Undergraduate Research in Molecular Biosciences

Mirror Images of Scientist at microscope

Why participate in undergraduate research?

  • Through the challenge of state-of-the-art research opportunities undergraduates receive training that develops and improves their scientific skill set.  
  • Personalized mentored research at the undergraduate level provides undergraduates with training and experience to go on to competitive professional/graduate schools and career positions in research laboratories.  
  • Undergraduates who take on research projects become full members of an active research laboratory, enriching their educational experience and providing them with opportunities for major scientific discovery.  
  • Society benefits through such discovery and Biological Sciences majors become active participants in this process.

Mentored Research Opportunities in the Department

  • Faculty with active research programs in a variety of scientific disciplines offer undergraduates opportunities for multi-year participation in the laboratory.  
  • In addition to overall guidance from the principal investigator, undergraduates are matched with day-to-day research mentors to guide their development as young scientists.  
  • Finding the right laboratory can be facilitated through participation in Northwestern University’s Science Research Workshop or simply by emailing Faculty Research Mentors to determine if there are openings, and to request in-person interviews.

Summer Research Grant Opportunities

Several sources are available for undergraduates to land research grants that allow them to start or continue their projects full time over the summer.  Applications are due during Spring Quarter. 

Academic Year Research Grants 

Undergraduate research grants to offset the cost of research for the host laboratory are awarded by the Undergraduate Research Grants Committee throughout the academic year.

Award-winning Undergraduate Research

Research by undergraduates in the Department of Molecular Biosciences is recognized through numerous summer research grant opportunities and research prizes.

Research prizes are awarded to Biological Sciences majors who have achieved excellence in their research projects and have written up their results into a Senior Thesis as part of the Honors Program requirements. These prizes include:

The David Shemin Research Prize

The Constance Campbell Research Prize

The Emanuel Margoliash Research Prize

The Irving Klotz Research Prize

2013 Research Prize Winners

See the three 2013 prize winners and mentors

2013 Program in Biological Sciences Summer Grant winners

  • Brittany Borden (Allada lab)
  • Brandon Alba (Allada lab)
  • Michael Fagan (Pinkett lab)
  • Cody Hahn (Unger lab)
  • Dong Hee Nam (Meade lab)
  • Antonios Varelas (Marko lab)
  • Bernard Wen (McLean lab)
  • Bohan Xing (Wignall lab)
  • Robert Coukos (Brickner lab)
  • Emery Weinstein (LaBonne lab)
  • Deanna Wong (LaBonne lab)
  • Ritika Rastogi (Crispino lab)