The Biological Sciences Department at Saint Anselm College offers a number of research opportunities for undergraduates designed specifically to provide students with a hands-on experience conducting research in the biological sciences. These opportunities are available to any biology student meeting the pre-requisite requirements and are strongly encouraged for students interested in post-graduate professional programs or graduate school. 

Directed Student Research in Biology
These courses provide an individualized research experience in the biological sciences under the direction of a biology faculty member or as an interdisciplinary project under the direction of faculty from the Chemistry, Physics, or Psychology Departments. This experience includes literature searching, hypothesis development and testing, graphical and statistical analysis, and oral and written presentation.   See information box below for additional details and how to apply.

Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) 
As part of the college’s grant from the New Hampshire Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE), students are able to participate in summer research projects under the direction of or in collaboration with a participating faculty.  These awards support students’ activities with a salary, summer on-campus housing, and may provide monies for supplies to support the research efforts. See information box below for additional details and how to apply.

Undergraduate Research Fellowships
The Undergraduate Research Committee at Saint Anselm College offers fellowships that support undergraduate research at the college in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. This can include independent student research or collaboration with a faculty member.  See information box below for additional details and how to apply.

Directed Student Research in Biology

Students may choose between a two-semester (BI 421-422) or one-semester (BI 423) research experience.  The research expectations are similar between the two options, with the only difference being whether the work is completed in one semester or during two.  Students receive course credit equal to one biology lab elective upon the completion of BI 422 or BI 423.  

How to apply
Directed research is by permission of the instructor.  Students should contact the faculty member with whom they are interested in conducting research to discuss potential projects.  Many faculty prefer students to volunteer in their lab for some time before undertaking a research course, and so interested students are encouraged to contact potential faculty mentors early.

Not sure where to start?  Check out the list of faculty researchers (with links to their research pages) currently accepting students in their labs:

  • Eric Berry - plant propagation, in vitro seed germination, plant collections and herbarium preservation.
  • Theresa Dabruzzi - animal physiology, marine biology, ecological physiology, metabolism, respiration, physiological tolerance
  • Elizabeth Greguske - bacteriophage identification and characterization, bacterial growth and detection
  • Lori LaPlante - fish behavior and ecology (lab/field), computer animation, image analysis
  • Shannon O’Leary - molecular ecology & conservation genomics, fisheries, environmental monitoring, environmental DNA, wildlife forensics
  • Brian Penney - marine zoology and evolutionary ecology, histology, CT scan, zoological collections
  • William Ryerson - amphibian and reptile feeding behavior, biomechanics, anatomy, and sensory biology
  • Stephen Tobin / Robert Vallari - Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, UPF proteins, Quantitative Mass Spectrometry Analysis of protein expression, Aneuploid Yeast, Cancer Biochemistry

Saint Anselm College has received funding for biomedical research through a federal grant administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) sponsored by the NIH has funded a five-year $15.4 million grant for New Hampshire. Dartmouth Medical School, UNH, and eight colleges in New Hampshire will share the grant funds. Saint Anselm College has been awarded $1.2 million in funds for the five-year grant. The grant funds are intended to strengthen biomedical research experiences for students at undergraduate colleges. The grant aims to partner faculty at small colleges with faculty at Dartmouth and UNH to allow state-of-the-art biomedical research experiences for students at small colleges.

In addition, the INBRE grant funds student research with any faculty member at the College working in a broad area of biomedical research. Students working on INBRE-funded projects have the opportunity to attend workshops, short courses in biomedical sciences, and scientific conferences. Students at the College can also apply for stipends to work over the summer on NIH-funded projects at Dartmouth or UNH.

How to apply
Students interested in applying should discuss possible research projects with a potential faculty mentor and/or Prof. Wierda, in the chemistry department. Students should contact the faculty member with whom they are interested in conducting research (see list above under “DIRECTED RESEARCH IN BIOLOGY” to discuss whether that faculty member is currently participating in the summer INBRE program.  The application for the program consists of:
•    a one-page statement of interest /project plan
•    a letter of support from your proposed research mentor
•    an unofficial copy of your transcript (a copy from the portal is fine)