Research Opportunities

Research provides critical skills that you will need no matter what your career aspirations are. It also allows you to develop and tailor projects to your areas of interest.

Opportunities to start research in faculty laboratories begin as early as your first year.

Remember that research isn't about "working in a lab" – it’s a process of discovery where students use the scientific method to generate new knowledge and drive the process of learning.

Why Research Is Important

Why Research Is Important
  • It helps improve academic skills such as reading, writing, organizational and time management skills.
  • Research is a tremendous learning experience - it teaches you how to think critically, "how to learn" and how to find things out for yourself.
  • You'll learn how to organize, analyze, and interpret data.
  • Research helps develop personal qualities like patience, persistence and industry.
  • It serves as a bonding experience with your co-workers (faculty and classmates).

How To Get Involved

Think carefully if research is right for you before getting involved. Talk with fellow students and with your professors. Remember that research involvement should be part of your academic plan. It is not something in which you "dabble."

Scranton neuroscience students participate in research through a number of different venues:

Faculty-Student Research Program

The Faculty Student Research Program gives you an opportunity to be involved in professors’ research projects. You receive transcript recognition but do not receive academic credits that count toward your degree.
  • The program is free and open to all students including freshmen.
  • You will collaborate with faculty on research projects that will allow you to receive transcript recognition but not academic credits.
  • You will complete a learning contract that outlines of your research, the tasks involved, and the work hours.
  • You should expect to devote about 60-90 hours per term in research activities.

Honors Program

The Honors Program focuses on independent work for students who desire greater depth and breadth in their education.
  • Participation Is by invitation only.
  • After an interview and screening process, the students will complete a unique subset of courses and a year-long, 6-credit research project under the guidance of a professor.
  • Upon completion, the project is written as a thesis and defended before a board of three faculty members who judge whether it is of Honors caliber.

Neuroscience Student Research Award (NSRA) for neuroscience majors

The Neuroscience Program has supported students' research projects over the last four years by awarding 25 grants to fund students for research supplies and travel up to a total of $500. Students can apply more than once even if funded previously. These awards can be received via application of a grant proposal by the student. This money can be received in addition to other funds the University supplies for student research.

Presidential University Summer Fellowships

Each summer the University offers competitive undergraduate student summer research grants known as Presidential University Summer Fellowships. These $3,000 stipends are offered to provide students with the opportunity to engage in a research project with a full-time faculty mentor during a ten-week period. 

In addition to the $3,000 student award, $500 is allocated for materials and/or student travel. Student awardees also have a residence hall bed assigned free of charge during the research period.

Presidential University Summer Fellowships are awarded to students University-wide.

Research for Credit

Students may earn course credit for faculty-supervised research.  Each science department offers Independent Research for varying numbers of credits.  See individual course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog available at


Students can volunteer in a research laboratory out of sheer interest and enthusiasm without getting any academic credit or transcript recognition. Students who wish to do so may make arrangements with faculty members.

Faculty Research

As trained professionals in their respective fields, our faculty members are deeply involved in research. They use this process of inquiry not only to advance knowledge and generate information, but also to inform their teaching.

Our professors maintain active and vibrant research programs on a diversity of areas such as:
  • cellular and molecular neuroscience
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • nerve cell regeneration
  • neuroanatomy
  • neurodevelopment
  • neurophysiology
  • learning and memory 
  • animal and human behavior

This diversity of research creates a strong research culture that’s ideally suited for student involvement. Our faculty routinely publish peer reviewed articles and give research presentations at international conferences with students.

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