School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research (SOLUR)

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School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research (SOLUR)

Our school's undergraduate research program promotes opportunities for undergraduates in the School of Life Sciences to participate in exciting biological research.

Working side-by-side with faculty and other mentors, we will teach you about scientific investigation through hands-on experiences. You will directly contribute to current research projects. Your research experience will help prepare you for a career in life sciences.

We provide:

  • Project information
  • List of mentors
  • Funds for salary, supplies, and travel for research
  • Seminar on research enterprise
  • Opportunities to interact with other SOLUR researchers
  • Poster symposium to communicate research results

We encourage projects that focus on biology, as well as those that connect to life sciences. Our student researchers are often involved in areas such as psychology, biochemistry, kinesiology, bioengineering, medicine and philosophy.

Learning research skills is a gradual process — so we offer three levels of student involvement: Apprentice, Researcher and Fellow.

Contact:

 

Laura Zafirakis
Program Coordinator Sr.
School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
Mail code 4701

SOLSUGResearch@asu.edu
(480) 965-3572

Apprentice: Entry-level undergraduate research

This is a beginning level for students who have no previous experience with a research project in the field or a lab. At this level, you will work for one or two semesters on a project largely developed, planned and guided by a faculty mentor.

Researcher: Mid-level undergraduate research

Our mid-level students work for one academic year (fall and spring semesters), with an option to start the summer before.

If you have been an Apprentice or have previous experience and are keenly interested in research, we encourage you to apply at this level. If accepted, you will receive some financial support and have access to funds for research supplies and travel to relevant scientific conferences.

Fellow: Top-level undergraduate research

Our highest-level students begin research work at the start of summer and continue for one full year. You will have a great deal of creative input into the design of your work and experiments.

If you have at least one year of research experience and are committed to pursuing a life science career — this is a great opportunity. Accepted fellows receive some financial support and have access to funds for research supplies and travel to relevant scientific conferences.

Apprentice: Entry requirements

Apprentice: Entry requirements

Apprentices are awarded a one-semester introduction to research. No prior experience is necessary. This is a great way to explore your research interest.

Who qualifies?

All current undergraduate SOLS majors.

What will I do?

  • Conduct short-term guided research
  • Learn about scientific inquiry
  • Search for and read scientific literature
  • Work in the lab with a faculty mentor and grad students
  • Participate in seminar classes with peer researchers
  • Request (with mentor approval) for Research Supplies or Travel
  • Learn basic research skills

Requirements

  • Enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking ASU student
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.75

There are two ways to become an Apprentice. Choose one:

  • Volunteer in a research lab for one semester or more
  • Enroll in a research-credit course (class options)

Then:

  • Search a list of research opportunities
  • Choose a research position that interests you
  • Email or phone the mentor and express your interest

Entry requirement

  • Enroll in a research credit course or submit a completed volunteer form
    • Co-signed and turned in to the SOLUR office by start of class
  • Enroll in one-credit-hour SOLUR research seminar (BIO 289)

Acceptance into the program

Each mentor may consider several students for a research position. Mentors may ask you to submit additional materials or appear for a personal interview.

If selected, you must:

  • Visit the advising office to enroll in a research-credit course recommended by the mentor
  • Consult with a SOLS Academic Advisor to enroll in BIO 289

Researcher: Application and entry requirements

Researcher: Application and entry requirements

Researchers are awarded two-semester positions (fall and spring, with an option to add the prior summer) that allow you to continue and enhance your research.

Who qualifies?

All current undergraduate SOLS majors qualify, including those transferring from community colleges, who have one to two semesters of entry-level experience (SOLUR program, other lab or fieldwork).

What will I do?

As a Researcher, you will work with a faculty mentor to:

  • Conduct two semesters of guided research
  • Design a research project with faculty assistance
  • Search for and read scientific literature
  • Engage in research-focused discussions
  • Present your research at our annual symposium
  • Receive financial support for research experience in a lab and possible funds for travel and supplies
  • Participate in seminars and our spring Poster Symposium

Requirements

  • Enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking ASU student
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. You may apply and be re-appointed for a second year as a Researcher.

Before you apply

  • Talk with a faculty mentor about your research interest.
  • Secure a commitment from a faculty mentor
  • Need assistance? Contact us.

