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Center for Global Health and Inter-Disciplinary Research

Undergraduate Research Opportunities - Genomics

Undergraduate students are welcome to conduct research in most USF Genomics labs. Intensive research experience enables students to familiarize themselves with reading and interpreting complex scientific writings and to improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills, while simultaneously making them more competitive applicants for graduate and professional schools. Undergraduate research opportunities are highly sought after so please review the following information carefully before contacting our faculty members.

Students should be available to spend at least two semesters volunteering in the lab. Many professors require a time commitment of 10-20 hours per week. While there can be some flexibility in hours, research often requires extended periods of uninterrupted time so it is necessary to plan your schedule accordingly. Finally, be aware that faculty hosting students do commit a lot of time and resources to training and mentoring students. Therefore, students are expected to be responsible, productive, and dependable. Be sure to carefully consider your availability and level of commitment before starting in a lab.

Getting Started

Step 1 – Select a professor
USF Genomics faculty members come from many different departments and colleges within USF. Students interested in joining a lab should view the Researchers page and read about our faculty, their interests, and current projects. After thorough research, students should select a professor whose work most closely matches their goals and interests.

Students should then contact the professor via email. The email should include:

  1. A short introduction
  2. A statement describing interest in the professor’s current project
  3. A resume
  4. A request for an appointment to further discuss research opportunities

Step 2 – Meet with the professor
Students should treat an introductory meeting like a job interview. Dress professionally, bring a resume if you did not already provide one, and be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • Why are you interested in this lab?
  • What do you hope to get out of your research experience?
  • How does this experience fit into your career goals?
  • What do you know about this subject?

Students should also be prepared to ask their own questions both to demonstrate interest to ensure a clear understanding of expectations. It is important that students go into an introductory meeting with at least a basic understanding of the professor’s current projects, so be sure to do your research ahead of time.