Independent research by students is one of the key features of the educational philosophy of the Biology department. By learning how to ask and answer questions, design and perform experiments, and to analyze data and draw appropriate conclusions, students learn not only factual information, but develop the reasoning skills needed to actually “do” science. The Biology faculty are committed to providing opportunities to engage in research to all interested students. The benefits to the student, both in terms of logical skills and the development of a deeper understanding of scientific principles in general, make research an excellent experience for all students, even those not contemplating a career involving research.
Students can participate in research in three ways: for academic course credit, for pay (during the summer), or as volunteers. Regardless of how a student participates, the process of identifying a faculty mentor is the same. First, students should look at the research descriptions of the various Biology faculty who take undergraduate students into their labs. Students should then make an appointment to speak with the faculty members they would like to work with to find out what projects are currently going on in their labs and if space is available. It is also useful to talk to some of the students currently doing research projects in the different labs to get their perspectives. Once a faculty member has agreed to take a student on, the student then needs to make the necessary arrangements (ie, registering for research as a course.)
Interested students should take a look at our research brochure for more information about faculty research areas and ongoing projects. Many faculty members also welcome non-SJU students in their labs, particularly during the summer months. Interested individuals should contact the individual faculty members directly.