I am final year Chemistry undergraduate. I have worked in areas of laser spectroscopy and astrochemistry. I would like to apply to grad schools along this line especially spectroscopy. However, I know that my specific research interests may make this question not extendable to what others may want.

The best answer to this question is one that explain how you can search for graduate programs in chemistry where there are professors that are doing certain kinds of research, whatever that research might be.

  • Another option is to solicit help from users in the Academia chat room.
    – hBy2Py
    Sep 19, 2015 at 17:38
  • I suggested you look at places like findaphd.com, etc. Alternatively, look at the authors of papers in the field you're interested in. Check their faculty pages, see if they're recruiting grad students, contact them. Attend conferences & chat to people.
    – Popher
    Sep 20, 2015 at 19:56
  • Maybe you should think twice about overspecialization too early in your career. Choosing program based on broad interest is good, but you should find a balance here, and open to other directions, too
    – Greg
    Sep 25, 2015 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


One approach would be to look up interesting papers in spectroscopy or whatever you want to study and then identify what research groups they are coming out of. That is, figure out who is the senior author on the paper (often the last author) and then look at their website and see what else they are working on. Get a list of at least three maybe more like five different people doing research that you think sounds cool and who are at universities where you wouldn't mind working and check to make sure they are the kind of people who actually take graduate student.

Send each one of those professors an email outlining who you are, your research interests, and why you think you would be a good fit for their lab. Attach a copy of your CV.

Some of them will probably be interested in having you apply to their university's graduate program with the idea of taking you into their research group once you are admitted.

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