Academics

BSCD Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The University of Chicago's Biological Sciences Collegiate Division (BSCD) has developed innovative and exciting curricular initiatives in undergraduate science education and expanded undergraduate research opportunities. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of all biology majors engage in some form of research activity. These successful programs provide a firm foundation for the undergraduate research experience. 

Explore opportunities listed below. You can also explore additional internal and external research opportunities by searching the various databases at the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF).

    Most research labs at The University of Chicago welcome undergraduate trainees. Nevertheless, one of the most daunting tasks for an undergraduate student interesting in pursuing research is identifying a mentor and lab in which to perform research. Here are a few approaches:

    Find faculty in areas that interest you

    Choose an area of interest among The BSD Graduate Programs and find Faculty In... to see one sentence blurbs describing the work of faculty in this area. Select a faculty member to learn more about their research and their lab. You can also search for faculty you have met in your classes to learn more about their research.

    Reach Out

    Email faculty members whose work interests you to let them know that you are interested in training in their lab, if there is space, and ask if they are open to meeting with you. Understand that faculty lead complicated lives, and in some cases will not respond to your email. Do not be discouraged, but have backup plans if you receive no response or the lab is full.

    Resources

    While most labs are open to inquiries for students even if they do not advertise positions, there are some resources that may be helpful in connecting with a lab that interests you:

    The BSCD Summer Innovation Fellowships consist of thematic research programs in a variety of fields.  For some fellowships, you apply with an identified research mentor and project, and for other fellowships you are matched with a mentor and project.

    Complete program descriptions and application instructions for each individual program will be available on Handshake.  

    For more information: Paul Strieleman (pstriele@uchicago.edu)

    Deadline for all 2023 BSCD Summer Innovation Fellowships:   April 9, 2023

    Research fellowships in the following focused disciplines are available:

    BSCD Chromatin & Epigenetics Undergraduate Research Fellowship

    The Chromatin & Epigenetics Undergraduate Research Fellowship provides an immersive research experience to learn cutting-edge methodologies and develop analytical skills towards discovery in the field of epigenetics.

    BSCD Developmental Neurobiology Undergraduate Fellowship (DNUFO) 

    The Developmental Neurobiology Undergraduate Fellowship Opportunity (DNUFO) is a 10-week summer program designed to facilitate rigorous, full-time research, build networking opportunities, gain professional development skills, and expose students to research outside of their immediate interests.

    BSCD Ecology and Evolution Fellowship

    Ecology and Evolution Fellowships are aimed at students interested in the Ecology and Evolution Track, including lab or field research

    BSCD Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Bioimaging for Oncology and Related Disciplines (SURFBOARD)

    SURFBOARD is an interdisciplinary summer research program in biomedical imaging with applications in oncology, neuroscience, and beyond.

    BSCD Research Foundations in Genetics and Genomics

    The Research Foundations in Genetics and Genomics Program provides early-stage undergraduate researchers with an opportunity to gain hands-on training carrying out a novel research project under the mentorship of UChicago research labs. In addition, students gain foundational skills in analyzing and presenting primary scientific literature, communicating with peers and the scientific community and attending weekly research seminars with scientific leaders from around the world, all in small group settings meant to maximize interaction between participants and researchers.

    BSCD Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Pathophysiology, Biology, and Bioenergetics of Renal Diseases

    A summer fellowship to allow dedicated time to explore and understand the physiology and metabolism of the kidney in health and disease.

    BSCD Undergraduate Summer Fellowship in Public Health Research

    The BSCD Undergraduate Summer Fellowship in Public Health Research aims to provide undergraduate students an immersive research experience through close interactions with faculty in the Department of Public Health Sciences and their research projects. Student projects focus on interdisciplinary topics that bring biostatistical, quantitative and qualitative methods to improve understanding of complex problems in population health.

    BSCD Quantitative Biology Summer Fellowship

    BSCD Quantitative Biology fellowship combines research using computational methods into a range of biological problems with a collaborative environment for learning new skills and concepts.

    BSCD Collegiate Translational Medicine Fellowship

    The Collegiate Translational Medicine Program (CTMP) is a mentored, clinically-oriented translational research experience for undergraduates, offering training in translational research by exposure and immersion into specific research projects currently being conducted in the Department of Medicine.

