How do I get into a research lab?

Think about what research topics interest you, then search for faculty with similar interests, both within Biology and elsewhere.

Research departments and faculty interests are listed within department profiles. The most commonly used profiles are those in Biology and the community.

If at all possible, read a research publication by that faculty member (it's not necessary to completely understand the paper). Send an email to her/him, stating that you're interested in her/his research, and that you'd like to meet to discuss the research and the possibility of doing work in that lab.

Meet professors whose research interests you: take a class with that professor, attend one of her/his seminars, or simply go to her/his office hours.

Take Bio 3 (Frontiers in Marine Biology) a small class offered Autumn quarter aimed primarily at freshmen and sophomores intended to give students a broad overview of research topics at Hopkins Marine Station.

How can I get a paid research position?

If you're new to research at Stanford, check out Biology's Sponsored Summer Research program.

If you've been within a lab and want to continue, especially if you’re thinking of doing an honors thesis, check out UAR grants.

The UAR lists individual research assistantships, while Stanford's Office of Science Outreach has a limited number of summer internship opportunities as well (Feb and Mar deadlines).

The Carnegie Institution for Science (Plant Biology) has research internships (deadline Mar).

Students may apply for a Bio-X Grant if doing research with a Bio-X affiliated faculty member. (deadline April, subject to change), while faculty with NSF grants (generally EcoEvo) can apply for supplements for undergraduate research at the Research Experiences for Undergraduates website (rolling deadline).

Do you have suggestions for research outside Stanford?

Genentech, South San Francisco, CA.

NIH outreach program Bethesda, MD.

Brookhaven National Laboratories, NY.

Cold Spring Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

Federally funded internships, across the US.

Many medical schools have summer internships programs. Check with individual schools.

Professional societies and organizations that can help you network your way into an internship:


What do I need to do for my honors proposal?

Please see the Honors page for more detailed information about writing an honors proposal.

Where can I get a flat binding for my honors thesis?

Many students go to Kinko's and select the strip binding. Included in this binding is a clear front cover and a black back cover. Generally, it takes anywhere from 1/2 an hour to 24 hours to be bound, depending on how busy they are.

Where can I get my poster professionally printed?

You can go to Meyer Library ($50) or to Kinko's.

Poster design information is available at the SURPS website.

A single poster can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several days to print (depending on where to you take it, and how close to to deadline you are getting it printed), so ask printers about lead time, considering when your poster needs to be ready!

Is it possible to get academic credit for summer research?

Yes, even if you get paid for it. The Department of Biology allows students to get academic credit for research for which they are also paid.

Please see the page describing Summer Research for more details. However, please note: you may not need these units, so think carefully about applying (there's a lot of work involved for you to receive them).

Can I change which quarters I use my summer research credit?

You may change the quarters in which you'll distribute your summer research units, even after your petition is approved, as long as the total number of units remains the same.

Do I need to submit a BIO 199X petition each time I want to enroll?

If you are remaining in the same lab, you do not need to re-submit your 199X petition. If you are changing labs, you will need to submit a new petition.

Is it okay if I change my project or grading option changes in between the time I write my 199X petition and when it’s graded?

Grading is completely up to the professor. As long as you and your research advisor have a clear agreement on how and what will be graded, that’s fine.