Research participation

One of the major benefits of attending a premier research institution like Wayne State is that it provides the opportunity to participate in the research programs of faculty. These are invaluable learning opportunities where you'll gain first-hand experience on how science is conducted and obtain valuable skills in problem-solving, communication, critical thinking and teamwork.

Research experience is also valued by graduate schools, professional programs, and employers. Beyond the many skills gained in the laboratory, you will also gain a mentor who can provide a detailed letter of recommendation that is needed when students apply for post-graduate work.

Finding a research position

Students should take the initiative to find their own research placements by contacting faculty members directly. The number of positions available in laboratories is limited, so you may need to ask several faculty before finding a placement. Remember that working in a laboratory will take a significant investment of time and effort on your part. Therefore, seek a lab position in research areas where you have some intellectual interest. There are several resources that will help your search:

  • Wayne State faculty members. They were once in your position and understand very well the challenges of finding the right research placement.
  • CLAS undergraduate research
  • UROPConnect is a searchable database designed to support undergraduate participation in research and creative activity across the campus. It includes profiles for Wayne State faculty members with information about their research interests as well as a listing of posted openings for undergraduates on research projects.
  • University departments maintain research pages that list faculty and their research interests, such as the pages provided by the Departments of Biological Sciences and Psychology.
  • Students should also consider looking at the research pages on department sites in the School of Medicine, which has many laboratories that support undergraduate research.

Signing up for a directed study course

Neuroscience majors must sign up for directed study using one of the NEU course codes. Syllabi for these courses are available on the neuroscience major Canvas site or from a program advisor. Note: If you are not currently on the major Canvas site and would like an invite, please contact using your WSU email account.

To register

  1. Speak with a prospective mentor (faculty member) and obtain their approval to enroll. You should not proceed until you have confirmed your laboratory participation with your mentor first.
  2. Complete the electronic enrollment form below with detailed information regarding your proposed undergraduate research project. Proposals with minimal information will likely be denied until enough information about the research project is included. Note that the form will not save progress, so make sure you have time to complete and submit the form once you have started. Incomplete form or proposals with limited information that are denied will have to be restarted on a new form.
  3. Once you submit, your form will be sent to your research mentor for approval. This must be sent to their WSU address, so you'll be required to enter your faculty mentor's AccessID on your application.   
  4. You'll receive email notifications regarding every level of approval (mentor/program level/override entered). Once the final approval is submitted, you'll be able to register for your desired courses. Emails will come from Microsoft PowerAutomate – these are not spam emails.

Register for undergraduate research