Research at Columbia

students looking at test tube

The unique research environment in Chemistry at Columbia is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Most research groups have close ties to others in and outside of the department, including those in Biology, Engineering, Physics, and at the Columbia Medical Center. Students also have the opportunity to develop collaborative relationships with researchers at other premier institutions in the New York Metro area including Brookhaven National Lab, Princeton, Yale, and NYU, as well as with scientists at the many private companies in the region including Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Merck, and IBM, and at other private and public institutions all over the world.

The research facilities at Columbia are state-of-the-art. The Chemistry Department houses NMR, mass spectrometry, and shared user facilities with instruments for imaging, structure determination, autoclaving and more. The Chemistry Department’s Havemeyer Hall is home to the Columbia Nano Initiative’s Shared Materials Characterization Lab and its new Electron Microscopy Facility which contains a number of state of the art scanning and transmission electron microscopes. Elsewhere on campus and at the Columbia Medical Center, researchers have access to a wide range of shared user facilities, and students can also carry out experiments at Brookhaven National Lab. The University is also home to Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), a premier technology transfer office that specializes in patenting, marketing, and licensing research innovations from the Columbia community.

Throughout their time at Columbia, students have many opportunities to present their research publicly at a range of departmental seminars and at meetings and conferences. Membership in the department provides access to a remarkable variety of internal and external seminars. These include weekly departmental colloquia where top scientists from around the world present their research, as well as host of student-lead seminars, interdepartmental seminars, and seminars hosted by the Columbia’s various interdisciplinary research institutes.

Graduate students are often recognized for their research with external awards and fellowships. Many students hold public fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and more, as well as private fellowships from industrial partners and nonprofit organizations. In addition, Columbia and the Chemistry department grants several internal fellowships and travel grants each year along with awards for students who conduct outstanding research.

Explore the links below to learn more about the Department and the Chemistry Ph.D. Program: