Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University have a strong tradition of providing undergraduate students with mentored research where students work alongside faculty in the laboratory and field. All Heyl Scholars are encouraged to conduct hands-on hypothesis-driven laboratory research. Working in a lab setting will help you to determine if graduate school is the right pathway for you. There are a number of opportunities for students to apply for grants to subsidize their engagement in scholarly activities.

Finding Research Opportunities

On Campus
  • Connect with a Professor: Some students gain lab experience by working with a professor. Usually, this is a professor the student has had for a class who has observed their strengths and sees their potential. When you take science/nursing courses get to know the professor and find out what kind of research they do. Ask if they are looking for research assistants. A great place to learn about what your professors research is on the department webpage.
  • Departmental Research Inquiries: Students can also seek opportunities beyond their own professors and major. You may want to reach out to faculty who are doing research that interests you. Look them up online to learn about their areas of research. 
  • Institutional Support: Heyl Scholars in the Bronson School of Nursing at Western Michigan University are encouraged to visit the Research and Innovation page to search for internal and external research opportunities. Heyl Scholars at Kalamazoo College are encouraged to visit the departmental websites and the Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships page to search for internal and external research opportunities (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, Physics, and Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships).
Off Campus (Academic Year and Summer) *
  • Cornell University Advancing Cornell Career Experiences for Science Students (ACCESS): Cornell University ACCESS is a 10 week program designed for undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of modern biology and medical research.**
  • Gateways to the Laboratory: Gateways to the Laboratory is a 10-week intensive journey for freshmen and sophomores about the challenging and rewarding road of becoming a physician-scientist.**
  • Handshake: Search the Center for Career and Professional Developments Handshake site for internships, full-time, and part-time jobs on and off campus.
  • National Institutes of Health: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a competitive Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research (SIP). The application cycle opens in mid-November and it is to your advantage to apply early.
  • National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds a large number of REU: Research Experience for Undergraduates. The application process may differ for each REU host site.
  • Summer Institute at Harvard-MIT: The Summer Institute in Biomedical Optics offers a unique opportunity for outstanding junior or senior undergraduate students considering a career in biomedical engineering and medical sciences gain real-world research experience.**
  • Van Andel Summer Research Internship: The ten-week paid Van Andel Summer Research Internship at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids is designed to expose aspiring researchers and clinicians to exciting advances in biomedical sciences that will help define their career paths.

*These are just some of the opportunities that exist and Scholars are encouraged to conduct their own search for research opportunities that spark their interest.

**Applications are encouraged from groups traditionally underrepresented, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and undergraduates who bring diversity to academic study by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, background, work and life experiences, skills and interests.