Independent Research in the HDRB Concentration:
A major strength of Harvard as a both a research institution and teaching university is the opportunity for students to perform independent research. Indeed, for the Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology concentration, students are required to perform at least one semester of independent research, enrolling in SCRB 91r and/or SCRB 99. Many stay on in labs working toward an undergraduate thesis. You can read more about the importance of independent, hands-on research as part of the college experience here.
Finding a Research Lab:
Finding an undergraduate research lab can be a daunting process. There are roughly 300 Harvard-affiliated labs whose focus in some way involves human developmental and regenerative biology, be it stem cells, early development, organogenesis, human disease, cancer, etc. It is important for students to work in a lab whose research they find compelling. To assist with this process, Dr. Bill Anderson is available to meet with students to discuss finding a lab.
To begin thinking about which labs might be of interest to students, it is recommended that:
1) Students should examine the HSCI Principal Faculty listing. This list of labs represents many of the different approaches and types of questions that encompass the field. Students should click on each faculty and read their profiles.
2) Write down the names of faculty whose work is of interest to the student.
3) If possible, at the end, try to rank the faculty labs in order of interest.
4) Prepare a curriculum vitae / resume.
5) Set up a time to meet with Dr. Anderson to discuss their choices. He can discuss the details of each lab, as well as recommend other faculty whose work is similar. He can also provide tips on preparing a CV.
Research Opportunities and Funding:
The Harvard Life Sciences Undergraduate Education website contains a list of research opportunities and funding available for both Harvard research and research outside of the university. Please have a look here.