Students are strongly encouraged to seek out opportunities to become engaged in research, especially those students planning to attend graduate school in the biological sciences or related fields. Students should be proactive in their search for a research experience and ideally should begin serious inquiries not later than their sophomore year at Agnes Scott. A variety of research opportunities exists for students, both on and off campus.
Most faculty members in the Biology Department are actively engaged in research and have students working alongside them in the laboratory. Students should first become familiar with each faculty member's area of expertise and then approach those faculty members whose research is of interest.
In many cases, students may receive academic credit or be paid while working in the lab. Current funding sources include the Research Scholars Program, the Goizueta Foundation Collaborative Research Grant and the Julia Gary Summer Collaborative Research Grant. Instead of receiving a salary, students can also receive academic credit for their participation in research by taking Biology 380, Research in Biology.
Research opportunities also exist off campus in the Atlanta area, for example at the Centers for Disease Control, Emory University, and Georgia Tech. Both Emory and Georgia Tech sponsor summer research programs that allow students to work full time during the summer and receive a salary. Applications for most of these programs are due in either January or February, so students should start to investigate these programs in the fall. Students can also ask Agnes Scott faculty members and other students if they know of any research opportunities available off campus.
Students can also pursue summer research opportunities at other colleges and universities throughout the United States. Many of these programs are sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Biology Department also presents the Doerpinghaus Award each year, which provides support for off-campus research with preference given to field-based studies.