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 Research Opportunities

Scientific research generates the new knowledge that moves a field like biochemistry forward.  Consequently, the Department of Biochemistry requires its majors to spend at least a year doing undergraduate research and prefers that they do at least two years.  It is to the student's advantage to select a laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry, since that will make it easier for the student to become well-acquainted with several faculty and with the other students in the Department.  However, there is no requirement that Biochemistry majors do their research within the Department, and many choose laboratories in other Departments based on their research interests.  If a research mentor from another Department is chosen, the project must involve modern molecular biological approaches so that the student gets experience with applications of those approaches and acquires knowledge of some of the principal tools of modern biochemistry.

The best way of deciding on a research advisor is to go to the faculty member's web page.  Every department has a link on its web site for "faculty".  See Biochemistry's Faculty Research page for one example. Usually that leads to a concise description of the kind of projects a faculty member is researching.  Clicking on that statement opens a much larger description of the particular project which is being researched.  A student looking for a mentor should make a list of five or six faculty doing research in areas of that student's interests and then go and talk to the faculty members.  The trick is to find the right persons in other departments.

If the student is interested in biomedical research, Biochemistry (College of Agriculture), Biological Sciences (College of Science), and Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (College of Pharmacy) are good places to start.  There are also some faculty in Chemistry and in the School of Veterinary Medicine who may be appropriate.  For a student interested in animal research, Animal Sciences (Ag) should be added to that list.  For someone interested in plant sciences, Biochemistry, Horticulture, Botany, and Agronomy (all in Ag) are good places to start.

Once a short list is generated, it is a good idea to get advice from a faculty member in Biochemistry regarding how appropriate the research may be.  Then go visit the top choice----don't worry, when you say, "I think your research is interesting", you have just said the nicest thing you can say to a professor!

 

Current Lab Openings for BCHM 49800/49900 Students

How to register for BCHM 29800/49800/49900

Students will enroll in one of the following to earn credit for their research project:

When students have enough data, usually during the spring semester of their senior year, they will enroll in Undergraduate Seminar. The focus of this course is discussion of students’ research projects and preparation of posters and public seminars based upon research results obtained.

Freshmen and sophomores wanting to get an early start in undergraduate research should register for BCHM 29800.

Funds are available ($500) from the College of Agriculture to assist in purchasing supplies for students' research projects. This is a rolling application process each year until the funds are depleted.