undergraduate research

Discovering STEM Careers Through Undergraduate Internships

Two students in the College of Letters and Sciences gained real-world experience through virtual internships on research and technology projects in fall 2021. They were among 148 undergraduates who interned at national laboratories through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program. Here are their stories, plus advice on finding internships as an undergraduate.

Lowering the Barriers to Undergraduate Research

College students are often told undergraduate research will give them an edge in the job market. But the steps involved in finding a project can seem daunting. UC Davis makes the process easier with courses that open doors to meaningful research for all students.

First Nations Rocket Team Prepares for Launch

Students from the First Nations Launch team at the University of California, Davis, will launch a rocket this Saturday, May 15 — on behalf of a team from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. The rocket launch is part of the First Nations Launch competition sponsored by NASA and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium at Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Design Student’s Interactive Map Links Public to COVID-19 Testing Sites

When UC Davis design major Matthew Kwong began looking online for places to get tested for COVID-19, he found little and bad information. He figured if finding a testing site was difficult for a tech-savvy 20-year-old, for others — especially vulnerable and elderly populations — it would be nearly impossible. So, he spent months creating an interactive COVID-19 testing site map.

Undergraduate Research Conference Goes Virtual

Undergraduate research provides students with skills that employers value, including critical thinking, collaboration and communication. One way students practice those skills is participating in the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference.

Pursuing Undergraduate Research Outside the Lab

Getting research experience as an undergraduate student doesn’t have to mean working in a laboratory. Instead of days spent transferring fluids from one tube to another, math major Tracy Camacho explored matroids, complex mathematical objects with many different uses. 

Undergraduate Pursues Research Across Disciplines

Students from any major on campus can engage in undergraduate research in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. As a senior, Cole Williams pursued his interests in genetics with a project in the lab of Brenna Henn, associate professor of anthropology. Williams, a genetics and genomics major in the College of Biological Sciences, designed an algorithm capable of handling diverse population and complex family genealogies in human genomic datasets.

Psychology and Biology Double Major Receives Undergraduate Research Award

Psychology and biological sciences senior Wenzhe Li rotated through two labs at UC Davis before finding her research passion: cytoplasmic dynein, a motor protein used for intracellular transport. Li conducts research in the lab of Richard McKenney, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was awarded the Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award, given to a graduating senior for excellence in research in the biological sciences.

Q&A: Psychology Alum/Professor on the Importance of Undergraduate Research

Jonathan Helm got his first taste of psychology research during his second year as a UC Davis undergraduate. After earning three UC Davis psychology degrees, Helm is now an assistant professor of quantitative psychology at San Diego State University. He recently collaborated with one of his former UC Davis professors on a study that found growing up in impoverished urban neighborhoods more than doubles your chances of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by middle adulthood. We asked him some questions about his journey from student to faculty researcher: