Welcome to Undergrad in the Lab!

Undergraduate research can be incredibly rewarding, but where do you start and how do you succeed? Navigating this unfamiliar territory is not easy. Here you will find advice on how to find a research position, and how to get the most out of your experience.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.

— Albert Szent-Györgi (1893-1986) U. S. biochemist.

— from the Lab Manager's bench

For some undergrads, this summer will be spent lounging on the beach reading and hanging out with friends. Days will be spent blissfully sleeping until a parent annoyingly insists that it’s time to get up and do something.

But alas that’s not for you.


10 Pro-Tips to Wrap up Your Spring Research Semester

—from the PI's desk and the Lab Manager's bench

The close of the spring semester brings thoughts of lounging on the beach with a good book, hanging out with friends, or starting an exciting summer internship. In other words, all the things that will make your summer fun and enjoyable. However, don’t let your enthusiasm for the beginning of summer distract you from wrapping up some key tasks in the lab.

—from the Lab Manager's bench

I originally wrote this post on Quora to answer the question, "How do I get involved in undergraduate research while still in community college and working on my general education?" This version is slightly different from the one I posted on Quora.

You might feel that your options are limited but you probably have more than you think.

—from the PI's desk and the Lab Manager's Bench

There are some wonderful things about writing a blog: It’s easy to get started, you publish articles on your schedule, and you can bring attention to topics that you care about. But there are some difficult things about blogging too—such as crafting a story that you’re really proud of and then trying to get more people to read it.

This year, we’re planning to publish more guest posts on Undergrad In The Lab.com. This will expand the perspectives we offer our readers and give us the opportunity to promote others’ blogs on our site and through Twitter.

We specifically want articles and stories from bloggers who have already published their piece elsewhere. Think of this as recycling or repurposing your article. We're also interested in sharing your best twitter threads as a longer blog article on our site (more on this below).

Guest posts are open writers at all career stages— undergrads, postdocs, grad students, staff scientists, principal investigators…you get it. Articles that share beyond the undergrad experience are especially welcomed. We've connected with far too many people who have regretfully said, "I wish I would have known that others [experienced, struggled with, thought, tried, ignored...] when I was in career stage Y" to restrict contributions based on a professional title.

We connected with an undergrad in the lab who was planning to apply for several summer research programs. They wanted to know how many recommendation letters they could ask each professor to write. As usual, we edited the conversation for brevity and to remove identifying details so the student remains anonymous.