    The Biological Science Collegiate Division (BSCD) Fellowship program supports Undergraduate Students to conduct 10-weeks of research in biology under the supervision of a University of Chicago Principal Investigator.  Apply with an identified project and research mentor.

    Applications will be on Handshake. 

    For more information:  Rosemary Zaragoza (zaragoza@uchicago.edu) or Paul Strieleman (pstriele@uchicago.edu)

    Deadline for all 2023 BSCD Summer Fellowship Applications:  April 9, 2023

    The MBL SURF Fellowships take place on-site at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA.  

    Learn more about the program, read a full list of program mentors and their research/project statements, and apply for a fellowship on this website.  

    For more information:  Dave Lerner (dlerner@uchicago.edu)

    Deadline for 2023 MBL Metcalf Summer Research Fellowship Applications: March 1, 2023

    The Center for Global Health Summer Research Fellowship will provide funding for promising undergraduate and graduate students to take part in a 10 to 12-week Fellowship where they will benefit from first-hand experience working in research settings at one of CGH's partnering sites abroad. 

    Applications will be on Handshake.

    Deadline for 2023 Center for Global Health Summer Fellowship Applications:  February 6, 2023

    The Katen Scholars Program supports rising second, third-, and fourth-year students interested in pursuing careers in health, medicine, and science. Students apply to work on a specific research project under the direction of a UChicago Principal Investigator. Learn more here.

     

    Sponsored by the Karen Katen Fund for Science, the Katen Scholars Program supports rising second, third, and fourth year students interested in pursuing careers in health, medicine, and science. Scholars are awarded a $4,000 stipend to complete a summer research project with a faculty mentor.  Previous research experience is not required. 

    The program is 8 weeks in length, beginning in June and culminating with a symposium at the end of August. 

    APPLICATION TIMELINE & REQUIREMENTS 

    • The application for the Katen Scholars program becomes available each January through Handshake.

    The University of Chicago Neuroscience Institute provides multiple opportunities for summer research.

    Detailed descriptions of the programs and mechanisms for application are provided on this website.  

    The Quad Summer Undergraduate Research Grants program offers research grants that are competitive, open-discipline awards intended to enhance the educational experience of University of Chicago College students by supporting summer scholarly undergraduate research and creative inquiry experiences through active participation in faculty-mentored research. Quad Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars are expected to participate in the annual scholars programming held during the academic year following their summer appointment and to present their summer research at the the annual University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Symposium held each May.

    Complete description and application instructions can be found at the Chicago Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) website.  

    Deadline for 2023 Quad Summer Research Grant Applications:  April 3, 2023

     

    Quad Research Grants for the Academic Year 

    Quad Undergraduate Research Grants

    Students will apply with an identified project and research mentor.

    Autumn Deadline: October 10, 2022

    Winter Deadline: January 9, 2023

     

    Quad Faculty Research Grants

    Grant funding available for faculty mentors to sponsor undergraduate research positions.

    Autumn 2023 Deadline TBA

     

     

     

    2023 UChicago Undergraduate Research Symposium Date:  April 21, 2023

    Application Deadline:  Abstract submissions begin Winter Quarter 2023

    Instructions and a link to apply can be found on this CCRF website.  

    To see the Symposium from previous years and for more information, please visit the UChicago Undergraduate Symposium website 

     

    According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Pathway Programs enhance diversity in the academic fields of science and medicine by broadening and stimulating student access to these diverse areas of study. Pathways are specifically charged with addressing the long standing underrepresentation of racially minoritized groups and women within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) “but many, if not most programs, increase awareness, access, engagement, and inclusion for all students.”  

    Pathway Programs for College students

    The College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) helps undergraduates in the College navigate the broad array of institutional, domestic, and international undergraduate research opportunities that are available to them. Faculty-mentored research experiences complement and deepen academic work done in the classroom and provide students with key skills that prepare them for national and international fellowships, graduate study, and diverse careers.  

     

    In support of undergraduate research, the CCRF organizes and runs: 

     

    The CCRF also provides intensive support to College students as they prepare for nationally competitive fellowships. These prestigious opportunities fund graduate study, research, foreign language acquisition, and much more. Students in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division are encouraged to consider applying for the following, among many others:  

    Find ways to post a research opportunity or apply for funding to support an undergraduate researcher in your lab.