Are you an Incoming Freshman with a major in the School of Science? If so, you are invited to apply to become a summer researcher in a chemistry lab at Saint Mary’s College this summer!

Three students will be selected for a 6-week summer researcher position in Professor Kurji's Chemistry lab. Research starts on July 1st and ends on August 9th. We will be investigating the chemistry and material properties of materials that bend when they are exposed to light. This work is classified as "STEAM," which is STEM+Art, so we will also be thinking of how our materials fill 3-D space, and how that connects to how artists use and think about 3-D space.

What you will get out of it:

  • A chance to earn some money doing science ($4000).
  • A chance to travel (we will visit scientific collaborators at Washington State University in at the end of July 2019, we will also travel to Washington DC for a scientific conference where you will present your work in February of 2020).
  • A chance to live on campus before you start at SMC (6 weeks of housing at SMC will be covered - from July 1st to August 10th).
  • A chance to get involved in the science community before you even start at SMC (you will be part of a cohort that includes rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who have been accepted to participate in Summer Research at SMC).
  • A chance to visit some Art Museums in the San Francisco Bay Area to spark our thinking in 3-D.
  • A chance to investigate the chemistry of some neat materials!

What you need to be eligible for this program:

  • An interest and curiosity about chemistry and materials science.
  • An intent to declare a major in SMC's School of Science.
  • A commitment to be able to work from 9:30-4:30 pm, Monday through Friday from July 1st to August 9th (except on major Holidays) [If you are local and would prefer not to live on campus, that is negotiable.]
  • A commitment to travel to Washington State University the week of July 21st (a 3-5 day trip).
  • US Citizenship or Permanent Residence (this is a requirement from our funding agency that can’t be avoided)

If you are a first-generation college student, or if you belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in science fields, you are especially encouraged to apply!


To apply fill out the short application form linked here. Applications are due Thursday 6/20/19.


Please feel free to contact Professor Kurji ( if you have any questions.