As part of our Career Acceleration via Rigorous Educational Experiences in Research (CAREER) program, we have created a guided research experience designed to expose rising sophomores to a range of science and engineering topics while preparing them for nationally-competitive summer research programs in subsequent summers.

Each week of the program, students rotate as a cohort through laboratories of select BioInspired faculty to participate in a structured research experience. In addition, they engage in professional development activities geared toward promoting STEM identity and polishing application materials for traditional Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) or internship programs later in college. Participants receive room/board and a stipend for four weeks at a rate equivalent to a typical National Science Foundation (NSF) REU rate.

In the summers of 2022 and 2023, we piloted a 4-week research experience for six former Pre-College participants, now rising sophomores. The research experience started simultaneously with the NSF-funded Interactive Biomaterials REU site, helping build a cohort with other summer research students from across the country. Over the next four weeks, participants rotated through the research labs of BioInspired faculty.

“I entered this program feeling a bit afraid of not being prepared enough to work in a lab and left with a newfound confidence that will help me excel in my path. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to work with so many amazing people.”

In 2023, the participating labs were:

  • Joey Paulsen, Physics
  • Mary Beth Monroe, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
  • Jeff Amack, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Shikha Nangia, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
Five people stand in front of a brick and concrete academic building.
Professor Shikha Nangia (center) stands with the participants in the 2023 Post-First Year Research Experience program.