Application

We accept applications only once each year — in the spring. Check due dates. Your application must include: 

  • Completed application form
  • Statement of interest
  • Resume that includes information on prior research experience
  • Copy of your transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation 
  • Mentor Commitment Form
  • Letter of support from a faculty mentor

Acceptance into the program

Funding is limited. We carefully review each application. You may apply and be re-appointed for a second year as a Researcher.

Researcher: How to Apply

Researcher: How to Apply

Application Deadline March 2, 2018 

Applications are accepted only once each year — in the spring. Your application must include: 

  • Commitment form 
  • Completed application
  • Copy of your transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation 
  • Letter of support from a faculty mentor
  • Resume: include information on prior research experience
  • Statement of interest

Researcher Level

Apply here for the SOLUR program — Researcher Level

 

To apply to the Researcher level of the SOLUR program, provide the following:

1. Statement of Interest
(maximum: two typed pages, double spaced, 1 inch margins)

This statement forms the basis of your application and will be read carefully by the selection committee. Your statement should describe:

  • Your areas and fields of interest within the life sciences
  • Your career goals and ambitions
  • Influential academic or personal experiences that have shaped your interests and career goals
  • Your reasons for wanting to get involved in research
  • The research that you and your faculty mentor have agreed you will conduct over the next year
  • A brief outline of the methods you will use in your project
  • How this research experience will help prepare you for your planned career  

2. Faculty Mentor Commitment Form and Statement of Support
Faculty Mentor Commitment Form

Your faculty mentor must complete the Faculty Mentor Commitment Form, sign it, and attach a statement of support.

The statement of support should include a brief description of the planned research and in-depth evaluation of you as a candidate for this position. The statement should also include specific commitments they will make to you in the form of supervision time, access to equipment and space, and any other contributions such as partial funding of SOLUR student financial support, travel and supplies.

3. Current Resume
Your resume should include a description of your prior research experience, including the date and duration, responsibilities, location, and supervisor or mentor for each experience, as well as your educational background, extracurricular activities, etc.

4. Unofficial Copy of College Transcripts
An unofficial copy of your ASU transcripts may be accessed through ASU’s Office of the Registrar-Student Records and Grades.

5. One Letter of Recommendation
Provide one letter of recommendation from an individual other than your faculty mentor who is familiar with your interests, skills, and career goals. Ask the recommender to address your background and skills as they are relevant to your potential success in the SOLUR Program.

A letter from a professor, teacher, advisor or supervisor is preferred. The letter should be written on company letterhead. Include a contact telephone number and email address of the person writing the letter. The recommender should submit the letter electronically once prompted via email.

Fellow: Application and Entry Requirements

Fellow: Application and Entry Requirements

Fellows are appointed for one academic year, which includes the summer, fall and spring semesters. Research experience at this level will strengthen, enrich and support your development as an independent researcher.

Fellows typically develop, test and communicate their own scientific ideas and questions. You will develop competitive research proposals and are encouraged to explore grant and publication outlets.

Who qualifies?

Full-time undergraduates, who, after their previous experiences (often as Researchers), now want to engage in the exciting and creative process of developing, testing, and communicating their own scientific ideas and questions.

What will I do?

As a Fellow, you will:

  • Conduct independent research for 12 months beginning in May
  • Design and implement an independent research project with a faculty mentor
  • Read and apply scientific literature to your own research
  • Sculpt an understanding of scientific inquiry
  • Engage in research-focused discussions
  • Interpret and summarize your research findings
  • Present your findings at our spring Poster Symposium
  • Contribute 10 hours per semester to activities that broaden the impact of your research (community presentations, recruitment activities, etc.)
  • Receive financial support for research experience in a lab, request funds for travel and supplies as needed
  • Participate in seminars

Requirements

  • Be an undergraduate pursing a SOLS major
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5.
  • Enrolled full-time at ASU

Before you apply

  • Must have one year or more of research experience
  • May apply for successive academic year appointments
  • Previously appointed Fellows may request partial- year appointments to accommodate graduation needs

Application

We accept applications only once each year — in the early spring. Your downloadable application must include:

  • Application form
  • Project proposal
  • Resume highlighting research experience
  • Statement of career goals
  • Copy of your transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Mentor commitment form
  • Statement of support from faculty mentor

Acceptance into the program

Funding is limited. We carefully review each application.  

