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Mentored Research

Ready to make your own discoveries? Mentored research (MMBIO 494R) allows students to make original, research-based discoveries under the supervision of a faculty member.

What is Mentored Research?

Mentored research (MMBIO 494R) allows students to make original research-based discoveries under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This hands-on experience requires independent thought, effective time management, and hard work. Outcomes of a successful 494R research experience include the mastery of new techniques, generation of original discoveries, production of formal scientific papers and presentations, and a new network of scientifically inclined faculty and student colleagues.

Course requirements for MMBIO 494R can be found by clicking here. Students taking the course will be expected to:

  1. Complete required safety training
  2. Report worked hours weekly (at least 3 hours of work/week for each credit hour)
  3. Complete a grant, written report, or present work at a scientific meeting

Finding a Lab

There are a variety of labs to work in in the MMBio department. You will need to find a professor who is conducting research in an area that interests you. Remember that faculty members can only effectively mentor a limited number of students, so it is important to find a lab that is truly interesting for you. You'll enjoy your experience more, be more productive, and have a better chance of getting into the lab. Professors appreciate sincere interest and don't relish the idea of working with a student who only wants to get into their lab to strengthen their resume or medical school application.

You can find information about all of the labs by clicking here.

Once you've found a lab that looks interesting, read a couple journal articles from the professor's publications to familiarize yourself with their work. If you want to work in the lab, contact the professor. MMBio professors' contact information can be found in the Faculty Directory. Stop by their office or send them an email.

Be appreciative of the time the professors take to talk with you. Because of space limitations, you may have to try several different labs before finding a spot.

Lab Expectations

Upon finding a spot in a lab, work hard and demonstrate that you are there to contribute. Working in a lab is different than taking a class, you need to treat it like a job and take responsibility to move your project forward. This will require you to work hard, be dependable, learn the lab techniques, find and read papers relevant to your project, and to be a problem solver.

If you can become an expert on your project topic and be productive in running experiments, your research experience will be rewarding for you now and your future career.

Student Projects

In order to make the most of your work, you'll want to present your research to the scientific community. You can publish an article or present at a conference.

Bryce Anderson and Brian Ballard from the Weber Lab and Hyrum Shumway from the Johnson Lab recently presented their work at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) in Logan Utah. They each made posters summarizing their discoveries and spent time explaining their work to other scientists attending the conference.