Colgate’s biology program is distinctive in that undergraduate students conduct graduate-level research directly with their professors.
Part of the regular curriculum, biology research tutorials are courses enrolling six to eight students from the junior and senior classes. These students work independently or collaboratively in the lab throughout the semester to address questions within the scope of a faculty member’s research.
At the conclusion of each semester, both the students and faculty members present their research in a departmental poster session, where students and faculty from both the department and the rest of campus review and discuss their findings over pizza.
Students who participate in a biology research tutorial, or who simply have a targeted research interest, may have the opportunity to pursue that research further via independent studies. Students earn one credit for each semester of independent study. Students coordinate such independent studies with their academic or research adviser.
Paid Research Positions
Paid research positions on campus do not earn academic credit, but they can provide incredibly valuable, resume-building experiences. They allow students to engage deeply with high-level academic research, often across multiple semesters.
Each summer, a number of students remain on campus to conduct funded research in collaboration with, and under the supervision of the biology department faculty. Projects may originate with the faculty, who may propose projects and seek student collaborators, or with students, who may propose projects to execute under the guidance of a supervising faculty member. The possibilities, therefore, are limitless.
During the Semester
Paid student research positions are also available in some faculty members’ labs. Many of these opportunities stem from curricular research, and in some cases, students may even be eligible to begin in their first year. Students interested in these positions should speak directly with the faculty member. Paid research positions are not eligible for academic credit. Students who wish to earn academic credit for their research should consult with their research adviser regarding the possibility of an independent study.
Facilities and Resources
High-level academic research requires high-level research facilities, tools, and resources. Faculty and student researchers in biology are supported by state-of-the-art laboratories.