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Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Maybe you’re a freshman taking your first course in ecology or evolution, and you’re interested in learning to do the science first-hand.  Or perhaps you’re a junior majoring in Biology with a field of study in Ecology and Evolution, and you’re looking for a lab in which you can complete your research requirement.  Maybe you’re curious about research as a career, but have no experience with it.  Or maybe you have some research experience from another department at Stanford, but are interested in getting into ecology or evolutionary biology.

Whatever your reasons for pursuing a research experience in ecology or evolution may be, there are always opportunities for you to get involved in research. 

Research During the Academic Year
Students interested in working in a lab on campus during the school year  are encouraged to contact the faculty member whose research interests them.  It may seem intimidating, but most faculty members are excited by the opportunity to mentor undergraduates with research interests.  Students may receive academic credit for their research work.

Research During the Summer
The Department of Biology has several programs to fund research internships in the summer.  In particular, the Field Studies Program provides opportunities for freshman and sophomores to do fieldwork at biological field stations in various parts of the United States and the world! Hopkins Marine Station also has summer internships for undergraduates. For more information on summer research grants supported by the Department of Biology, please see the following links:

VPUE-Sponsored Summer Research Biology Research for Undergrads

For students beyond their freshman year, the Office of Undergraduate Academic Life provides research grants, particularly for funding work which will comprise a senior thesis. 

Honors Thesis in Ecology and Evolution
Students completing a field of study in Ecology and Evolution must fulfill the equivalent of the requirements for graduation with honors in Biology.  Students are encouraged to seek a faculty advisor for their senior thesis in the fall of their junior year, if possible.  This allows students to apply for undergraduate research grants.  It also allows for a student to plan summer off-campus fieldwork for their thesis, if the student’s faculty advisor conducts research at other sites, e.g. in the Colorado Rockies, on the Hawaiian Islands, or in the oceans along the Pacific coast of Mexico.


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