Research Experience at Vanderbilt
Earlier this week, I completed my summer research experience at Vanderbilt through the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE). I worked mainly on a biology project that dealt with signal transduction in the social amoeboid Dictyostelium discoideum.
The program I worked in during the summer is called the Searle Systems Biology and Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Experience (SyBBURE). Applications for this program are available during the spring semester before the summer program takes place. Once into the program, students receive guidance from a principal investigator (PI) and other members and affiliates of the VIIBRE labs.
Students in the program receive a stipend of $4,000 for the summer for living expenses etc. If a student makes progress on their project during the summer they can elect to continue in the program and then are expected to work on research at least 7 hours a week during the school year and will receive a $1,000 stipend for each semester they stay in the program. At the end of each semester or at the end of the summer program, students are expected to give a presentation highlighting the research they have been doing and they must also draft a formal research paper containing an introduction, materials and methods sections, results and discussion.
The experience this summer has been valuable to me in the sense that it gave me an opportunity to conduct research at a top-flight institution like Vanderbilt and has also helped me get more acclimated to a professional research setting. If you are interested in doing research, there are other programs available over the summer at Vanderbilt including the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program (VUSRP) which also provides a stipend of the same value as SyBBURE.