Undergraduate Research Experiences
Why conduct research? Research allows you to acquire valuable technical skills and to interact more closely with faculty and graduate students engaged in cutting edge research. Through research, you gain an understanding of what field of study you are most interested and how the scientific process truly works.
How to choose a faculty adviser? Read about faculty on their web sites, speak to them after a class, or read a paper they have published. Also, talk to other undergraduate and graduate students in the department about what research is being conducting by the research groups. However, working in any research lab will increase your skill set and knowledge of the scientific process, so keep an open mind and willingness to learn.
Can I apply to work in a lab if I just started at PSU? Yes, some labs take volunteers early in their college careers. Generally, students who start out in a lab early will gain in the skills and in the responsibilities of the work they are conducting in the lab. Thus, starting early may allow students time to become valuable members of a lab. Other labs prefer students to be further in their careers and have gained lab skills via lab classes.
Can I get funding for my research? Yes, PSU offers funding opportunities for undergraduate researchers and there are outside funding opportunities as well. Learning to write research proposals is a valuable skill. Your faculty adviser can help you pursue independent funding if you both decide you have a good research idea that your adviser can oversee.
Looking for an Undergraduate Research Experience in Biology at PSU?
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Off-Campus
The PSU Biology Department maintains a mailing list, Biology Opportunities.
This list serves biology students and people interested in biology opportunities. We post regional opportunities (Oregon and PNW) as well as paid and volunteer opportunities from around the world. The jobs posted here cover a wide range of organisms (microbes, plants, and animals) and conceptual areas (ecology, evolution, genetics, cell and molecular biology).
Other Internship Programs in our Region
- Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Internships (Internships and volunteer opportunities), Portland
- OHSU Environmental and Biomedical Systems Internships, Portland
- OHSU Summer Equity Research, Dental, and Medicine Internship Program, Portland
- OHSU Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction Internships, Beaverton
- Oregon National Primate Center Internships, Beaverton (Biomedical research)
- Oregon Zoo Internships, Portland (Conservation research)
- University of Oregon Internship Program, Eugene, Oregon
- Friday Harbor Laboratories Intern Program, Washington (Integrative Biology and Marine Ecology)
- UW Genomics Outreach for Minorities Program, Washington
- Point Reyes Bird Observatory Internships, California
Other National Programs
- Association of American Medical Colleges Summer Medical Education Program
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Amgen Scholars Program (on campuses throughout the US, including California and Washington)
- Ecological Society of American Internship job board
- NIH-NSF Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institutes
- Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- NIH Summer Internships
Web Pages with Additional Internships Information