The research experience perfectly complements the intellectual content of neuroscience coursework while exposing students to the professional environments in which they strive to work.
In addition, working closely with a research mentor in a laboratory and preparing a senior honors thesis bring the additional benefits of acquiring knowledge and skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing, and oral presentation.
The experience also allows students to interact closely with graduate students, fellows, and professors, enhancing their professional preparation for graduate, medical, or professional schools.
Research and Thesis Guidelines
Faculty MentorsFor the undergraduate neuroscience major, the opportunity to do independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor is an integral component of the curriculum.
Undergraduate neuroscience majors participate in the design, performance, analysis, and dissemination of research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The benefits of mentored research include a greater understanding of a research topic; social, intellectual, and personal growth; acquisition of skills for future endeavors; and enhancement of the application process to professional schools.
Together with the faculty mentor, postdoctoral and graduate student co-mentors assist in the instruction and supervision of the majors. The student is responsible for making arrangements with the faculty mentor to define the research problem, determine the research schedule, and decide how many credit hours will be assigned during the semester.
In our faculty directory, you'll find information about the work of faculty who are interested in mentoring undergraduate students. Current students are encouraged to contact their UAB Undergraduate Neuroscience faculty advisor for a list of mentors currently accepting students.
Getting StartedFormal independent laboratory research can start no later than fall of the junior year and will be supervised by a UAB primary faculty mentor. To find a research laboratory, students need to meet with their UAB Undergraduate Neuroscience faculty advisor. Students should come to this meeting with a list of faculty mentors with whom they are interested in working. Each faculty listing provides specific information about the research focus of the lab on ongoing projects.
Faculty advisors will contact potential research mentors and set up one-on-one meetings for the students. Once an arrangement is reached, students will be responsible for completing and returning the NBL or PY 398 Research Authorization Form to their respective faculty advisors.
Authorization and Research Forms
Students can also attend the Colloquium in Basic, Cognitive, and Clinical Neuroscience during the freshman and sophomore years. The Colloquium will feature participating neuroscience program faculty and will expose students to potential mentors. For qualified students, a mentor can be selected and the research experience can begin as early as the second semester of the freshman year.
Summer research is also possible for students remaining on campus.