NU Bioscientist Program Overview
NU Bioscientists is a program for 30 incoming freshman who are excited about doing independent research in the biological/biomedical sciences. NU Bioscientist students will take two specially-designed courses their freshman year to provide background and preparation for doing research, and will identify a laboratory and mentor for independent study during the summer following the freshman year. The students in the program will form a community of peers who will be advised and mentored by the nuViBE Director and will continue to share research experiences through their upperclass years at Northwestern.
- Fall Quarter course – Biological Thought and Action will be an introduction to inquiry-based science, place biological research in a societal context, teach the basic tenets of scientific reasoning, and communicate the nature of scientific discovery
- Winter Quarter course – Science Research Preparation will help students get ready for independent research projects working with Northwestern laboratories.
- Stipend to support independent summer research project (Summer 2014)
Students accepted into the NU Bioscientist program will be enrolled fall quarter in a seminar titled ‘Biological Thought and Action’ that will engage students in the study of major scientific discoveries and the related social and historical impact of biological research. During the course students will be challenged to hone their analytical reasoning skills, think critically, and understand the broader significance of scientific discovery and research in the context of medicine, society and economies. There will be an emphasis on developing excellent written communication skills.
In the winter quarter students will continue their studies in a Science Research Preparation course that will focus on preparing students with the skills and knowledge to have a successful undergraduate research experience at Northwestern. This course will help students develop written and oral presentations, including research proposals, and basic laboratory skills. Students in the NU Bioscientist program will be matched with a PhD student or postdoctoral fellow who will serve as a mentor in their chosen research laboratory.
NU Bioscientist students who are successful in the fall and winter courses will receive a stipend and housing allowance to spend the summer after their freshman year in a research laboratory. The students are then encouraged to continue their projects and remain in the laboratory for independent study during the following school years and summers. Gatherings of the NU Bioscientists will continue throughout their upperclass years to continue sharing and supporting their research experiences. During their junior and senior years, NU Bioscientists will be encouraged to themselves serve as mentors to budding scientists at the K-12 or early undergraduate level.