What Students Should Expect in the Laboratory
A student who participates in an undergraduate research opportunity (URO) in the Life Sciences, regardless of the nature of the opportunity (be it course-based or stipend-based), will have many opportunities to learn about or directly experience:
1) Good Laboratory Practice
- Using established laboratory safety protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
- Proper documenting of laboratory protocols and results and maintaining proper laboratory records.
2) Experimental and Critical Evaluation Skills
- Searching the scientific literature and critically evaluating scientific evidence.
- Designing experiments and choosing the appropriate methods of analysis.
- Using appropriate laboratory techniques.
- Troubleshooting problems and actively formulating appropriate solutions.
- Critically analyzing and interpreting data using logic and evidence-based reasoning.
3) Communication, Collaboration and Networking Skills
- Communicating in a scholarly style, orally and/or in writing, in seminars, written reports, journal articles, and/or poster presentations, including a final presentation of research work.
- Participating in seminar series, journal clubs and/or lab meetings.
- Working as a team member in a collaborative research environment.
- Building contacts with peers and professionals within the research environment.
4) Personal Development
- Beneficially implementing the feedback received and mentoring provided by a research supervisor/principal investigator on a regular basis.
- Thinking and working independently and confidently.