Summer Research

Dear Students,

The Department of Biology is looking for summer research assistants.  If you are interested in obtaining one of these positions, please email Dr. Sarah Heimovics (, as soon as possible and I will send you an application form.  I will forward your applications, as I receive them, to those whom you have identified among your preferences. Please note that applications will be reviewed upon receipt, starting immediately.  Those of us who wish to speak with you will contact you directly. 

Those of us who are offering these positions, your prospective mentors, are identified below (click the link at the bottom of this page) together with descriptions of our research interests.  These descriptions are included to help you determine with whom you would most like to work.  Please note that the application asks you to identify up to three preferences (more if you wish) – and we strongly encourage you to do so!  If you would like to know more about us and our (and prospectively your!) work – come talk with us!  We’re eager to speak with you. 

If you’re not interested, we encourage you to reconsider.  What we are offering you is an extraordinary breadth and variety of opportunities – not available to most undergraduates elsewhere – to participate in original research.  Learning what biologists do – by doing it – is among the most valuable experiences we can offer you.  It’s also among the things we do best and among the things that best distinguish your biology department from many others.  What do you stand to gain?  Just to begin: higher order skills – intellectual as well as technical.  What else do you stand to gain?  What difference will these skills make to your future?  How about these for payoffs: 

          (1) You’ll enjoy a greater sense of belonging to a departmental community, a greater feeling of camaraderie with faculty, staff, and other students based on our shared interests.

          (2) You’ll experience the real work of your major discipline, work that is interesting and fun in ways quite different from your usual coursework.
          (3) You’ll experience what it means, and how it feels, to know something really deeply.

          (4) You’ll distinguish yourself among your academic (graduate and professional-school) or vocational peers by your greater capacity for critical reading and incisive thinking.
          (5) You’ll acquire the potential – while still an undergraduate – to publish new information under your own name.  (Can you imagine what that would do for your resume?!)

          (6) You’ll enhance your prospects for acceptance to graduate and professional schools.         
          (7) You’ll become more attractive to a larger number and wider variety of prospective employers.

          (8) You’ll develop a closer relationship with at least one member of the faculty who, as a result, will be able to speak more effectively on your behalf when you apply for post-graduate education or employment.

          (9) This experience will help you answer that annoyingly persistent “what-would-I-like-to-do-when-I-grow-up” question. 

If you really don’t want to secure these advantages for yourself, OK.  But, please, don’t be among the all-too-many students who graduate saying, “I wish I had known about these opportunities earlier”.

Questions about the applications process specifically and broader questions, e.g., about the variety of ways to get involved in research in the Department, may be addressed to me, either by e-mail (, or by phone (2-5147), or by personal visit (you can e-mail me to schedule a meeting).  You’re also welcome to just stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.  If you leave a voice-mail message, please clearly articulate your name, the phone number at which I can get back to you, and the best time for me to do so, and I’ll respond as soon as possible.  However you choose to contact me, I’ll be happy to hear from you.  Questions about particular research programs should be addressed to the investigators, your prospective mentors, themselves.  I strongly encourage you to visit us; we’ll all be delighted to speak with you.

I hope you’re all enjoying, and continue to enjoy, a great semester, and I wish you the greatest success going forward.


Sarah Heimovics, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Biology Undergraduate Research Coordinator


Link to faculty research summary 

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