UC Merced Update
 
 
 

Grant to Fund Computational Biology Research by Undergraduates

 

Mike Colvin

Mike Colvin
 

 
Masa Watanabe

Masa Watanabe
 

 

UC Merced undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in computational biology will conduct meaning full research under a grant from the National Sciences Foundation.

School of Natural Sciences Director of Student Success Masa Watanabe and Professor Michael Colvin last month were awarded $994,999 from the foundation to support undergraduate research in computational biology. It is the largest award UC Merced has received to support undergraduate research.

"This program gives students a lot of the experiences they might not otherwise get until graduate school," Colvin noted.

The program will engage students in computational biology research projects with the goal of sparking and fostering their interest in scientific careers. This is one of the many opportunities for undergraduates to work side-by-side with the campus' faculty members. In addition to conducting interdisciplinary research, students will learn about what it's like to be a researcher by writing proposals and presenting their scientific findings.

The award will support a total of 24 students. The students will receive classroom and hands-on training in an array of computational biology methods during their first summer with the program. When the semester begins, they'll begin their lab work with UC Merced's innovative researchers. Ten faculty members are participating in the program.

Each student researcher will spend two years working in a computational biology lab, which is enough time to understand the computational tools and to also do meaningful research, Colvin explained. They'll be given $14,000 per year to help with living expenses so they don't need to work other part-time jobs.

More details of this program will be available in October at http://ccb.ucmerced.edu.