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Four ways for undergrads to get involved in science research

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Jesus Barrera | The Daily Wildcat

Xiaoyu Zou pours liquid nitrogen into alcohol at the Laboratory for Electron Spectroscopy and Surface Analysis on May 9, 2016. Labs like this make the UA a research university, full of unique and award-winning research topics. Undergraduates have a chance to gain access to many of these facilities through programs like SRI and UBRP.

The UA offers plentiful opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. Many professors offer individual research opportunities to students who show interest and to those they believe capable of taking on the responsibility. In addition, a number of formal opportunities exist for motivated students.

Summer Research Institute:

 The SRI offers research opportunities in multiple different fields, primarily for underrepresented and first-generation students, whether they are from the UA or not. Students who apply and are accepted are paired with a professor in their major field to conduct research and gain experience. One of the main goals of the program is to prep participants for graduate work at the UA.

Undergraduates must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, the time to work 40 hours per week and U.S. citizenship, or permanent residence or refugee status. In addition, applicants must have been enrolled in an accredited four-year college in the past year and must be a junior or senior with 85 units toward a bachelor’s degree. The last chance to apply is Feb. 1.

Those who are accepted receive a stipend of $4,000, 10 weeks’ worth of research between June and August and one-on-one research with a UA professor. 

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Students will also get the opportunity to do coursework, workshops, outreach and the opportunity to share their research with several other undergrads from across the states. 

Undergraduate Biology Research Program:

The UBRP is similar to Maximizing Access to Research Careers because both are geared toward medical fields. The UBRP, however, does not require students to be of a minority group. 

In the UBRP, students work as full-time researchers over the summer, in a number of biology-related labs and groups around campus. 

The deadline for applications is Feb. 1. Students who do well in the program are eligible to return during the rest of the academic year.

Multiple programs are available in the this program including the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Summer Research program, the Environmental Health Sciences Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience and the Native American Cancer Prevention Program.

Maximizing Access to Research Careers: 

This is a program aimed at underrepresented students primarily in biomedical fields. 

It is a two-year program geared toward juniors and seniors seeking a Ph.D. in the future, taking place over two summers and four semesters.

Students receive a monthly stipend of $1,028,health insurance, tuition and fees paid in full or partial and also travel support.

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In addition, participants can expect mentoring, career guidance, scientific writing and research practice, graduate school application assistance, a colloquium course geared toward biomedical sciences, GRE tutoring, attending an annual national scientific meeting and in-lab research.

To apply, in addition to status as a member of an underrepresented population within the biomedical field, students must be U.S. citizens with a biomedical major and have the time to commit to the program.

Arizona Space Grant research internships:

 These internships offer research, mentoring, scientific writing and science education for students in STEM fields. 

As the name suggests, the program focuses on both space exploration and observation research.

One noteworthy project at the UA is the development of an experimental lunar greenhouse. 

The program is funded by NASA and runs approximately 10-20 hours per week with $9.50 paid per hour over the course of an academic year. The application deadline is July 7.


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