Officially the Chem. Lab. program has the Technical Project Course in sixth semester. We have revived what amounts to special voluntary projects. These are chemistry projects that highly motivated students volunteer for. There are essentially two types.
1. Applied Research: There are some local companies that have some problems or issues that can be helped or solved by applying chemistry to them. It could be as simple as quantifying metal content in a plating bath or testing a new method, but it could also be bigger such as a multi year survey of contaminants in a process to see yearly changes. The point is that the 14 week technical project at one day a week is not sufficient to handle such tasks. So for some students they volunteer to work as much as possible throughout the year on a project here at the college. One such on going project is working with plating baths and measuring: metal content, organic content, pH, surface tension and more. The benefit for the students who are interested in this sort of thing is huge since they get a real handle on what research into a chemistry related problem is actually like.
2. Academic Research: Academic research is typically always done by Universities. This type of research often has no immediate practical application. An example might be the synthesis of a new macromolecule or searching for a new enzyme in a metabolic pathway 'just because'. Just recently after a we have been fortunate to setup a means for motivated students to work on a more academic project at the University of Windsor. Again this is voluntary and at the complete discretion of any University Professor who wished to be involved. Past graduate, Sinisa Djurdjevic carried out work for Dr. Jim Green which ended in a nice publication on the synthesis of Allocolchicines. Students interested in this sort of thing typically do so after completion of their second year and have intentions of going to University afterwards. The time requirement for this type of research is huge but very rewarding.