Undergraduate Opportunities


We consider undergraduate researchers to be key contributors to the research progress of this laboratory. Undergraduates participate in most aspects of the experiments, including behavioral measures, histological procedures, and quantification of brain changes. Particularly motivated students may choose to take on an independent research project after a sufficient intitial training period. Many of our undergraduates have received authorship on papers and/or honors for their research in this laboratory. This is an excellent laboratory for undergraduates seeking pre-graduate school research experience.

Description: The goal of this research is to understand basic mechanisms of neural plasticity and to identify processes which may be manipulated to enhance functional outcome after brain damage. This includes studies of how behavioral experiences of an animal (rat) influence post-injury neural and glial adaptation to damage. Related research pursues learning-related plasticity in intact rats

Qualifications: Motivated, inquisitive students that desire exposure to the workings of a friendly but typically intense basic research laboratory group. Students should have the intention of enrolling for at least 2 semesters of work in the laboratory and must sign up for research credit hours (e.g., PSY 357) while working in the lab during fall and spring semesters. (Signing up during the summer is optional.) Coursework in behavioral neuroscience and biology is very helpful but not required. This laboratory is especially appropriate for pre- graduate school and pre- medical school research experience, but all interested and motivated students are encouraged to apply.

Duties: Undergraduate assistants participate in nearly all aspects of the experiments. This includes handling and behavioral measures in rats, histological and surgical procedures, and quantification of brain changes. Students will also read research papers and attend group meetings. Hours vary, but 10-12 hours of work per week are expected.

Download an application (MS word file)
Contact: Nikki Donlan