Fellow: How to Apply

Fellow: How to Apply

Fellow Level

Application Deadline Friday, March 2, 2018

Your application packet must be complete to be considered for a Fellow position.

Apply here to the SOLUR program — Fellow level

 

Applications are accepted only once each year — in the spring. 
Your application must include:

  • Current resume
  • Faculty Mentor Commitment Form
  • Proposal
  • Statement of Career Goals
  • Statement of Support
  • Two Letters of Recommendation:
  • Unofficial Copy of College Transcripts

Fellow Level

To apply to the Fellow level of the SOLUR program, provide the following:

1. Proposal
(maximum: four typed pages, not including title page, single spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins) 

Your proposal must include the following:

  • Cover sheet: project title, name and contact information, faculty mentor’s name and affiliation
  • Introduction to your planned research with pertinent background literature cited
  • Statement of the potential importance or significance of the research you propose
  • Statement of the research question and general hypotheses you plan to test
  • Description of the specific methods you plan to use
  • Description of the possible outcomes, their significance and implications
  • Statement of specific plans for disseminating the results of the research (publications, presentations, etc.)
  • Projected timeline for the year, June 2017-May 2018, detailing when you expect to conduct and complete each phase of your project
  • List of references cited (minimum of 8)

You are encouraged to:

  • Write your proposal so it can be understood by a broad audience (reviewers come from diverse fields)
  • Solicit feedback on your draft proposal from your faculty mentor
2. Faculty Mentor Commitment Form and Statement of Support 

Faculty Mentor Commitment Form

Your faculty mentor must complete the Faculty Mentor Commitment Form, sign it, and attach a statement of support.

The statement of support should include a brief description of the planned research, an in-depth evaluation of you as a candidate for this position. The statement should also include specific commitments they will make to you in the form of supervision time, access to equipment and space, and any other contributions such as partial funding of SOLUR student financial support, travel and supplies. 

3. Current Resume and Statement of Career Goals 

Your resume should include the following:

  • Dates and duration, responsibilities and location of previous research and internships
  • Paragraph describing your career goals and how this experience will help prepare you for your planned career
  • Educational background
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Other pertinent information about you

4. Unofficial Copy of College Transcripts
An unofficial copy of your ASU transcripts may be accessed through ASU’s Office of the Registrar Student Records and Grades.

5. Two Letters of Recommendation 

Provide two letters of recommendation from individuals other than your faculty mentor who are familiar with your interests, abilities and career goals. Ask the recommenders to address your background and skills as they relate to your potential success in the SOLUR Program.

Letters from a professor or teacher, advisor or supervisor are preferred. The letters should be written on company letterhead. Include a contact telephone number and email address for the people writing the letters. 

6. Broader Impact Requirement
Contemporary scientists are expected to broaden the impact of their research through, for example, participation in outreach to the public or training of future scientists. Likewise, SOLUR Fellows are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 hours per semester (fall and spring) to the development and implementation of activities such as:

  • Presenting or participating in science-oriented public outreach
  • Participating in service events
  • Actively promoting the SOLUR program within the university and community college system 

If you are accepted as a Fellow, you will receive information by email during the summer to help you develop plans to fulfill this requirement; a written proposal regarding your broader impact activities must be submitted by August 15 the year your position begins. Nothing concerning this requirement needs to be submitted with the application.

To Consider
SOLUR Fellow awards are made on a competitive basis pending budget availability. The SOLUR Advisory Committee will review your proposal. Reviewers will consider the following:

Scientific Merit

  • Has a significant problem or question and its importance to the field been clearly identified?
  • Have alternative hypotheses that might answer the problem or question been identified and described?
  • Are the experiments/observations proposed appropriate for testing one or more of these hypotheses?
  • Are the experiments/observations feasible given the time and other constraints?
  • What are the possible outcomes of the experiments and how will they move the field forward?
  • How will the results be disseminated?

Applicant's Credentials

  • Has the applicant had coursework relevant to the project?
  • Does applicant have relevant previous research experience?
  • Will the research experience advance the applicant toward their career goals?
  • Is the mentor supportive of the student and the proposed project?
  • Are the recommendation letters supportive of the student and proposed project?

Research Opportunities