Laboratory research is an essential part of the Biophysics undergraduate experience. The University of Michigan is one of the largest research universities in the world and with nearly 50 faculty members to choose from, so many interesting and exciting Biophysics research projects await the curious student. Doing these projects not only enhances your curriculum, but will establish your ability to undertake the kind of research expected by most graduate programs as well as greatly increasing your chances of getting into top graduate programs and medical schools. Research opportunities with the Biophysics program can be done in a variety of ways:
UM Students - Enrolling in an undergraduate research course
Biophysics 399 - Research in Biophysics
At least 2 credits of research are required for the Biophysics major. Students must obtain an override from the Biophysics program prior to registering for 399. Students wishing to do research in a laboratory not affiliated with the Biophysics program must identify a Biophysics faculty co-sponsor who will serve as your 'instructor' point of contact within the program. When you enroll in 399, you will be enrolled under your Biophysics co-sponsor's section. You are required correspond with your Biophysics faculty co-sponsor about your progress. Your faculty PI will be responsible for corresponding with the Biophysics faculty co-sponsor about your final grade. Students wishing to identify a co-sponsor must complete and turn in the "Biophysics Research Co-Sponsor Form" (linked below).
Each credit is equivalent to at least three hours a week of actual work for a 14 week term (minimum 50 hours per term-credit hour). You should give yourself enough time to consult with faculty regarding how many credit hours you should take.
All students are required to take some sort of lab safety training PRIOR to their first time performing research in a lab. This can be done by watching a safety video in the Science Learning Center (1720 Chem) or by taking a class offered by EHS. Please consult your faculty research advisor for specific instructions. Any other questions can be directed to the Biophysics Student Services Administrator.
All students must submit a lab report/summary (1-2 pages) both to their research advisor and to the department by the last day of exams unless required earlier by their research advisor.
NOTE: undergraduate student researchers may receive credit or be paid for their work, they may not receive both pay and course credit for the same work.
The following Biophysics faculty have lab openings--in-person or remote--for undergraduate students in WINTER 2021 (please email the faculty member for more information). If you want to work in a specific faculty member's lab and do not see them listed below, you are encouraged to email them with an inquiry!
Arun Anantharam (in-person)
James Bardwell (in-person and remote)
James Penner-Hahn (remote)
Sarah Veatch (in-person but remote is possible)
Biophysics 498 - Senior Thesis
The result of your research undertaken in 399 could provide the basis for a senior thesis project. More information.
Biophyics 499 - Honors Thesis
Honors students do research under the supervision of a faculty member. The result can provide the basis for an Honor's thesis. More information.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
This program is designed for first and second year undergraduate students seeking a first time research experience. Students assist a faculty member, a research scientist or a professional practitioner with an ongoing or new research project.
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Program
The National Science Foundation funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.