Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities 

When I first got to college, I had no idea what it meant to do research. Even though I had come to Scripps as a neuroscience major, I didn’t know there could be science careers outside of the medical field. Pretty soon after I got to campus, I heard the word “research” thrown around quite a bit by both professors and students and wanted to learn more about what it meant to conduct STEM research. 

I decided to meet with a few professors to learn more about their lab work and experience with a career in research. The Keck Science Department (our shared science center with Scripps, Claremont McKenna College, and Pitzer) has pretty small class sizes, so professors are often available to speak, even if you don’t have them for class! Once I found a lab that matched my interests, I applied and received a position in the lab. The small class size also allows for a non-competitive atmosphere surrounding research opportunities. Students at Keck don’t need to compete with graduate students for lab positions and there are plenty of opportunities for undergraduates who want to get involved! Most students who wish to do research (and there are quite a few!) will have little difficulty finding a position. 

Regarding my own experience, I’ve been in that same lab for over a year and have truly enjoyed it! I am interested in the connection between the brain and movement and find that my lab work applies very well! I’m part of a computational neuroscience lab and focus on analyzing data through a virtual game-based cognitive task. This means looking at how people play the game and discussing what this could explain at the cognitive level. This past summer, I was able to design my own project (involving dance movement analysis) and work full-time at the lab, with funding I received through Scripps Fellowships! This work allowed me to see myself with a career in research and showed me what it meant to work full time on a project! Although I couldn’t have imagined myself participating in research when I first got to Scripps, it has been one of the most influential experiences of my college career and has inspired me to continue down this path for the future! 

-CJ ’25