Undergraduate Sessions and Events at the ACS Spring 2021 Virtual Meeting

The ACS Spring 2021 virtual meeting, April 5–16, will feature special programming for undergrads along with live oral technical presentations. On-demand content will be available for two weeks following the meeting. With over 120 live sessions every day, an interactive poster session, and more, there is much undergrads can look forward to.

Student program

Although students are welcome at any part of the spring meeting, there is dedicated programming for undergraduate students, most of which will be held April 9–10. The ACS Student Chapter Awards Ceremony will be held April 16, 4:00–7:00 p.m. PDT. Come celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the 2019-2020 award winners, and join in the fun festivities planned.  

See full schedule of technical sessions and events

Join this special celebration of ACS Student Chapters around the world!

April 16, 2021

  • Virtual Ceremony | 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 pm EDT  
  • Zoom Afterparty | 7:45 p.m. – 9:30 pm EDT  

Register here

Here are highlights of symposia, sessions, and workshops for undergrads.

Symposia and Technical Sessions

Creativity: The Little-Known Industry Career Skill 
April 9, 9:00–10:40 a.m. PDT

Researchers from agricultural and food chemistry share how creativity drives their work, their careers, and their industries.

Eminent Scientist Lecture: “Nanomaterials and Light for Sustainability and Societal Impact”
April 9, 10:40–11:40 a.m. PDT

Naomi Halas of Rice University shares the fascinating chemistry of metallic nanoparticles as their unique properties drive the next generation of light-controlled catalysts, remediation of greenhouse gases, and water purification systems.

Influencing Public Opinion through #scicomm
April 9, 1:00–1:40 p.m. PDT

Learn how scientists are using social media to improve public understanding of science.

A Day in My Life: Advancing Nanoscale Models, and Making Macroscale Impacts
April 9, 1:40–2:20 p.m. PDT

Rigoberto Hernandez of Johns Hopkins University shares the parallels in his career between modeling differences in nanoparticle behavior at the mesoscale and at the nano-bio interface and advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Student Chapters Get Creative
April 9, 2:20–3:45 p.m. PDT

Learn how some ACS student chapters are thriving during the pandemic, straight from the students themselves.

Undergraduate Research Poster Session (LIVE)
April 10, 1:00-2:30 p.m. PDT

Check out the variety of research that undergrads have been doing.


Behind the Scenes: Graduate School Edition
April 10, 8:00–9:30 a.m. PDT  

Get the inside scoop on what graduate school is really like and how to set yourself up for success.

ChemIDP Workshop: Planning for Your Career
April 19, 4:00–5:30 p.m. PDT

Start mapping out your career plans and learn how the ChemIDP online tool can support your career planning and preparation.

ACS Virtual Chem Demo Exchange (ongoing)

Head over to YouTube for favorite demos from ACS student chapters, all doable with stuff you find around your home!

General meeting highlights

Most technical sessions will feature a series of 20-minute presentations of the latest research from chemists around the world. Check out talks that are in your area of interest or related to research you are doing. You can also look for presentations from researchers (or their group members) whose papers you have read for class, research, or journal club. Live sessions will run April 5–16 from 9:00 a.m.–noon PDT, 1:00–4:00 p.m. PDT, and 5:00–8:00 p.m. PDT. They also will be available on-demand April 19–30. Most poster sessions will be on-demand with noted exceptions.

Between technical sessions, look for networking opportunities, workshops, socials, and other professional development activities. Networking sessions will be sponsored by the technical divisions, so they will be a great chance to meet others who share your professional interests. Some technical sessions may have additional networking events during April 19–30 with on-demand programming. 

Career and leadership workshops will be held April 19–24. The ACS Career Pathways workshops provide career guidance for up-and-coming and professional chemical scientists as they navigate their futures. The ACS Leadership Development workshops train you in four competencies that help develop leadership character: personal capability, interpersonal skills, focusing on results, and setting a clear direction.

ACS Spring 2021 will be an exciting month of programming. Check out the meeting website for more opportunities to learn, build connections, and grow.