent opportunity to work as part of a research group alongside a faculty member while receiving units for their work.

Please click the link below to access the electronic form for Chem 99 or Chem 199 and review common FAQs.

Chem 99/199 Access Form

How to Get Involved in a Research Group

There are 3 common ways in which our undergraduates join a research group. Please see below for more details. 

Option 1: Check out opportunities on URAD: URAD (Undergraduate Research Assistant Directory) is similar to a job board in which faculty, campus-wide, post projects for undergraduates to assist them with. Some students go from being a project member to a permanent member of the group! 

Option 2: Email a faculty member directly, expressing your interest in their research and a desire to learn more. When emailing faculty, we recommend you to include a copy of your unofficial transcript. This allows them to see how you are doing thus far academically.

Option 3: Talk to one of your TAs. TAs are graduate students and they can be a great bridge between you and faculty. We have seen TAs be great advocates for undergraduates, able to speak on their performance in a lab or lecture, their aptitude and engagement, and other important factors.

Click here for additional information. 

Volunteer Opportunities


This program is a partnership between local elementary students and teachers and UCSB students and faculty. To improve educational opportunities for K-12 students, we have developed a program that brings fifth grade students to the chemistry lab at UCSB every Thursday morning to participate in hands-on standards-based physical science activities. UCSB students are given the opportunity to share their love of science with elementary students and to consider a career path as a science educator.


This outreach program focuses on allowing 2nd-12th grade students to experience science first hand by designing, carrying out, and presenting scientific experiments. SciTrek allows UCSB undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to volunteer within the program.

Academic Opportunities


LAs work directly with peers in the general chemistry laboratory in a role similar to that of a Teaching Assistant (TA).

Internship Opportunities

Materials Research Laboratory

Career Services

Other Educational Opportunities


CalTeach is a University of California system-wide program to recruit, prepare, and support exceptional K-12 teachers in science and mathematics. If you have ever thought about teaching science, taking classes within the CalTeach program will help you find out if this is the career for you. For chemistry majors, two recommended courses are CHEM 102 (Teaching Chemistry at the Secondary Level) and ED 131 (Teaching Science at the Secondary Level) both of these course teach you pedagogy and get you out in classrooms to experience secondary teaching firsthand. If you enjoy these courses, you can continue taking classes and earn your Minor in Science and Mathematics Education.

Minor in Science and Mathematics Education