Become involved in student research in the QC Biology Department! We offer opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate level.
- Biology Undergraduate Research Coordinator: David Lahti
- Biology Graduate Research Coordinator: Dan Weinstein
- MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program Director: Zahra Zakeri
- Queens College Director of Undergraduate Research: John Dennehy
If you are interested in joining a Biology lab, follow these three steps:
- Scan the research interests of our faculty (or scan them by their area of research).
- Contact a faculty member, preferably by email, indicating your interests, education level, and availability.
- When you succeed at joining a lab, if you are interested in taking a research course for credit, please see below for registration information.
Our faculty members run their labs differently, so each will have different rules for admission into the lab, expected level and duration of commitment, what sort of work you will be doing, and what you need to do in order to obtain research credit.
The Queens College Department of Biology values and depends on undergraduate research. Many undergraduate researchers in our Department eventually become skilled enough to contribute intellectually and materially to faculty research projects, or even have semi-independent projects of their own, meriting coauthorship on scientific papers. Becoming a scientist is fun, but challenging! To learn the ropes in general, in terms of principles and practice, including ethics, we strongly recommend that you take BIO200 – Foundations of Biological Research, prior to or early in your undergraduate research career. For more information regarding the undergraduate major in Biology at Queens College, see our Bachelor’s Degrees page. Our undergraduate researchers also include students based in other units, especially the QC Honors Program in Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Likewise, Biology majors can take research credit in other units, such as Psychology, Neuroscience, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Earth & Environmental Sciences.
The Biology Department’s Undergraduate Research Coordinator (URC: David Lahti) is available for several functions related to undergraduate research in the Biology Department, including recommendations for prospective research laboratories and contacting faculty, information on research course registration and current research opportunities, and for confidential advice regarding interactions with fellow researchers and mentors. It is the job of the URC to help ensure that students who are interested in research are able to do that, effectively and profitably for both the student and the lab. Feel free to contact the URC and schedule a meeting if you are interested in research or if you are already a researcher and have issues or questions.
Also visit the website of the Office of Undergraduate Research at Queens College. If you are a qualifying undergraduate, consider joining the MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) program. The QC Office of Career Development & Interships also runs an Internship Program that can integrate education with research. The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship also provides summer internships; for this, studens should apply to the QC Office of Honors and Scholarships.
Undergraduate Research for Course Credit
Many of our undergraduate researchers opt to get course credit for the work they do. There are two main research courses, each of which can be taken for 1-3 credits.
- Biology 390: Undergraduate Research in Biology I
- Biology 391: Undergraduate Research in Biology II
If more credit is desired, Biology 391 can be taken multiple times. Students may change labs and mentors between courses, although we encourage sustained relationships with a single research laboratory and mentor in order to develop an advanced skill set and a deeper understanding of a particular research program.
Students must complete the following form and submit it to the Biology Office in order to register for undergraduate research for credit. It requires the signature of a faculty mentor. If students wish to submit the form electronically they must first gain mentor approval. Mentors will then email the Biology Office to approve registration.
The Biology Honors Thesis
Students who have devoted at least two semesters to research for credit with a single mentor may choose to devote a further two semesters to research with the same mentor towards a Biology Honors Thesis. In this case, the student should register for two further courses, one per term, using the above form:
- Biology 395: Honors Undergraduate Thesis Proposal
- Biology 396: Honors Undergraduate Thesis
The Thesis Proposal is a research paper that is approved by the mentor as both an assessment for BIOL 395 and a basis for the Honors Thesis. The Honors Thesis is a research paper describing a project to which the student made a contribution. The student taking BIOL 396 will also present this research orally to a faculty committee. Guidelines for the thesis proposal, thesis, and presentation, including a thesis title page template and the Undergraduate Thesis Approval Form, can be found here:
Enrollees in QC Master’s and CUNY Doctoral programs are heavily involved in research in the Biology Department. For information about doctoral programs, please see our Doctoral Studies page, or go to the relevant program at the CUNY Graduate Center as our doctoral programs are based there. For information about graduate research or admission to the Biology Master’s program, see our Master’s Degrees page or contact our Graduate Research Coordinator (GRC: Dan Weinstein). To register for graduate research courses or tutorial, please use the following form:
This form requires 2 signatures: the mentor, and and the GRC . If students wish to submit the forms electronically they must first gain mentor approval. The mentor will email the GRC, who will forward the correspondence to the Office Staff with approval.