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Undergraduate Research

Pathways to Research

Who is eligible: students entering their Junior year who are interested in taking on an independent research project.

Who might be interested: (1) students coming to University Park from other campuses as Juniors who want to do research and / or (2) students who are extremely motivated to do research, but have not found a lab by their Junior year.

How it works:

Step 1.

  • Sign up for BMB 448, Cell Biology Methods, for the Fall semester of your Junior year.
  • If the class is full by the time you are eligible to register and you are an incoming Junior contact Dr. Melissa Rolls explain
    1. why you would like to take the class and
    2. what motivates you to be interested in independent research.
  • We will reserve a limited number of slots in the class for students interested in this Pathway to Research.

Step 2.

  • Do well in the class and master basic skills in Drosophila genetics and imaging.

Step 3.

  • Decide whether you are motivated about using what you have learned in the lab class to continue more independently.

Step 4.

  • In November of your Junior year apply to do research in the Rolls lab. Ask Dr Rolls for the application. Applications will be reviewed based on criteria listed above and students will be notified as to whether they are accepted into the Rolls lab before the end of the fall semester. 

Expectations of students who are accepted to do research:

Students will join the Rolls lab in the Spring semester of their Junior year and commit to work at least 10 hours per week in the lab for three semesters.  Students can earn 496 research credits for all three semesters. Ideally students will also stay in the lab during the summer between Junior and Senior years.

Who has priority for this mechanism:

  1. students who are interested in pursuing research careers
  2. students who plan to do research full time between their Junior and Senior years.