Research Opportunities

TongLab is a place for willing students to be challenged, well trained, and become highly successful

Graduate Students

We are constantly seeking outstanding graduate students, particularly from groups underrepresented in sciences. Since the research in TongLab is very interdisciplinary (or multidisciplinary), there exists a wide range of choices that enable a project to be tailored to fit someone's interest and level of research skills to start with. These include, but are not limited to, synthesizing alkanechalcogenolate (-S, -Se, and -Te) or polyoxometalate-stabilized metal nanoparticles (MNPs), or shape-controlled, Pt-based mono- and bi-metallic (alloy or core-shell) nanoscale electrocatalysts, optimizing particle-size distribution and shape control, MPN thin film formation/self-assembling, kinetic measurements of charge transport through the NPM thin films, electrochemically engineering electrocatalyst surfaces, using TEM/SEM, IR (SEIRAS), UV-Vis, Raman (SERS), NMR, AFM/STM/EC SPM, and/or electrochemical techniques to characterize MNP systems, and developing new experimental methodologies. We have also added an additional dimension of research––theoretical ab initio quantum calculations in collaboration with Dr. Tom Allison from NIST––in our already rich repertoire of research. Moreover, the lab has extensive on-going international collaborations and consequently offers more-than-usual opportunities for students to experience the richness of international exchanges and collaborations. Overall, TongLab is an ideal place for willing students to be intellectually challenged, technically well trained, and become highly successful. We are all eager to share with anyone who are interested in having great fun of unraveling scientific discoveries and knowledge making that is embedded in our daily research activities. Please go to the Research Projects page for more information. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact Dr. Tong or anyone in the group for visiting the lab and discussing their research interests.

Undergraduate Students:

Outstanding undergraduates, particularly those from minority groups and groups under-represented in sciences (Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Women, etc.), are encouraged to get involved in research as early as possible via enrolling in research courses, the GU Research Opportunities Program (GUROP), or doing research on a volunteer basis in the Lab. For those students who wish to make a more serious multi-semester commitment to undergraduate research, Honors degrees culminating in a senior thesis are offered to both chemistry and biochemistry majors. TongLab has a track record of involving undergraduate students in research and many of them have ended with publishing peer-reviewed papers. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact Dr. Mo Itani in the department's front office for application-related information and individual faculty members for their research interests.


There are National Research Council (NRC) post-doc opportunities with Dr. Tong's collaborator Dr. Tom Allison at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the field of ab initio DFT calculations. Those who are eligible (US citizen or green card holder) and interested in these opportunities, please consult the NRC post-doc program website for application details and contact Dr. Allison for information about relevant research topics.

Foreign Guest Researchers Program at NIST: there is one current opening for a one-year (renewable pending on availability of funds) post-doctoral foreign guest researcher position in ab initio Electrochemistry DFT calculations. Those who are eligible/qualified (non US citizen or green card holder, currently lives outside US, and have a PhD in ab initio DFT calculations) and interested in the position, please contact either Dr. Allison or Dr. Tong for more information.

For scholars from mainland China, there are also post-doc opportunities through the Chinese Scholar Council–Georgetown Fellowship Program that offers up to 24-month financial support. Those who are interested in this program, please consult its website for application details.

High School Students:

TongLab is proud to have a good track-record in contributing to inspiring more talented kids to pursue STEM education and careers, which is vitally important in addressing many long-term societal challenges that mankind is facing. Please contact Dr. Tong directly for possible volunteer research internships. The application should include a personal statement, a CV, and two recommendation letters sent directly to Dr. Tong that address student's academic ability in sciences in general and chemistry in particular, work ethic, and ability to follow instructions and work with others. An on-site interview will be conducted before the final decision is made. Since most if not all high school students are still minors, signed parental consent form is required to those who are accepted for the volunteer internship in Tong Lab. Please refer to Georgetown's Protection of Minors Policy for more details.