Research Opportunities

Opportunities are available to conduct independent research with a faculty or graduate student mentor. If you are interested in developing an independent project please contact one of the professors in the Genetics and Genomics Program. Undergraduates in MCB can participate in on-going research programs of the faculty. There are several options for research experience.

Independent research in a faculty member’s lab, with course credit (usually MCB 3989, Introduction to Research). Independent study is arranged on a one-to-one basis by finding a faculty member who has space in his/her lab. Time and credits are variable. We offer a course specifically designed to introduce undergraduates to the variety of faculty research programs: Biology 2289. Introduction to Undergraduate Research. 1 credit. A different faculty member comes each week to talk about their research. Most interested students take this for both semesters of sophomore year, and by junior year have a good sense of the kind of research that interests them and some acquaintance with the variety of research at UConn. It is good practice to stick with the same lab for several semesters of research since you build up your skills and competence with time. It’s always good practice to prepare a short handout about yourself when looking for a faculty sponsor for research. Include a transcript and a list of any relevant background, including lab experiences and techniques (including things like photography, skill with microscopy, prior experience with gel electrophoresis or other techniques, etc.).  The most important thing is your interest and willingness to get involved!

UConn Research Opportunities

UConn Coop program allows juniors and seniors six months of full-time, paid, career-related work experience. Contact The Center for Career Development, 486-3013, for further information. This involves off-campus experience, usually working with companies in Connecticut. A number of students have found this to be a rewarding way to find out how research is applied in the “real world”, and some have continued working at their coop company after graduation.

Work-Study Research Assistant Program If a student applies for need-based aid (through the financial aid office) and receives work-study money, the student can always find work in biology, including laboratory work. They can help connect you to work in your area of interest.

Student labor. Some faculty members obtain money to pay undergraduates from research grants for work in their labs. If you wish to be considered for such work, visit the student jobs website and submit an application.

The Honors Program is designed especially for students interested in gaining research experience. Even if you did not join the program before you came to UConn, it is not too late. Visit the Honors Program office in ROWE, Rm. 419 for more information.

UConn Holsters The Holster Scholar Program is a selective enrichment opportunity available only to first-year Honors students.  The program supports a small number of motivated students who pursue independent research, design, or creative projects during the summer following their first year.

STEM Scholars The STEM Scholars are beneficiaries of NextGeneration Connecticut, a revolutionary $1.7 billion investment to advance STEM education. Through research, courses, advising, events, and community engagement, STEM Scholars make discoveries, build relationships with leading experts and peers, and prepare for their future. The STEM Scholar Community is a smaller community within the Honors Program designed to help the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders, and problem-solvers connect to their areas of interest and success.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Awards support the University of Connecticut full-time undergraduate students in summer research or creative projects.

McNair Scholars Program The McNair Scholars Program prepares talented, highly motivated UConn undergraduate students for doctoral studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. As part of UConn’s TRIO programs, McNair is open to low-income, first-generation college students or those from populations underrepresented in STEM graduate fields who are seeking to pursue a Ph.D. degree.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) The LSAMP initiative supports historically underrepresented students in STEM. This program is limited to a select and highly committed group of students with a declared major in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and pre-health professions.

University of Connecticut Health Center Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Student Support Services UConn Student Support Services (SSS) provides students who are first-generation to college, from low-income families, and/or from populations underrepresented in higher education with access to the university, services to support their goal of graduation, and programming to enhance their academic, professional, and personal growth at UConn and beyond.

UConn Scholarship Programs

National Research Opportunities

National Science Foundation NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program

“The REU program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU Supplements may be included in proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements or as supplements to ongoing NSF- funded projects. REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct undergraduate research participation projects for a number of students. REU Sites projects may be based in a single discipline or academic department or be based on interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a strong intellectual focus.”

National Institutes of Health Research and Training Opportunities at NIH

Summer Institute in BioEngineering and Health Informatics (SIBHI) A multidisciplinary research experience funded by NSF, NIH, and NIBIB (National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering)

National Cancer Institute Experience innovative, integrative biology approaches to cancer research during the Summer Cancer Research Fellowship program.

Summer in Biomedical Science (SIBS) Conduct laboratory research and shadow a physician-scientist during their daily clinical work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mayo Clinic Work beside established scientists on a broad range of biomedical research questions in Rochester, Minnesota. Fellowships are also available at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Jacksonville, Florida and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL Internships and fellowships for undergraduates.

Wesleyan Hughes Summer Outreach Summer research internship opportunities at Wesleyan University for freshman, sophomore and junior students who reside in Connecticut or attend colleges and universities in Connecticut.

Summer Internship Opportunities in Biology A list compiled by Columbia University.