CSHL’s Undergraduate Research Program (URP) provides one of the few places where young people are instructed in the techniques of modern biology while becoming integrated members of a vibrant scientific community. Each year, approximately 25 students from around the world are accepted to the fully subsidized, 10-week summer program to work with senior Laboratory staff members on independent research projects in:
- Cancer Biology
- Plant Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
- Bioinformatics and Genomics
The URP program and its NSF REU component are administered by the Watson School of Biological Sciences and is designed to give students an opportunity to conduct first-rate research. Participants learn about scientific reasoning, laboratory methods, theoretical principles, and scientific communication. The specific objectives of the program as it relates to undergraduate students are:
- Provide college undergraduates an opportunity to conduct original research
- Enable interactions with scientists from graduate students to Principle Investigators
- Introduce them to the physical and intellectual tools necessary for biological research
- Inform them about the major questions now under investigation in the biomedical and life sciences
- Promote interactions among students of diverse backgrounds
In addition to their research, URP students attend a series of seminars and special events designed specifically for them. At the URP Symposium, held at the end of each summer, students present a summary of their research to the entire CSHL community. Each participant also writes a scientific abstract, and a final report to describe his or her project.
URP students are encouraged to attend advanced postdoctoral courses at CSHL, organized by leading scientists from around the world. In these courses, undergraduate students have an unparalleled opportunity to learn the latest experimental techniques in different fields and to seek advice about their future paths.
Program participants live, work, eat, and play among CSHL scientists. They are invited to all Laboratory social activities, attend a Broadway play, explore many of the tourist attractions in New York City, have pool parties, visit the lovely beaches of Long Island, and generally enjoy a marvelous—and very busy—summer. By the end of the program, they are well-equipped to decide whether scientific research is a career they would like to pursue.