Research Experience for Nigerian Students

Mission: To provide world class virtual research experience to Nigerian students.

Why this program?: The PI (Chibueze) ran the US-Nigeria PhD workshop for the past two years to prepare students for the PhD application. However, a significant part of a successful application is research experience. Unfortunately, there are not many available research experiences. In addition, a research experience is often needed to guide one’s decision whether to pursue a PhD. This program strives to make this dream possible.

Eligibility*:
a) Be a current undergraduate in a Nigerian university
b) Must currently be in your fourth year or fifth year (‘final year’)
c) Must be interested in applying for graduate school (PhD) in the US
d) Pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering, Biological Engineering, or Materials Science/Engineering (or similar)
e) Be on track for a first class (preferred) or second class upper (2:1)

*Finalists will be required to submit verification of academic credentials

Program structure
a) APPLY HERE. Deadline is March 1st, 2023
b) Once selected, you will be paired with a US-based research lab for a summer research project (Virtual)
c) The research experience is projected to last 8-10 weeks. Projects are projected to start in June 2023 and end in August 2023
d) Meet with mentor at a predetermined frequency.
e) Present final results/project update at a summer workshop (tentatively planned in person in Nigeria or virtual (TBD))
f) After end of research project, work with program team to assist in your PhD applications

Potential research projects
This research experience is virtual! Because of the virtual nature, the projects will be computational. Projects such as a) density functional theory calculations b) molecular dynamics simulations c) data science d) AI/ML e) modeling etc.

Potential research advisors
a) Professor Chibueze Amanchukwu (https://amanchukwu.uchicago.edu/)
b) Dr. Birali Runesha (https://rcc.uchicago.edu/)
c) More to be added!

Additional program benefits
A research and student mentor
Access to computational resources (server access)
Funds to buy “data”
“In-kind” support for graduate school PhD applications (application fees, GRE testing, Application review and similar)

Program sponsors
Neubauer Family Assistant Professors Program
Please reach out to Chibueze Amanchukwu (chibueze@uchicago.edu) if interested in supporting the program and enabling research experiences for Nigerian students

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
a) Is the research experience paid?
The research experience is unpaid. While getting funding from US-based institutions to support ‘foreign students’ is very difficult, we hope program success provides a pathway to getting future funding.
b) Why is this program only for Nigerian students?
This is considered a pilot and the PI has a network of Nigerian students and potential mentors. If successful, it is our goal to recruit from other African countries.
c) Why is a first class degree preferred?
The goal of this program is to prepare students for success in gaining admission to top US research institutions. A first class degree is not required for admission, but is often highly desired.
d) Is coding experience required?
Although not required, it is certainly highly desired. Some projects may not involve significant coding and efforts will be made to match students interests with the relevant projects
e) Why only chemical engineering or materials science/engineering?
The summer research projects are geared towards those with chemical engineering or materials science backgrounds.