UR Chemistry Professor Kelling Donald Receives $375K NSF Grant to Support Research & Underrepresented Groups in Sciences

May 4, 2021

Kelling Donald HeadshotUNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Chemistry professor Kelling Donald has received more than $375K in grant support from the National Science Foundation for his research on chemical bonding. The grant funding is part of an award that is specific for research at undergraduate institutions.

Donald, a theoretical and computational chemist, will use this award to support a three-year project related to chemical bonding transition phenomenon, which includes exploring how molecules assemble in the eventual formation of different types of extended solids.

"This funding supports theoretical investigations toward a fundamental understanding of the chemical bonding — and in particular weak interactions — in several categories of chemical systems,” Donald said.

The award also supports creating mentored research opportunities for UR undergraduate students, including eighteen summer research experiences, and will also enhance COUNTS, a hands-on summer research program created by Donald for high school juniors from unrepresented groups.

“In an integrated program, we will collaborate with an existing network of area high schools to broaden the pipeline of students from underrepresented groups entering and persisting in pursuing science degrees,” Donald added.

Donald has taught at the University since 2007 and also serves as an associate dean in the School of Arts & Sciences. He has held grants from the Research Corporation, the Jeffress Memorial Trust, and was named a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. In 2011, he received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award.

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