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Student Research Opportunities

How to Get Started in Research Early

During the freshman and sophomore years, students majoring in biology complete courses that give them the academic foundations to understand the complex issues being addressed in the department's research laboratories. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors eager to work in a laboratory have several avenues available, including enrolling in an undergraduate research course (BIOL 197) for units or performing research during the summer. Summer research students are sometimes paid for their services, depending upon federal grant funding availability.

Volunteering in a Laboratory

Students are part of the learning process and not just spectators.


Pacific students may volunteer to conduct research in a laboratory at any stage during their academic career. Freshmen are encouraged to consult the faculty web page to become familiar with the types of research being conducted in the department, and volunteer after they have adjusted to the rapid pace of the university. Interested students should:

  • Create a short-list of potential research laboratories.
  • Contact faculty members to see if they are willing to accept a student into their laboratory.
    • Students are encouraged to set up an appointment to discuss the research, responsibilities and commitment.
    • Global e-mails sent to the entire faculty tend to be less effective than specific and personal inquiries.