You are here: Home / Resources / News and Events / News / Undergraduate Research & You

Undergraduate Research & You

Main Content

Undergraduate Research & You

Susan Fingerprinting

Welcome Forensic Science Students!

During your undergraduate career you may consider doing research to further enrich your education and improve your resume. A list of research opportunities can always be found here on our website. However, in order to do research you must find funding to pay for it. This message is meant to be a resource to you for finding funding and understanding your responsibilities in this process if you choose to do research.

If you decide you want to explore doing research as an undergrad, it is necessary to identify a topic of interest and discuss your interest with the appropriate faculty. If that faculty member agrees to take you on and assist you with a project, or allows you to assist them with their research, then you must find funding. Most funding is an application process that includes writing a small research proposal. The faculty member who takes you on will then be your Principal Investigator (PI), and will assist you with this proposal. It is suggested you begin the search for funding and application process well in advance. Most funding opportunities at Penn State are summer research grants which you must apply for in the fall semester, but there is some research funding available during the regular school year . You may also be able to receive class credit for your research pending PI approval.

It is important to note that if you choose to do research you must take ownership of your research project or assigned tasks and complete them via the guidelines provided to you by your PI and any grants you may receive. This means sticking to deadlines, problem solving on your own and eventually developing independence in the laboratory setting. This may also include presenting your research and representing our program at national and/or local conferences.

Linked is a list of annual funding opportunities, eligibility criteria and deadlines. Feel free to contact Sarita Greer ( or any of our office staff in 329 Whitmore Laboratory with questions regarding this process.