If you have questions about how to get started in lab-based research, the Science Research Workshop (SRW) program has been created just for you!


This workshop series will support you as you search for an appropriate lab doing research that is interesting to you. In the program, together we work on learning to read and analyze scientific literature with an emphasis on the deep reading that will prepare you for meetings and discussions with professors and lab personnel; additionally, we sharpen communication skills that are one of the keys to working effectively (being a good mentee) with faculty and other lab personnel, and finally, we spend the later part of the term focusing on how to apply for grant funding for an independent project that you may develop with the lab. You might need only some of those skills, or you might need them all! Either way, the workshop will help prepare you for an engaging and impactful research experience.

THE WORKSHOP WILL MEET FOR 10 WEEKS IN WINTER QUARTER, ONCE A WEEK ON WEDNESDAYS FROM 5-6:30PM (CENTRAL/CHICAGO TIME -held synchronously and remote), FROM JANUARY 4 UNTIL MARCH 13.  Note: There is a required attendance policy.


SRW participants are better prepared to apply for and get a Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (Summer URG)! Summer URGs fund independent research projects. If you don’t feel ready to do an independent research this summer, you can use SRW to help prepare you for future projects or for funding for more research assistant type work through other programs.

The program goals are to help you to learn how to (1) dissect research literature to be able to ace that first or first few meetings with a lab/professor/lab mentor, (2) communicate more effectively with lab personnel (how do you ask for what you need or want from grad student mentor, postdoctoral fellow, professor, lab technician, etc.), (3) develop skills and trust necessary to get an independent research project, and (4) write a grant to get funding and have a more meaningful research experience. Students do activities in peer groups in order to have a mini-community and support network for the entire process. Attendance at 7 of the 9 SRW sessions is mandatory to complete the program with a satisfactory.

As an SRW participant, you will be assigned group based on a survey sent to you in December.  You will have a peer mentor assigned to your group.  That peer mentor will serve as a resource to your group as well as to all participants in the program. The peer mentors in this program are highly regarded by participants as critical to their own success. SRW Peer Mentors for this program are recruited in Fall quarter each year and undergo training with small group facilitation, beginning research mentorship, and diversity and inclusion to support them for their role in the program as well as their future careers.  Many peer mentors aid in the re-design of group activities around each curricular topic and as such become more helpful to participants as they engage in both the theory and practice of mentorship. Past peer mentors have gone on to graduate school, to win major international and national fellowships, as well as other great things. See our Peer Mentor program page to learn more about how to apply to be a peer mentor!

Contact Evangeline Su for more information about either being an SRW participant or an SRW peer mentor.

Come find out more at an info session!

Thursday, October 15 @ 7-8pm (CST)

Friday, October 23 @ 5-6pm (CST)

Friday, October 30 @ 3-4pm (CST)

Wednesday, November 4 @5:30-6:30pm (CST)




Students must follow same registrar guidelines for add/drop deadline for Winter Quarter.


First-year, sophomore, and junior undergraduates in any discipline and any school interested in doing lab-based science research in all fields.

PREREQUISITE: BESIDES REGISTERING — You must attend and sign into a Finding a Lab/Finding a Faculty workshop with the Office of Undergraduate Research.  If you do not sign in and attend a Finding a Lab or Faculty session, you will be dropped from the course.


What It Is

SRW is a zero-credit course for which you must register on CAESAR with the Registrar’s Office.  The course number is GEN_LA 190-0 and follows the Registrar’s rules about adding and dropping a course.

It will run weekly in winter quarter, and it will address topics such as examining your interests, finding and reviewing relevant literature (with guidance from faculty), identifying and communicating with appropriate faculty, building the mentoring relationship, developing skills reading primary literature (peer-reviewed journal articles), identifying and thinking through methods (with guidance from faculty), and potentially helping to prepare a solid proposal for a Summer URG (if you and your lab can identify an appropriate independent project for the summer) or pursuing other research options for the summer and beyond.

I have already presented at another conference, so I don’t need the presentation workshops for the panelists, right?

As a 0-credit course, SRW’s GEN_LA 190-0 does not count towards your 4 or 5 course limit.


The workshop will meet in the winter quarter, once a week on Wednesdays (likely from 5 – 6:30 pm), starting in the first week of winter term through the end of reading week of winter term.  You should plan to attend the program weekly to get a satisfactory on your transcript for the program.


This workshop is expected to meet remotely for the 2020-21 school year.  Links will be sent out through canvas to those who enroll.


Please email Evangeline Su for more information about the program, if you have scheduling conflicts with the times of either the info sessions or the workshop, or if there are any registration issues.