Undergraduate Student Expectations
This complements the common and other guidelines. Suggestions and input are welcome.
As an undergraduate researcher in this lab, you will typically be paired with a senior lab mentor. This is a great time to learn how research is done. Please take advantage of this time!
What I expect from you
You will take ownership of your educational experience
- Early on we will discuss your personal and program goals for your experience. You will need to know what you are required to do for your research credits (papers, presentations, etc) and you are responsible for making this happen on time. If there are elements where you need feedback from me or your graduate mentor, please involve us early!
- My approach to grades for undergraduates is to base them on your professionalism and effort—see below for specific expectations. I have no problem giving everyone an A, but an A is not guaranteed.
You will maintain a professional attitude and work to improve your research skills
- Establish and maintain a regular research schedule. Be on time for all meetings (with your mentor, me, or the entire group).
- While class should always be a priority, make sure you find regular time for research. One of the most important skills in life is balancing multiple demands, and this takes practice to develop.
- Begin reading the scientific literature - read the papers your mentor or I suggest, and use these to branch out into others we haven’t mentioned. The lab website provides a collection of some papers broadly relevant to the mission of the lab. Also attend relevant seminars – these will teach you not only science, but how scientists present their work.
- Learn how to plan your experiments so that they help you progress on the overall goal of your project. Make sure your experiments address the question of interest correctly. This includes learning how to do the appropriate controls, techniques, etc.
- Learn how to accept and utilize constructive criticism. This feedback is intended to improve your work and is part of the scientific training process.
You can take BE 199 to get course credit for your research in just a few easy steps. In addition to your regular research responsibilities, you should:
- Get the enrollment form from the BE office. Fill this out including a short description of what you aim to accomplish with your research this quarter.
- I try to ensure that students enrolled in BE 199 present in lab meeting that quarter. We will work together to see if that is possible.
- At the end of the quarter, you will write a 2–3 page report on your results that quarter. I can provide examples of this report, or you may ask around for an example. Please have me review this so I can provide feedback before submitting it. Allow at least a week for me to proof this.
Note that in bioengineering we do not have a separate BE 99 course. If you see 99 courses referenced in material, that is referring to BE 199.
Seek out support
There are many opportunities for support while pursuing research. Please do take advantage of these. I am always delighted to recommend you for these programs.
- Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP) offers funding support for students who haven’t participated in a funded opportunity previously. The application deadline is typically around mid-November.
- Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) offers experienced students with junior or senior standing funding support. The application deadline is typically around mid-June.
- Amgen Scholars is a national program that provides a 10-week immersive research experience in a lab at certain universities.
- Ask! The lab may be able to provide a stipend as support for performing research over the summer. I may also have other support opportunities in mind based on the research you are performing.
Adapted from documents by Pam Kreeger.