Younger Chemistry Education Scholars Blog

Welcome! Although it often feels like we as younger chemical educators work in a vacuum, in truth we are a community of scholars and professionals. We hope this blog will help younger scholars in the chemical education community support one another, share ideas, and exchange advice.

The blog is regularly updated with guest posts from chemical education researchers across the community.

Recent Blog Entries

by Debbie Herrington (Grand Valley State University) and Ryan Sweeder (Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University)

As undergraduate students majoring in chemistry, one of us in the US and the other in Canada, we were familiar with the Journal of Chemical Education, but had never heard of Chemistry Education Research (CER). Had either of us known it was possible to do graduate work in CER, we may have made some different graduate school choices. Maybe you are in a similar situation; just hearing about this thing called CER. Or maybe you are about to begin graduate work in CER but wanting to know more about the field in general. In this post we aim to provide a concise summary of the development and current state of the CER field as well as what we view as the future challenges and opportunities for the field. Having individually come to CER through notably different pathways, we hope our perspective gives you a sense of CER as a discipline and encourages you to jump in and participate in the work and important conversations needed to build the CER community and move it forward. 

by Katherine Lazenby
The University of Iowa

As an awardee of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), I want to share my experience preparing for submission (and deciding to apply in the first place) to the program. I found applying to the program to be a valuable experience, and receiving the award has afforded me many opportunities, such as agency over my research directions and the ability to travel and share my work at conferences. I hope my perspectives will help future graduate students write compelling and competitive proposals!

For those who are unfamiliar with GRFP, it’s a program intended to fund researchers early in their career (senior undergraduates who are grad school-bound, and first- and second-year graduate students). Currently (2019), GRFP provides three years of funding, including a $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 for academic costs like tuition, fees, and travel. (For more info on GRFP, see