Participating in research opportunities is a great way for you to gain hands-on experiences, make new connections, explore career options and build your resume.

Undergraduate biological sciences majors from any institution are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to conduct research over the summer in the 10-week Biology CIRCLE program from May 22 to July 29, 2023

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

  • Thank you for your interest in our program. The deadline has past and we have filled all of the spots. Have a good summer!

Additional Details

Program highlights and application requirements.

  1. A $5750 stipend and free on-campus housing and meal-plan
  2. Ten-week immersive program with a focus on biological research
  3. Career development, including graduate school opportunities
  4. Community engagement by teaching science to middle school-aged children
  5. Starts with an orientation boot camp and ends with a capstone research symposium
The BIOLOGY CIRCLE program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to work on exciting interdisciplinary research projects. Examples of interdisciplinary projects are:
  1. Characterization of plant extracts and their effects on neuron function
  2. Genetic underpinnings of stress physiology
    Molecular basis of neuroinflammation
  3. Comparative genomics and functional analysis of lipid metabolism
  4. Spatiotemporal dynamics of the scalp microbiota
This program is open to undergraduate students from any college or university. You must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident to be eligible. No prior research experience is necessary but a clear interest in biological research is necessary. The application should include:
  1. Academic transcripts (PDF's are acceptable)
  2. A personal statement
  3. Two letters of recommendation

Contact Dr. Sarah%20Woodley
for more information.

Faculty Mentors

When applying to the Biology CIRCLE Program, please identify at least 3 faculty mentors from this list whose research is of interest to you.

Virology, Molecular Biology – Interested in determining how herpesviruses manipulate host cells to simultaneously escape DNA damage and immune responses while adapting host factors for use in viral processes. Uses genetic, proteomic, imaging, and high throughput sequencing approaches to define the functions of viral genome associated host proteins in the regulation of viral genome structure, gene expression, DNA replication, and DNA repair. 
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Population Genetics, Conservation Biology, and Evolution –  Laboratory uses genomics to understand structure and history of animal populations, the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptation, and the evolution of mammals. Studies focus on wild felids, including snow leopards, tigers, ocelots, and bobcats. 
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Nanotechnology – Leads a multidisciplinary and integrated research laboratory that trains students in cell biology and molecular imaging related to pain, injury, organ preservation, and inflammation-targeted nanotechnology for imaging and treatment tailored for civilian and military applications. 
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Evolutionary Biology – Lab is interested in identifying genetic changes responsible for phenotypic adaptation in humans and the great apes.  Also studies patterns and process in mammalian genome evolution. 
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Microbial Evolution and Multicellularity – Broadly interested in understanding the mechanisms of microbial interaction by integrating from population biology to molecular biology at three scales:
  • The study of adaptive multicellular behaviors,
  • The study of de novo mutations that forge new interactions, 
  • And the study of natural interactions between ecologically and clinically linked strains and species.
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Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology - Laboratory studies how cells divide and how they faithfully segregate copies of their genomes. Studies cell division and chromsome segregation genes in organisms accessible to genetic manipulation like the filamentous soil bacterium, Streptomyces coelicolor. 
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Molecular and Cell Biology – Laboratory uses genetic biochemical techniques to study phospholipid biosynthesis and turnover.  Uses yeast, a simple eukaryotic organism for these studies. 
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Biotechnology and Neuroscience – Studies how genes regulate one another during the development of the nervous system and during the perception of pain. 
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Environmental Biology and Ecology – Interested in microbe/mineral interactions. Current research is on the microbial transformation of elements like arsenic and selenium, community structure in modern marine stromatolites, and the environmental impacts and microbiology associated with shale gas extraction.  Uses a combination of genomics, proteomics, and biochemical approaches in addition to confocal scanning laser microscopy and electron microscopy. 
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Lab works in the field of natural products chemistry. Focuses on the discovery of novel ligands from marine cyanobacteria to elucidate the role of G-protein coupled receptors in central nervous system function and pain. 

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Vertebrate Physiology and Behavior – Research focuses on how environmental perturbations impact organismal biology. Using a combination of field and lab research, studies focus on how different types of stressors influence physiology, neurobiology, behavior, and disease. Research includes amphibian models. 
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Questions? Contact Us!

Dr. Sarah Woodley

Associate Professor, Editor, Herpetologica

Sarah Woodley headshot