Students in the MB3 program are expected to complete a research experience as part of their undergraduate education.
All of the faculty are very interested in helping undergraduates to do research. Having said that, most faculty have 2-3 students asking to join their research programs for every student they accept. You need to set yourself apart by demonstrating that you really know what the faculty member you select is studying and that you are genuinely interested in their work.
We will be updating this site regularly to describe specific research projects for which faculty in the program are seeking undergraduate student involvement. If you are interested in getting involved in research, we suggest you visit the list of MB3 program faculty. Read about the research interests of the MB3 faculty mentors, and if anything sounds interesting to you, contact the particular faculty and inquire about the possibility of doing research.
Alternatively, students may elect to participate in an approved internship experience at one of the many academic, clinical or commercial research laboratories in the Baltimore area.
Familiarize yourself with the type of research in which the various faculty members are engaged by talking to your advisor, other faculty, and by looking at faculty webpages on the Biology and Chemistry Departments’ website. Make a prioritized list of those faculty you are most interested in working with. Obtain one or two papers that your top choice for mentor has recently published. Read those papers (you may need some help). The idea is that you want to be familiar enough with the recent research in the lab that you can speak intelligently about it and that you can make an informed decision.
Contact faculty members whose research is of interest to you and arrange to meet them in person. Send an email with the following components:
Whatever you do, DO NOT simply send an email asking to join their research team without any of the supporting statements described above. Faculty members are rightfully proud of their research. They receive many requests for research opportunities and cannot take on every student who approaches them. Most faculty members will give a preference to students who express a well-informed and strong interest in their research.
If you do not hear back from the potential mentor within a week, feel free to email them again. If you do not hear back within a week after that, you should call them or visit their office hours. Remember, if a faculty member does not respond immediately it is likely because they are very busy. Never complain about a slow response, Stay positive and concentrate on your interest in their research.
In your face-to-face meeting with each faculty member, find out what types of projects they are currently pursuing and whether or not they are accepting new undergraduate students for those projects. Be prepared to describe again what courses you have had, what your career goals are, and how much time per week you can commit to the effort (and when you are available each week). You may also ask to talk to the faculty member’s current research students to see what “life” is like in that faculty member’s laboratory.
Based on your “interviews” with various faculty, you should be able to decide in whose lab you would most like to work. Contact your top choice and ask if you can join their research team. Do not be discouraged if your first choice ultimately decides not to take you on as a research student. Faculty have to make a very large commitment of time and resources when they accept a new student, and they can only handle so many students at one time. Thus, rejection is likely not a reflection on your qualifications or abilities. Move on to your second choice.