Undergraduate research

We strongly believe that a valuable cornerstone of an undergraduate science education involves actively working in a research laboratory. As such, we strive to offer this opportunity to motivated undergraduate students here at the University of Texas.

For students with little or no lab experience, we initially require a one semester commitment to work in our lab for about ten hours weekly, doing general lab tasks. This work involves preparation of solutions, pouring media, autoclaving and a number of other tasks that must be performed in order that the lab runs smoothly and efficiently. These duties will allow you see how our lab is organized, while at the same time make an important and valuable contribution to our lab. You will be able to see first hand what contemporary molecular biology research looks like. We will be able to see that you are a careful and fastidious worker, reliable, and detail oriented.

For students with previous lab experience and students who have spent a semester familiarizing themselves with our lab, we will invite you to work under the supervision of a graduate student on one of the projects that we are working on. Please roam our web site to get an idea of some of research that we are working on. The research that you do will be somewhat dependent on the amount of time that you have available to work here in our lab. Generally, we require a minimum commitment of ten hours a week.

There are opportunities to conduct this research while earning undergraduate credit. Biochemistry and Microbiology both offer options for undergraduate research credit. We also encourage undergraduates to apply for UT research fellowships. These UT fellowships pay a budget of up to $1000 to purchase equipment and reagents for your research. Undergraduates in our lab have been very successful in receiving these fellowships.

The first step in this process is to send an email to Dr Phil Tucker at philtucker@mail.utexas.edu , please include any specific research interests (if any) as well as any previous lab experience that you have. Please be specific about any previous experience, and include the types of techniques that you are familiar, as well as the degree of familiarity. (example: I have done so many Southern blots that I could do them in my sleep.) If it seems like there is a good fit between your skills and interests and our needs in the lab, w will then arrange for you to speak to one of our graduate students about the research we do, and what role you might play in answering the scientific questions that we are investigating.