Why perform research as an undergraduate?
Undergraduate research is an eye-opening experience! It provides opportunities and perspectives that are not available through traditional classroom education. Research improves critical thinking skills and instills an appreciation of the experimental process. An undergraduate research project is essential for students wishing to pursue an advanced degree because students are admitted to graduate programs based, in part, upon their undergraduate research experience. Research projects also prepare students for career opportunities in academic or industrial laboratory settings. In addition, research projects provide an excellent opportunity to network with the Biology Faculty and get hands-on experience with modern laboratory equipment and techniques.
How can I perform an undergraduate research?
There are ~2500 biology majors at GSU and the Biology Department provides its majors with many research opportunities:
- Research in Faculty labs: Members of the graduate faculty have laboratories with graduate students, senior scientists and postdoctoral associates. Their research is often sponsored by external funding agencies, like the National Institutes of Health. Qualified undergraduate students may participate in graduate faculty research and perform individual projects in the laboratory of a Biology professor. The student will be trained by lab members and will be expected to keep a lab notebook and attend lab meetings. The student’s research could potentially earn the student co-authorship on a research publication. Students will register for the course BIOL 4910 (1-5 credit hours). In some cases, the student can receive a fellowship or stipend in lieu of course credit for one or more semesters. Honors students may also receive support through scholarships sponsored by the Honors College. For more information, see the Research in Faculty Labs page.
- Undergraduate Research Center: Students may perform individual research under the guidance of a Biology lecturer or academic professional in a common undergraduate research facility. Students receive course credit (BIOL 4910) and can potentially be a co-author on a research publication. For more information see the Undergraduate Research Center page.
- Theme-based Biology Laboratory Courses: In this course, students are members of a small research team that investigates a particular research project under the guidance of an instructor. Students receive course credit (BIOL 4905) and could potentially co-author a publication. This course is an excellent way to gain research training before pursuing research in a Faculty lab. Please see the Theme-based Biology Labs page for more information.
- Internationally Genetically-Engineered Machines (iGEM): Students are part of a research team that collaborates on a bioengineering project. The GSU iGEM team competes in events with groups from other universities. Students join the iGEM team as a club member or for course credit (BIOL 4905). Please see the iGEM page for more information.