Student Opportunities

Be part of the next research breakthrough

As a student in the School of Science, we encourage you to participate in research through every phase of your academic journey. Opportunities exist for you to get involved your very first year—and only get more plentiful as your knowledge and expertise grows.

More than 120 of our faculty members are actively engaged in research projects—and many of them welcome student helpers. There are also a number of campus programs that place you in relevant initiatives, enabling you to challenge yourself, build relationships with senior scientists, and add depth to your university experience.

Linnea Johnson, a biology student in the School of Science, shares how research has impacted her undergraduate experience. Video courtesy of IU Research.

Description of the video:

Hi, I am Linnea Johnson, and I'm a biology student here at IUPUI.
What we look at is the genetics that relate to Down
Syndrome and how knocking down certain genes can affect the bone
deficits and cognitive deficits that are associated with the disorder.
I feel like
this is kind of along those lines of I will be able to eventually help people
and then, even further than that, see what therapies we can come up with.
Why Research
I fell in love with research, so I am planning on continuing to do that
throughout my undergraduate career.
After I graduate, the end goal is pediatric cardiology.
If you have the opportunity to be part of a research lab,
then take that opportunity.
I've had people come up to me and be like, "I
kind of am interested, but I don't really know what to do".
Do it.
It's an amazing experience. I have loved it.
And if even if you find out it's not something for you,
then there's always a million other things that you can try.
But I think you should always definitely try research.

Beckman Scholars Program

The Beckman Scholars Program is a 15-month mentored research experience for exceptional undergraduate students in chemistry and biological sciences, or interdisciplinary combinations thereof.

Learn more about the Beckman Scholars Program »

How to join a faculty research project

When you close your eyes and picture the perfect research project, what do you see? 

Are you helping to create a lifesaving medication? Finding new ways to protect the planet? Unlocking the brain’s mysteries? No matter what research areas fuel your passion, you’re bound to find a faculty member working on a project that interests you.

Getting involved in faculty research can be quite simple:

  1. Use the "Research Areas" filter on our People Directory to find faculty working in research areas that interest you.
  2. Read the profile pages of the faculty members working on projects that are of interest. 
  3. Explore the websites related to their work, including labs and centers.
  4. Decide which projects interest you most
  5. Contact the people in charge of each initiative, either during office hours or by email

From there, each faculty member’s process will be a little different. If the first professors you reach out to aren’t accepting new students, don’t give up! Keep trying until you find the right fit.

Biology’s First-Year Science Apprenticeship (FYSA) program offers students paid positions in the department’s labs the semester they arrive on campus. Learn more about the FYSA program.