CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 25, 2010 – Dr. Mohammed Ali and Dr. Bjorn Olesen, faculty in the Department of Chemistry at Southeast Missouri State University, have been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to mentor 12 students in the area of green chemistry research.
The project is titled “U.S.-India Program for Research in Green Chemistry.” The $128,268 grant will allow Ali and Olesen, both professors of chemistry, to mentor 12 students who will travel to India to also conduct research at the partner institution, the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Students participating in the project will be involved in significant research in the area of organic chemistry, specifically researching methods for efficiently limiting environmental pollution. In addition to benefiting from the extensive expertise offered by Ali and Olesen, students will have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research at an internationally renowned, well-equipped research institute in India.
“We are excited to be able to offer this experience to our students,” Ali said. “Grants of this nature generally go to larger research universities. The opportunity to participate in significant research in green chemistry at a prestigious institution like IACS is one that is not afforded to many undergraduates.”
Participants will be prepared for the cultural and logistical aspects of the project through intensive orientation at Southeast Missouri State University, and will be working alongside Indian students and faculty in the laboratory at IACS. All participants will be asked to deliver seminars for their fellow students after they return from their summer experiences.
“The U.S.-India Program for Research in Green Chemistry provides students with a unique opportunity to participate in a variety of important educational activities,” said Dr. Ron Rosati, provost at Southeast Missouri State University.
“Students will be involved in experiential learning – developing an understanding of research practices through involvement with hands-on scholarly projects. Students will develop an understanding of other cultures and the global economy,” he said. “The green chemistry technology learned by the students will help them become involved in developing sustainable technologies in their future jobs.
“I appreciate the good work of our faculty, Dr. Mohammed Ali and Dr. Bjorn Olesen, in providing the students of Southeast with this opportunity,” Rosati said. “This grant demonstrates that the high quality of their work is recognized and valued by their peers.”
The NSF funds were awarded under the Developing Global Scientists and Engineers – International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program, which seeks to educate a globally-engaged science and engineering workforce capable of performing in an international research environment in order to remain at the forefront of world science and technology. This program exists within the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), which serves as NSF’s focal point for international science and engineering activities. OISE supports innovative awards and supplements that promote research excellence through new internationalcollaboration and that develop the next generation of globally engaged scientists and engineers. OISE funds international research and education activities in all NSF-supported disciplines involving any region of the world. The OISE funds less than half of all grant applications submitted, and funds less than 20 percent of applicants for research grant proposals.