Undergraduate Students

Directed Research (CHEM 399) provides an opportunity for undergraduate majors at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to receive academic credit while participating in research activities in reaction dynamics, combustion chemistry, rocket propulsion chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, astrochemistry, astrobiology, planetary chemistry, polymer chemistry, or organo metallic chemistry. This course is especially recommended for students who are considering the possibility of continuing their studies to the Master's or Ph.D. level. A description of our current research group can be found on our home page. Typical projects are – but are not limited to:

1.   Energetic Materials

2.   Metal-Based Jet Fuel Additives

3.   Reaction Dynamics involved in the Formation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

4.   Synthesis of Complex Organic Molecules in Extraterrestrial Ices

5.   Extraterrestrial Phosphorus Chemistry

6.   Formation of Water on the Lunar Surface.

Application Information

All projects involve laboratory work and exposure students to cutting-edge experimental techniques and instruments used in contemporary research. It is typical for a student to sign up for three credits of CHEM 399 for several successive semesters. As a rough guide, each credit hour of CHEM 399 involves five hours in the lab, but this varies from project to project. At the end of the semester the student receives a letter grade. There is no final examination, but some projects require a written report. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest (1 page) and transcripts to Prof. Ralf I. Kaiser, Department of Chemistry, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2545 The Mall, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA or via email to