On-Campus Research Opportunities

The Department strongly encourages undergraduates to pursue independent research as part of their educations. In addition to the high value placed on research by medical and graduate school admissions committees, an undergraduate research experience serves to consolidate all your Genetics training into a single keystone experience.

The easiest way to get research experience is to take GENE 4960/4960H (and continue in GENE 4970/4970H, GENE 4980/4980H and GENE 4990/4990H). Honors and non-honors students who complete a thesis (GENE 4990/4990H) can take GENE 4960/4960H and GENE 4970/4970H instead of both required lab courses.

You don't have to wait until your senior year to start in a lab—faculty are generally most enthusiastic about a student who spends several semesters (even years!) in the lab. Those longer-term research experiences will be particularly beneficial as your faculty mentor will be especially committed to your training and further education. We have had very successful students start research in labs as early as the sophomore year. Some faculty are happy to mentor you for a single semester, while others prefer a longer commitment. A great way to start a research project is to begin during the summer and continue through the fall.

Applications for Research Course Approval:

*CURO research students need to fill out the department and CURO applications.

Department applications:

If you research is with a Genetics faculty member see link below:

GENE4960(H), GENE 4970(H), GENE 4980(H) form (Genetics Faculty)

If your research is with a faculty member outside of the Department of Genetics please see link below:

GENE4960(H), GENE 4970(H), GENE 4980(H) form (Non-Genetics Faculty)

Thesis From:

GENE4990/4990H form


Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) applications:

CURO research course application and details for GENE 4960H, 4970H and 4980H

CURO thesis course application and details for GENE 4990H

How do you become involved in undergraduate genetics research?

The easiest way is to contact a faculty member whose work interests you (see a summary of all our faculty research interests). Look at individual faculty web sites; for those who look especially interesting, you might read a few of their recent papers. Contact the faculty member by e-mail and ask if that professor is interested in having an undergraduate doing research in the lab. If so, arrange to meet with the faculty member to discuss the possibilities. It is best to try to line up a meeting in the semester prior to the one in which you want to get started.

There are also some formal programs on campus that provide funding for research experiences, particularly in the summer:

Summer Undergraduate Fellowships in Genetics (SUNFIG)

Fungal Genomics and Computational Biology

Nanobiology & Biomedicine

UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO)

Funded Summer Undergraduate Research - 2013

The following UGA undergraduate students have been funded by the CURO to pursue summer research projects in laboratories in Genetics:

Alyse Ragauskas, Westpheling lab: "Genetic transformation of Caldicellulosiruptor hydrothermalis"
Jenna Pallansch, Hall lab, "Characterization of light signaling in fireflies"
Matthew Robert Kent, Dawe lab, "Inheritance of kinetochore mutations in plants"
Austin Garner, Sweigart lab: "Genetics of hybrid lethality in Mimulus"
Emily Fawcett, Dyer lab, "Selfish genetic elements and multiple mating in Drosophila"
Mary Douthit, Moore lab: "Octopamine receptor gene expression and parenting"
Megan Chesne, Terns lab: "RNA-based immunity in bacteria"

Off-Campus Research Opportunities

The Summer STAR (Student Training and Research) Program, Medical College of Georgia

This program provides a ten week biomedical research experience for undergraduate students with a desire to pursue a graduate education in biomedical sciences. Students are awarded a stipend for their participation in the program. Application deadline is February 18th. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://gru.edu/gradstudies/star/

REU-Microbiology Program, University Of Wisconsin-Madison

The Department of Bacteriology offers a nine week summer research program in microbiology, microbial genetics and/or molecular biology. Participants receive a stipend and dormitory housing, meal allowance, recreational facility fees, and travel also are provided. Application deadline is March 1st. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://www.bact.wisc.edu/pro_reu.php. Students interested in this program are urged to contact Dr. Jan Westpheling at janwest@uga.edu.

REU-Molecular Biology and Genetics, Indiana University

The Department of Biology offers a summer research program in molecular biology and genetics designed for students who are interested in attending graduate school and pursuing a career in research. Application deadline is February 1st. Students receive a stipend plus travel expenses to and from the university. Room and Board are provided. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://www.bio.indiana.edu/undergraduate/opportunities/research/.

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program, Bar Harbor, Maine

An internationally recognized center for mammalian genetic research, The Jackson Laboratory offers students the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary biomedical research as apprentices in the laboratories of staff scientists. Each student conducts original hands-on research as a contributing member of a sponsoring scientist's research team. Projects are tailored to the student's background and interests. Research areas focus on advancing the knowledge of molecular, developmental, genetic, biochemical, and immunological mechanisms related to normal growth and development and human disease. All students receive room and board in a dormitory setting (2-4 students per room), as well as a stipend. Application deadline is January 21st. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://education.jax.org/summerstudent/.