There are a few different areas of research in which you can take part. You will work closely with faculty in your desired research area.

They will provide mentorship, support, networking and information for you during your time here.

There are also opportunities and resources offered through the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry.


Faculty Research

Find more information on faculty and their research here

Getting Involved with Research

  • Gain a hands-on active learning experience to supplement classroom education.
  • Find out if you like research and would want to pursue a career in a research field.
  • Improve your resume to strengthen applications for jobs or graduate/professional schools.
  • Get experience in a professional work environment.
  • Build a professional network, including with faculty who can serve as references.
  • Getting involved in research is not as simple as signing up for a class.
  • There are often more students interested in research than available spots, so it can take time and effort to find an opportunity.
  • Research can require a substantial weekly time commitment. This is often in the range of 5-10 hrs per week. It is important to communicate with an advisor about expectations.
  • Do not wait too long. There is no one right time, but waiting until your senior year is often limiting because many labs will prefer the opportunity to develop students’ projects and skills over multiple years. There are even some programs like the MURALS First Year Scholars Academy that are geared towards getting students involved in their very first year at CSU.
  • Be mindful of your own schedule, and pick a time a time where you are realistically able to meet expectations for time commitments.
  • Where to look
    • Department faculty directory and lab websites. Most professors maintain a website summarizing their research and sometimes providing info on undergraduate research opportunities.
    • Talk to your advisor, professors, and your lab TAs.
    • Posted announcements
    • Canvas BioAdvising Portal – all current Biology and Zoology Majors can access this resource through their Canvas Dashboard/Courses.
    • Handshake
    • Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA)
  • Strategies for approaching faculty members or graduate student researchers:
    • Personalize and customize your correspondence (typically e-mail or approaching in-person if you feel comfortable). Demonstrate that you have looked into their area of research. Explain why it is of interest to you and how gaining research experience aligns with your education and career goals.
    • Be persistent and prepare for some rejections. Because of limited availability, you might have to send out inquiries to multiple labs or send periodic inquiries until an opportunity arises. Do not get discouraged. Keep trying.
  • Will I get paid to do research? This will depend on the specific lab and research opportunity. Some opportunities may require volunteering or working for academic credit, while other may pay an hourly wage or stipend. It is OK to ask about this and discuss with a potential mentor.
  • In some cases, CSU Work-Study can help support a paid lab position. You can discuss whether this is an option with potential research mentors.
  • In some cases, it is possible to earn academic credit for your research through one of the following course listings, which can count towards departmental and university degree requirements. You can discuss whether enrolling in these is an option with potential research mentors.
    • BZ 498 – Laboratory or Field Research
    • BZ 495 – Independent Study
    • BZ 487 – Internship

Research Highlights

Change is a constant, so it’s no surprise our birds are evolving too! New research from Dr. Kristen Ruegg’s Ornithology Lab, with postdoctoral researcher Sheela Turbek leading the study, reveals a genome-level climate adaptation in the San Diego, CA, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher – a change that just might save this endangered species. Read the full SOURCE article here for more birding details!

Colorado Birds and Climate Change