University of Delaware Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Research Experience

Science and Engineering Leadership Initiative (SELI)


This Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site is designed to support the advancement of students with disabilities who are interested in careers in chemistry, biochemistry, or aligned fields. Recognizing that people with disabilities constitute at least 13% of the U.S. population under 45 years of age yet comprise only 1.02% of earned doctorates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, this REU program strives to provide the experiences, background, and mentoring needed to prepare students with disabilities for graduate school success. 

The REU program is open to all undergraduate students with disabilities (mobility, sensory, learning, psychological, medical, or other) who are majors in chemistry, biochemistry, or chemistry related fields. Preference will be given to students who are:

·       Juniors (i.e. one to two years away from graduation)

·       Interested in chemistry and biochemistry research projects (related disciplines will be considered.)

·       Considering graduate or professional school following graduation

·       Highly motivated to excel

The 8-week Summer REU program will be held at the University of Delaware campus in Newark, DE from June 21, 2017 to August 14, 2017The next summer REU program will be in 2017. There will not be a summer REU program for  2016.  Opportunities to extend one week prior and following the REU may be available. The REU program offers the following benefits and activities;

·       Participation in state-of-the-art research projects.

·       Stipend of $3,000 for 8 week program.

·       Housing in UD dorms is covered by REU program.

·       Meal allowance of $800 at campus and community restaurants.

·       Field trip to National Aquarium in Baltimore or National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute Research Lab in Frederick, Md.

·       Receive mentoring and help for the graduate school application process.

·       Expand your personal resource network

·       Present research results at Spring 2016 American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, California.

Announcement for the program can be found here: UD_REU_Flyer_2015.pdf

Research Groups

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Research Groups

If you are in other departments we may be able to place you in Chemical Engineering, Physics, or Material Science


THe next Summer REU program will be in 2017.  There will not be a summer REU program in  2016.

The application for this program can be found here [pdf] [word].

Please return the application by May 1st via email to

We will let you know of our admission decision by May 15th.

Letters of recommendation can be emailed independently of the application.

If you need an alternative method of submitting the application or have any concerns or questions, please contact:

            Dr. Karl S. Booksh


            Office: 302-831-2561

            Cell: 302-824-5053

SELI Motivation

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduate students with disabilities are a significantly under represented demographic. While 13.4% of the US population between 18 and 44 years of age are thought to have a disability,[3] representation among STEM undergraduate and graduate students drop to 10% and 6%, respectively.[4] Ultimately, less than 2% of STEM doctorates are earned by students with disabilities. [5] In chemistry and physics, only 28 doctorates were earned by students with disabilities in 2006.[4] (note: between 2009 and 2010 the reported number of earned doctorates by students with disabilities increased after questions about disabilities were revised.[6]) Since the passage of the ADA in 1991, there has not been a statistically significant increase in the percentage of STEM doctorate earned by persons with disabilities. (Figure 1, purple) By way of comparison, STEM doctoral degrees earned by black or Hispanic STEM students have increases by more than 0.1 percentage points (Figure 1, red and blue).[7],[8],[9],[4],[10]

With these demographics as a backdrop the Science and Engineering Leadership Initiative (SELI) is envisioned. Achieving proportional advancement of persons with disabilities to leadership positions in STEM fields – jobs requiring doctorate or professional degrees - to provide a concerted effort that exposes the systemic causes of the

An increased focus on students with disabilities is needed to help achieve proportionate equity in bachelor and doctoral degrees earned by students with disabilities in STEM.


REU Program Resources