Finding the Research Program Right for You

iStock_000006142438MediumBy Sherry Cui

Our whole lives revolve around research. We constantly ask why and how. We scour the web for diagnosis of our health symptoms. With research playing such a large role in our lives, it can get difficult to focus on just one type of research. But staying focused and keeping to one path will make for a more rewarding experience. To do this, we can seek out research opportunities on college campuses, medical centers, or research institutions. What better way than to explore hands-on experiences?

The following are some great programs to explore:

The National Institute of Health (NIH) Summer Program provides biomedical research experience. NIH is composed of many different centers, each with its own mission and research focus, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases, neurological disorders and stroke, and diabetes.

The Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) offers a summer fellowship program that allows undergraduates and veterinary students the opportunity to do research on HIV/AIDs, Lyme Disease, and tuberculosis.

The Oregon National Primate Research Center focuses on neuro-development, cancer, reproductive health, and immune response to infectious agents research.

Bio-Rad Laboratory Inc. is a company dedicated to developing chemicals for pharmaceutical, biochemical, or biological research.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program gives students opportunities to work in six different laboratories, including Materials Measurement, Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Neutron Research.

The National Cancer Institute provides many different summer research programs for undergraduates interested in cancer-related research. The Cancer Center for Research “Cancer Research Intern” Program offers summer research opportunities for students who are under-represented in biomedical science. The Introduction to Cancer Research Career (ICRC) Program also offers a summer internship program. Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics offers a summer internship program for students interested in cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetics.

ASBMB has a good compilation of many different research opportunities on their Summer Research Opportunities website. Peruse through different research opportunities organized by state.

In addition to these research programs, there are many great ongoing research projects on your college or neighboring college campuses. Take the time to introduce yourself to your science professors and take an interest in their work. You may have the opportunity to work in their lab in the future. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes along because doing hands-on research is the key to you gaining knowledge and experience. You can also use your knowledge of various available internships to host a UAN-based internship workshop on your campus. Introduce the various internship opportunities to your fellow classmates. You’ve got the knowledge and practical experience. Embrace it. And use it.

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