Undergraduate Research

One of the main requirements for undergraduate majors in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry is to perform an independent research project. The goal of this requirement is to further expose students to a research environment and provide practical training for careers in medicine, or academic and industrial research. It is our belief the best way to learn science is by doing science.

In addition to working in laboratories during the academic year, many undergraduate students work over the summer in the lab so that they can devote their full time to the projects. These students have often been awarded fellowships to support their research. Many of the students that conduct research are able to present their research at scientific meetings both on and off campus or had their work published in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Undergraduate research may be carried out with any science faculty member at Rutgers University or at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS). However, in order for MBB students to register for independent research courses students must obtain special permission from their MBB academic advisors. Forms for special permission numbers can be obtained from the undergraduate secretary for MBB. It is advisable to meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester. In this way, they can follow your progress and provide guidance and suggestions on career choices. This interaction is also important from the perspective of the department because it helps us to track how students are doing and how it can make improvements.

Registration in research courses is by special permission only. Students must fill out a Special Permission Form for Undergraduate Research and have it signed by their research advisor and MBB academic advisor before they can get a special permission number. 

Students need an overall GPA of 2.8 or greater to conduct research.  

Students are expected to do 4-5 hrs of research a week for each credit.  (i.e. students taking research for 3 credits are expected to be in the lab at least 12 hrs a week.) 

Below are some links to pages on how to find a research lab and what research options are available for MBB students

MBB Major Research Courses
A list of courses to register for research credit.

Finding a Research Lab
This is a description of how to go about finding a laboratory to do your independent research project.

Recent Undergraduate Research Advisors
This is a list of Rutgers or RWJMS faculty who have recently had undergraduates working in their lab. Be selective in who you contact. Mass generic e-mails by students looking for a lab are generally not successful.

Undergraduate Research Fellowships
This is a list of internal and external fellowships to support undergraduate research projects.

Contact Us

Nelson Biological Laboratories

Nelson Biological Laboratories
604 Allison Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854


P (732) 445-6251
F (732) 445-6186