Perspectives on Chemistry Research at the University of Michigan (PECRUM)

University of Michigan, Department of Chemistry

In the Fall of 2001, a meeting between graduate students and the long term planning committee in the Chemistry department brought to light a perceived deficiency in the Chemistry graduate program. Graduate students publicized their perception that in the second half of their graduate education, there were very few avenues for scientific interaction within the department. It was to fill this need that Perspectives on Chemistry Research at the University of Michigan (PECRUM) was developed.

PECRUM is designed to be held annually after the end of the winter term allowing students to present their work to the department as a whole, to foster collaborations, to inspire new avenues of research, and to nurture a growing sense of community within the department.

PECRUM has become an annual event in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan having taken place in May 2003 and 2004.

PECRUM Website
Welcome to PECRUM!

PECRUM: Objectives

PECRUM is the creation of a space for the Chemistry department to come together within a scientific setting with a scientific agenda. This innovation aims to address the lack of an environment where the Chemistry community can interact over science, create collaboration opportunities across traditional divisional boundaries while promoting the development of professional skills in the student body.


We have tested our intended educational objectives by polling the perceptions of the PECRUM participants with written surveys. These survey instruments were designed by Dr. Katherine Henzler-Wildman during her tenure as a member of the PECRUM organizing commitee. The raw data and its analysis is available at the PECRUM website (

In broad strokes we can safely state that PECRUM succesfully accomplished the important objective of raising awareness about the range of research experiences available within Michigan Chemistry.

Survey Results PECRUM 2003

Survey Results PECRUM 2004

Data Analysis PECRUM 2003-2004


We have developed a day long symposium with student oral and poster presentations and a capping event in the form of a keynote address by a notable speaker. The logistical issues of scheduling (Saturday morning through early afternoon) were chosen so to maximize exposure of the participants to the entire departmental community as well as to ensure a large audience.

PECRUM 2004 Schedule


Participation in PECRUM will accomplish the integration of the graduate/postdoctoral student body into a community of scholars that trascends the research group barriers. Not only does this take advantage of the entire pool of intellectual resources available in the Chemistry department when it comes to tackling research problems, but it also serves as a platform for starting new research collaborations as well as reinforcing those collaborations already in existence. The emergence of interdisciplinary research also beckons the existence of a forum where research across traditional disciplinary barriers can be discussed.

PECRUM also serves as a setting for the development of professional skills among the student community in the Chemistry department. For the presenters, PECRUM is an in-house opportunity to sharpen public presentation abilities and analyze the importance and implications of one's own research when contrasted with members from other disciplines. For the organizers, PECRUM serves as a testing ground of their leadership and management.

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Terms of Use - Privacy Policy