The SURF Fellowship provides undergraduates with $6,000 to pursue research at their home universities between junior and senior year.

Stony Brook University student and chemistry major Emma Scher ‘25  was recently named a recipient of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Organic Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). Scher will be using her fellowship to further her research project entitled, “Titanium Photocatalysis as an Enabling Tool for Molecular Functionalization.” 

As the premier national undergraduate fellowship award for organic chemistry, the SURF Fellowship provides undergraduates with $6,000 to pursue research at their home universities between junior and senior year. 

In addition to this fellowship, Scher was also named a Frances Velay Women and Science Research Fellow in Summer 2023, where she was mentored by Jeffrey Lipshultz, assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry. Lipschultz will also serve as Scher’s mentor for the SURF Fellowship.

“Emma is the longest-tenured member of my group, having joined as a sophomore, upon my arrival at SBU in September 2022,” said Professor Lipshultz. “Her time as a Frances Velay Women and Science Research Fellow last summer was critical to her growth as an experimentalist, as she especially became adept at glovebox work. Now, her efforts are focused on organic synthesis and reaction development. Support from the DOC SURF will help her reach the next level, as she prepares to apply for graduate school in organic synthesis this coming fall.”

This is the second year in a row that the College’s Department of Chemistry has had a student receive this high honor. Prior to Scher, Saba Gulzar ‘24 BS Chemistry, who most recently  worked in Distinguished Professor Iwao Ojima’s lab, received the SURF Fellowship.

The SURF program was established in 2009 to provide funding for outstanding undergraduate organic chemistry students attending colleges and universities in the United States. These competitive fellowships are awarded on the merits of students’ research proposals, academic records, faculty recommendations and their passion for laboratory science. 

About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University — New York’s flagship university and No. 1 public university — is going far beyond the expectations of today’s public universities. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. With nearly 26,000 students, more than 2,900 faculty members, more than 220,000 alumni, a premier academic healthcare system and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs, Stony Brook is a research-intensive distinguished center of innovation dedicated to addressing the world’s biggest challenges. The university embraces its mission to provide comprehensive undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality, and is ranked as the #58 overall university and #26 among public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges listing. Fostering a commitment to academic research and intellectual endeavors, Stony Brook’s membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places it among the top 71 research institutions in North America. The university’s distinguished faculty have earned esteemed awards such as the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. Stony Brook has the responsibility of co-managing Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy — one of only eight universities with a role in running a national laboratory. In 2023, Stony Brook was named the anchor institution for The New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island in New York City. Providing economic growth for neighboring communities and the wider geographic region, the university totals an impressive $7.23 billion in increased economic output on Long Island. Follow us on Facebook and X@stonybrooku.


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