UNL Chemistry Graduate Studies… and…Nebraska Advantages?

Hello, if you are considering graduate program in Chemistry, perhaps you should take a look at Nebraska. Hey, just look at the map….


Do you see…… the Nebraska Advantage?

No, I am not making this up! “Look at a map of the United States and you’ll immediately notice one of Nebraska’s biggest advantages — location!”, you can find this statement here.

And the slogan…NEBRASKA…the good life….

Yeah, life is pretty good around here, especially for grad students. The current annual stipend for a TA is approximately $21,000. Applicants with outstanding records are eligible for additional fellowships such as Othmer ($7,500/year) and Chancellor’s ($3,000/year). The Nebraska Advantage….relatively low cost of living in Lincoln, a friendly college town and the capital city of Nebraska…. take a virtual tour.

Yeah money is not everything. But hey, you may laugh at this (I did too), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) rates 6th in U.S. News ‘Most Popular College’ list, and it is the top most popular public university (News). There must be good things about the Big Red!

Seriously, we can do great Chemistry research here at UNL. Take a look at the Chemistry building, huge, Hamilton Hall. Hamilton HallTake a tour. We have pretty good Research Instrumentation Facility, and I am sure the organickers would really love this: plenty of NMR time slots! And of course in the RajcaLab, there are many exciting cool research projects to work on. We have many sophisticated instruments in our lab—SQUID, EPR, CD… There are 7 vacuum lines and 3 gloveboxes for organic synthesis. Wanna see our lab, take a tour.

Remember, the purpose of going to graduate school is to learn, especially to develop the experimental skills and techniques, as well as to hone your problem solving abilities. In our group, you will learn many things…from multi-step organic syntheses (in particular those 1-2-milligram scale in which small equivalent amount of reagents are added…..by counting drops!), handlings of air and moisture sensitive materials, magnetic characterizations and so on…. Another big advantage… you will learn how to do things correctly from close interactions in small research group, like….learning directly from a master. Life is easier if you don’t have to learn from your own mistake, especially for inexperience undergrads.

So, are you ready? APPLY NOW. And you may be invited to visit us…

Still have questions…..post them here…. or contact me directly at srajca1 at unl dot edu.

Posted in Around the Lab, General
7 comments on “UNL Chemistry Graduate Studies… and…Nebraska Advantages?
  1. Ψ*Ψ says:

    Small groups in small departments flat-out rock for undergrads, as long as good research is going on. Your building looks pretty nice. How old is it?
    Also, much love for the Jasco spectropolarimeter. Does yours squeak?


  2. SR says:

    I think we are doing good… trying….our best.

    Hamilton Hall was built in 1970…it is old but underwent renovation in the past few years. The 8th floor (Organic) and 7th floor (bio/analytical) were completely torn down!

    What? The Jasco CD…squeak…no! We love our equipments and take care of them very well. Did you see our gloveboxes and vacuum lines?

    Hey, you should come see us, just apply and you may be invited to visit…


  3. Ψ*Ψ says:

    When I was doing CD (a few labs ago…), our instrument–which was extremely pampered and serviced regularly–made cute squeaky noises during normal operation. We never really had any problems with it, but it was a little quirky.
    Never seen a vacuum glovebox before.
    Thanks for the suggestion! Lincoln sounds a lot like Lexington, which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but I’m desperate for a change of scenery and a much larger city.


  4. SR says:

    If your instrument gets regular service, it should be ok then. Perhaps you meant those strange sounds, just right after the instrument was turned on and when the wavelengths were set. It was kinda funny when you asked whether our Jasco squeaked… Admittedly I did not think carefully and assumed that you meant the squeaky noise during data collection. When you said your Jasco was extremely pampered and never had any problems, unlike your hood, huh 🙂 , I thought more carefully and recalled those noises–which I did not quite pay attention to them. I checked our Jasco and yeah those noises were kinda squeaky…. You have good sense of humor! Sorry for the confusion.

    Understand. You probably will go to a famous department. It helps—sometimes people can get famous easily and quickly by being at famous places. A much larger city….I guess around Chicago?


  5. SR says:

    Ha, life in a big city….. If you are considering Emory, you may want to read story about those rats…



  6. Ψ*Ψ says:

    Ew, rats! Glad I live with three furry little exterminators.
    Not looking for famous, but every school on my list has a department with some materials focus. I’m hoping to find a large city so I can get around without driving. Another car accident is pretty much the last thing I need!
    If I knew any undergrads who actually wanted to do chemistry in grad school, I’d point them in your direction–your group has some super-cool research. It also looks pretty small, which can make for a great learning environment (and sufficient bench space–always a plus). Sadly, most people I know at UK are either pre-med or pharmacy school-bound.


  7. SR says:

    Ah, those rats might be as big as your little furry friends… And what about this story—awful, ugly smell?

    I am sure you have all good places on your list. Certainly, shoot for the best possible—set your goal high. Hope though location is not the main factor…. a large city, so you could avoid driving and another accident? You should go for the place that is best fit you, so you can be successful–that is the bottom line. C’mon, you can drive safely! Generally speaking, driving around Lincoln is a piece of cake, going through streets, no freeways. There are plenty of apartments very close to campus, within walking distance or the UNL bus service routes. Lincoln also has decent bike paths around the city. Location, imo, should not be the primary factor—grad school supposes to be for short period–4 years or 5 years max, or make it as short as possible, if you can. This should be the time for building solid base for future career, like building a strong foundation of a house, whatever the extras can be added on later. There are examples of very bright students who could not do so well at top schools for various reasons. So, it is important to choose the place that fit you, with the best chance of success regardless the location.

    I completely understand why Nebraska is not on your list—many obvious Nebraska disadvantages, no need to mention. Though it is great to know that you think our group has some “super-cool research” and much appreciate your willingness to point some undergrads to our group.

    Group is small now and we certainly hope to grow a bit very soon, a least to the usual size of 6-7 postdoc and grad student members.


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