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Morimoto Undergraduate Research Seminars

Morimoto Undergraduate Research Seminars are held every week. This seminar series is organized by and for the undergraduate students working in the Morimoto Lab to provide an opportunity to present and discuss their own research work.

MURS Summer 2014
Back: Grace, NU; Janay, NU; Megan, Oberlin
Front: Jasper, Washington U; Wenli, NU; Maraika, NU;
Aaron, NU; Xavier, Boston U

Your MURS Questions Answered

Why do undergrad research?
Participating in undergraduate research both reinforces and enhances what students learn in the classroom. Undergraduate research offers the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that are not available in a traditional classroom. One is able to obtain hands-on experience and a greater in-depth understanding of the field in which they are interested. Also, in order to graduate with honors, one has to write a senior thesis. Students can write their thesis using the data they have gathered during their time in the lab. The entire experience will help one decide if they enjoy research and if they would like to pursue it further in the future. Undergraduates who participate in research are at the forefront of science, take part in discoveries, and find it to be one of their most rewarding and exciting experience as an undergraduate.

Why at the Morimoto lab?
Research in the Morimoto lab is a particularly enriching experience. Although it is very challenging and there are high expectations, this is only because undergraduates are treated as equals and are given a level of freedom and choice that requires a higher degree of responsibility. In the Morimoto lab there are graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world who are very knowledgeable in their fields. As an undergraduate researcher you will have the opportunity to learn from them, but you will also be treated as a peer. A particularly exciting aspect of working in the Morimoto Lab is that although you will begin by working with a postdoctoral fellow or a graduate student, you will have the opportunity to choose a project that interests you.

What is a thesis and how does a thesis come about?
A thesis is a culmination of your research in which you will tie together all your experiments, discuss the background literature on your project and present and discuss data. The thesis should define the central question and its place in the context of what was previously known, discuss the experiments to be carried out, analyze and discuss the results of the experiments, and discuss the significance of the research as well as possible future directions for related research. Students must complete a thesis in order to graduate with honors.

Getting grants to support your research
Northwestern University undergraduate research grants offer students the opportunity to fund their own research. Grants are available throughout the year although most students choose to apply for a summer grant. With the guidance of your research mentor, you must write a proposal and submit it to the Undergraduate Research Grants Committee, or one of the other grants offered such as the Erwin Macy award. The proposal should define the question or focus of your research, describe the methods that will be used, and explain the importance of the issues that will be addressed. Summer research grants provide up to $3,000 to cover student living expenses and research costs and specify that there must be at least eight weeks of fulltime research. Academic year grants provide up to $1,000 for students pursuing a research project (usually in 398 or 399) with the supervision of a faculty member. In addition to Northwestern University, undergrads may apply for outside grants and scholarships on a national level.
Fellowship Links:
Research Grants For Undergraduates (Academic Year and Summer)
http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/advising/honors/funding/index.html
Scholarship Awards in Biological Science
http://www.biosci.northwestern.edu/undergraduate/opportunities.html

What do Northwestern undergrads do with their research experience?
Northwestern undergraduates use their research experience to pursue and develop their interests in the sciences. Although most students will go on to graduate school to pursue research further, some use their experience and apply the skills they have learned to other fields, such as medicine, patent law, and industry.

Transcriptional regulation of heat shock response
Roles of Molecular Chaperones in Protein Folding, Trafficking, and Stress Sensors in Cell Growth and Death
All Chaperome Project
Misfolded and aggregation prone proteins in neu
C elegans as a model system for analysis of stress response and diseases of protein misfolding
Small molecule screen for the stress response
Systems Approach to Stress Biology