Dr. Chrystal Bruce, Associate Professor of Chemistry, recently received some good news that will benefit the undergraduate research programs she oversees. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $225,000 grant to the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry (MERCURY), which is a collaboration of undergraduate research teams at 25 higher education institutions nationwide. Dr. Bruce is a key member of MERCURY. “This grant will help fund invaluable research opportunities for talented students interested in chemistry broadly," says Dr. Bruce. "My former research students have been successful in graduate school, medical school, pharmacy school, and a range of chemical industries. The MERCURY consortium provides current JCU students with excellent preparation for their post-graduation endeavors,” she added. State-of-the-art computers will be available for student research projects defined by Dr. Bruce, as a result of MERCURY. The three-year grant, which will run through August 2019, is awarded through the NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI). The MERCURY researchers share computational resources and use the consortium as a venue to collaborate and increase the visibility of their work. MERCURY students have won more than 50 national awards, including a Rhodes Scholarship, 10 Fulbright fellowships and eight Goldwater scholarships. Dr. Bruce is a Physical Chemist who joined the Chemistry Department at John Carroll in 2012. Her research areas include computational physical chemistry with biological applications. Computational chemistry is a branch of chemistry that utilizes computer simulation to solve interesting chemical problems by modeling the behavior of atoms and molecules.