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Undergraduate Research in Biology

Biology is an active discipline that requires exploration of the process of scientific inquiry. There is no better way to engage in the discipline than to get involved in research. Research is not just for those planning on careers as a bench scientist, field biologist or principal investigator. Engaging in research benefits all students studying biology, including students planning on professional careers in medicine, veterinary science, dentistry and other allied health professions. Research allows students to actively learn the process of science and to develop essential skills in creativity, critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and communication.

Want to get involved?

Research opportunities abound for biology majors at Drexel. Students can engage in research at the beginning of their undergraduate careers through Drexel's STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) program. The STAR program allows students to participate in faculty-mentored research during the summer after completion of their freshman year. STAR scholars engage in full-time research during the Summer Quarter while living on campus and earning a $4,000 stipend. There are even opportunities to participate in international undergraduate research through iSTAR for selected faculty collaborations.

Learn more about the STAR program and iSTAR

Beyond the freshman year, students can continue to participate in research throughout their undergraduate tenure in biology. Students can participate in research through co-op or by joining a faculty research lab. In general, co-op experiences are paid opportunities and are usually for six months of full-time employment.

Explore the Drexel Difference through Co-op

Students can also engage in research while in classes by volunteering to work in a research faculty's lab on faculty-mentored projects. Although, these research opportunities are unpaid, students can receive credit towards their undergraduate degree. Time commitment and specific goals for projects are outlined in a research contract between the student and faculty mentor. It is expected that students will engage in research for at least six hours per week during the contract period. Students who have participated in undergraduate research with the same faculty mentor for more than three quarters will have the opportunity to complete a senior thesis in biology. Research opportunities exist in the Department of Biology and other departments in the College, as well as in Drexel's College of Medicine.

Find research opportunities through DISCOVER the online database for research positions

The biology department is housed in the Papadakis Integrated Science Building (PISB), which offers state-of-the-art research facilities for our faculty and students. Our department's distinct research strengths are highlighted below. Explore these various disciplines to learn more about our research projects and the faculty in these areas.

Recommendations for getting involved in undergraduate biology research

  • First, narrow down your specific research interests.
  • Identify the faculty associated with your interests and thoroughly research the faculty member's website to understand their work and the type of projects ongoing in their lab.
  • Familiarize yourself with their research by reading through recent publications listed on their website.
  • Then, email the faculty member and ask for an appointment to discuss their research and the possibility of volunteering to do research in their lab.
  • It is important that you have a genuine interest in their work and can demonstrate that interest by conversing about their research.
  • Treat these meetings like an interview. Faculty may have several students interested in participating in research in their lab. They are looking for the best individuals who have strong research potential and will be dedicated to the work.