Undergraduate Research in MCB

Why do research?

  • Science is a way to figure things out, so doing research will aid you in other aspects of your life. You ask and answer open-ended questions. You link seemingly disconnected pieces of information. You find results that were not predicted.
  • You explore things at the cutting edge and that no one has explored before.
  • You learn tenacity, problem-solving, and learn to be critical about the details because things have to be reproducible. 
  • You solve mysteries and experience the excitement of discovery!
  • Sound intriguing? Over 40% of MCB majors work in a lab to gain valuable experience in scientific research

How to find out more

Check out our Research Resilience Program's workshop series and resources.

How to find research

Students find research in a variety of ways. To get started, talk with classmates, peer advisors, a staff undergraduate advisor, graduate student instructors (GSIs), and faculty about your interest in learning more about laboratory research. For more information on research, read "How to Find a Lab Position."

Under the guidance of an MCB faculty sponsor, undergraduates in the MCB major may have the opportunity to work in a laboratory to gain valuable experience in scientific research.  Interested students must take the initiative to make such arrangements.

Getting credit for research

Students may receive academic credit for their work by enrolling in an independent study course: MCB 99/199MCB H196, or MCB 191. Enrollment applications are due via online form by the Friday of the third week of instruction. Students should confirm their projects with their faculty sponsors before submitting the form; not all labs are able to accommodate student research participation. Departmental Honors are awarded to students who excel in both research and academics. See information about the MCB Honors program, with deadlines and requirements here.

Finding funding for your research

There are a variety of ways to support your research. We recommend you attend a workshop at the Office of Undergraduate Research, or look for funding opportunities at their website, or the scholarships website.