undergrad-admin's blog

— from the Researcher's bench and PI's desk

For Students: how Getting In: The Insider’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Undergraduate Research Experience will make all the difference in your search and help you prepare for life as an Undergrad In The Lab


Guest Post: A Student’s Perspective on Setting up a Lab

Moving a lab is a tough challenge (we've done it several times). In her article, guest writer MSci student Tomi Akingbade, shares some tips on unpacking and the lessons she learned in the process.


Your Guide for Considering a Gap Year

—from the Researcher’s bench and the PI's desk

Exploring the Process

Figuring out if you should take a year off between finishing your undergrad experience and enrolling in a graduate, medical, or professional program isn't always an easy path. So, if you're feeling stressed out about the uncertainly of it all, know that it's part of the process. Deciding what to do, wondering if taking a break will be worth it, if you should even consider it, (or feeling frustrated because a gap year wasn't part of your 10 -year plan) is stressful.

This guest post was written by Dr. Brandi Ormerod, Associate Professor at the University of Florida, Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Ormerod's research program focuses on understanding how to use transplantable or endogenous neural stem cells to repair neural circuits in the diseased or injured brain, and how changes in levels of hippocampal neurogenesis across lifespan impact cognition. She originally posted a version of this article on Quora and gave us permission to share this version here.


The 0-Credit Research Option

We received an inquiry from an undergrad about registering for a 0-credit research option.

For those of you in departments without this option, a 0-credit option often allows a student to list research experience on their transcript, but doesn't require the student to pay tuition or fees to do so. The 0-credit option doesn't factor into a student's GPA, and typically doesn't count towards major requirements or electives.


Growing Pains and Stepping Stones

—from the Researcher's bench

After you reach certain benchmarks in the lab, your research supervisor will transition from the role of supervisor to that of a research mentor.

Accompanying this change in roles will be the growing responsibility to do tasks formerly completed by your research supervisor. This will be unsettling at first--especially when you quickly realize that your success is now in your hands. Long ago, one of my undergrads described this path to self-reliance as "Growing Pains" and it immediately became part of our lab’s lingo.