Undergraduate Research  in Dr. Tonia Schwartz’s Laboratory of Functional Genomics

​Undergraduate research is a valuable experience for students that allow them to use and apply the knowledge they are learning in their classes, gain experience and marketable skills, and learn to be a professional scientist. We encourage students to get involved in research as soon as possible. We love having undergraduates in the lab and help us with research! But, it is important to realize that it takes time and energy to train new people in the lab and determine if we can trust them with our experiments and data collection. As such, we typically take on students that intend to be involved in research for multiple semesters. Often times students are in the lab for 2-3 years.


Options for Involvement

1. Volunteer

2. Research Credit: BIOL4980

3. Research Fellowships

4. Research technician paid from a grant

We have many options for undergraduate students to be becoming involved in the Schwartz Lab. Typically they start off volunteering and working with a graduate student on their project so we can "test each other out".  Once they have some experience and understanding of the on-going projects and determine if research is for them, then they typically transition to more independent research project related to a larger project in the lab through Research Credit, a Research Fellowship (paid) or as a paid research technician

Research Credit

Expectations for Research Credit: BIOL4980

  • Approximate hours of work per week: 

    • 5 hours per week for 2 credits,

    • 7 hours per week for 3 credits,

    • 9 hours per week for 4 credits.


  • Days / hours of work will be decided on based on the hours that work for both you and your immediate mentor.

  • Time conflicts and make-ups should be discussed as early as possible.

  • You are expected to participate in the weekly laboratory meeting.

  • You are expected to attend the weekly Biological Sciences Departmental Seminar

  • You will keep a laboratory notebook (either hardcopy or electronic) that is updated and orderly.

  • At the end of the semester, you will submit a 2-5 page summary describing the research problems that you were working on, work that you did toward those problems, and the techniques that you learned

  • You will be graded on your participation, the quality of the data you collect, the quality of your laboratory notebook, and the Final summary

Research Fellowships (Paid) and Independent Research Projects

If you are interested in doing a longer term research project with more independence, I encourage you to look into a Paid fellowship for a year, or a summer. 

   Auburn University, Undergraduate Research Fellowships: http://www.auburn.edu/undgres/fellowship.php

Research Technician (Paid)

If we have a research grant that includes funds to higher undergraduate researchers, we will hire students (typically those that have already proven themselves in the lab) to conduct research with us for 10-20 hours per week.


To apply to work with us.

Please send me the following so I can assess whether you are a good fit for the lab.

1.  An CV or resume detailing your past work and research experiences.

2.  A cover page (2-3 paragraphs) explaining:  

  • why you are interested in doing research, and why you think your interest fit with my laboratory.

  • the type of project you would like to work on (see the Research link).

  • the type of skills you would like to obtain: bioinformatics, molecular lab bench skills (working with DNA/RNA), organismal (working with mice, reptiles, Daphnia), writing & synthesizing literature, etc.)