Undergraduate Research

There are many undergraduate research opportunities available to neuroscience majors in the labs of the Neuroscience Institute faculty. Our undergraduate researchers learn how to design experiments, conduct experiments with cutting edge techniques, analyze data, interpret results, write scientific papers, and make presentations. This complete research experience is individually arranged with the faculty director of each laboratory. We encourage all of our students to join a lab as an undergraduate researcher as early as they can.

Undergraduate research positions are arranged one-on-one between the undergraduate and the faculty director of each laboratory. Click on the tabs below for more details and watch the video to learn what it’s like to be an undergrad in the Neuroscience Insitute.

  • No prior research experience is necessary for most undergraduate research positions.
  • Undergraduate researchers are most often unpaid volunteers, though limited financial assistance can sometimes be arranged with the faculty director of each laboratory.
  • Undergraduate research volunteers often devote 10-20 hours/week to the laboratory.
  • NEUR 4980, Undergraduate Research in Neuroscience, provides course credit for your research. Once you have talked with your faculty mentor about enrolling in NEUR 4980, look for the required approval form here.

  1. Look through the list of Core & Associate Neuroscience Institute Faculty and identify a faculty member whose research you find inspiring.
  2. Send an e-mail to that faculty member letting them know that you are interested in an undergraduate research position. They want to know:
    • Why you are interested in his/her research
    • What you want to learn
    • How the experience fits your educational plans and goals
    • How much time you can devote to the research
    • Whether you want to receive course credit, pay, or to volunteer
    • What relevant courses you have taken
    • What laboratory experience you may have
    • When you can meet to discuss your involvement
  3. Meet with the faculty lab director
    Be sure you come with knowledge of their research, questions about their research, and an idea of how you see yourself fitting into the lab.

Resources are limited and faculty lab directors may not always have open undergraduate research positions. Sometimes, your interests and the faculty member’s interests don’t align. If you are not offered an undergraduate research position, don’t get discouraged, begin again why, and use that new knowledge to begin again with another faculty member!