Carnegie Mellon University

Steps for Getting Involved in Research

  1. Determine your interest and commitment. Be sure you have a few blocks of time available for research during normal business hours. Some labs also require attendance at group meetings in addition to this block of time. Most labs are located in the Mellon Institute, so you must consider travel time when planning.
  2. Explore the possibilities below.
Amanda Willard, Director of Undergraduate Studies, can assist you in your exploration and placement.

Types of Research Positions

Lab Aide

A typical entry-level position for freshmen and sophomores. In this position, you will learn to prepare solutions, use equipment and to follow general lab procedures. Many labs require all students to spend at least one semester as a lab aide.

Research Assistant

In this position you will be assigned a mentor. This could be the professor, a graduate student, a research associate or senior undergraduate.

Regional Research & Experiential Learning

Our departmental research faculty mostly focus in basic research approaches within the disciplines of cell and developmental biology, biochemistry and biophysics, genetics and molecular biology, computational biology, and neuroscience. Many of our students are interested in more clinical research positions or internships that provide teaching experience, and have found positions that provide relevant experiences in these fields outside of the Department of Biological Sciences. These opportunities have allowed students to explore a multitude of topics, from Entomology to Tissue Engineering.

The list below provides examples of experiences students have participated in within the greater Pittsburgh area. You may also wish to visit the URO for university-wide opportunities.

Research Assistantships

K-12 Education Experiences

Forensic Science

Animal Behavior