Evolutionary Biology at
Rutgers University

Research Opportunities

 

Research opportunities within Rutgers University for undergraduates:

If you are interested in getting research experience and work either in a lab or in the field, you can contact faculty directly to ask if they have any research opportunities in their lab. Many faculty take volunteers during the summer or semesters, and can give research credits.  Some professors also have paid internships, and usually the only way to find out about these is to contact the different professors directly.  There are also federal work study internships.

To be successful, select a project area you are interested in, be prepared to work a lot, and try to ask a lot of questions and read up on current literature by yourself.  If you are not sure what you are interested in, ask around a lot, go to graduate student seminars and talk to graduate students, try to find out what you really would love to do, and pick something in that area. Ask a lot, and pick your advisor and project with care, but also grab the opportunity if it happens to show up suddenly, before someone else takes it.  Remember, if you want to work in a research project you really have to work with your mind and hands to make it worth it for both you and your advisor, but if you do, you will have fun and get experience that probably will be valuable for the rest of your life.

There are also special research program such as the George H. Cook honors program at Cook College, where you have to present an honors thesis after a year of research. This is an excellent way of getting research experience and something that is highly recommended if you would like to continue on to graduate school.  But even if academics is not your career choice, research experience can be excellent for your future after graduation.  You get hands-on experience with scientific instruments and hypothesis building, you learn to plan projects, you get good mentoring and advice about life and studies, team-building and collaborative skills, and you meet graduate students and other university people you rarely see in the class rooms.  And maybe most important of all, if you do a good job in the lab, you can count on the professor to write you an excellent recommendation letter when you apply for jobs and other schools. 

Outside of Rutgers University for undergraduates and graduates:

Organization for Tropical Studies organizes courses and has research opportunities mainly in Costa Rica.

EvolDir, on-line forum for posting of workshops, jobs, courses, student positions, etc., worldwide in evolutionary biology.  You can subscribe and get new postings e-mailed to you.

Smithsonian Institution has summer internships for students.