Research in the Department of Biology is done using the most advanced tools, at all levels of biology, and on a broad range of organisms including microbes, fungi, plants, and animals. The Department has a proud history of providing research opportunities for undergraduate students. Students can begin working on research projects with faculty mentors as early as their first year. The Department of Biology faculty are very willing to provide research opportunities, but the training and mentoring of undergraduates requires a lot of their time. You should be willing to commit to at least one year, and as you work in the lab, think about how you can give back to the professor, graduate students, and lab personnel. You must be proactive in your effort to secure a research position. Below are listed some ideas to help you in your search for a laboratory experience that is right for you.
1. Visit your Research Coordinator
Each department in the College of Science has a Research Coordinator who can help in your search for a research lab. The coordinator for Biology is Yvonne Kobe. Fill out a Student Information Form(click here) and bring it when you meet with her in the Biology Advising Center (BNR 101; 797-2577). This form will put your name on an email list and you will be notified of opportunities as they arise. Please resubmit this form each semester so Yvonne knows you are still pursuing research. To find the Research Coordinators for other departments, visit http://www.usu.edu/science/htm/undergraduate-research.
2. Get to know the faculty and their research
Researchers are more likely to accept you in their lab if you are knowledgeable about and interested in their research. A list of the faculty and description of their research can be found at http://www.biology.usu.edu/htm/our-people/faculty. Visit the professors during their office hours and ask them about their research.
3. Visit the lab
Once you have located research that seems interesting, ask the professor if you can volunteer in the lab. Volunteer jobs often lead to paid positions, but don’t expect to be paid from the beginning. Faculty mentors want to see how you fit into the dynamics of the lab, just like you want to see if the lab is a good fit for you. Paid lab positions may be posted at Student Employment. Visit their website at http://www.usu.edu/studemp/.
Fun Tips - "Weaseling into a research lab"
Listing of Summer Research Opportunities
http://www.usu.edu/research/undergrad/: provides information on University Research Fellowships which are designed for students who are interested in graduate or professional study following the undergraduate degree.
http://research.usu.edu/undergrad/htm/funding-opportunities: provides information on the Undergraduate Research & Creative Opportunities (URCO) grant that financially supports research of undergraduates.
http://research.usu.edu/undergrad/htm/sharing-your-research/student-showcase: provides information on an annual symposium to showcase outstanding work done by students on research, scholarly, and creative projects.
http://research.usu.edu/undergrad/htm/sharing-your-research/research-on-capitol-hill: provides information about "Posters on the Hill" (Undergraduate Research Day at the State Capitol) which is an annual celebration of undergraduate research held in the Rotunda of the State Capitol.