top of page

Undergraduate Research

STEM Pathways Undergraduate Research Program

Current undergraduate students at Boston University will have the opportunity to contribute to ground breaking research being conducted in the field of Synthetic Biology. STEM Pathways invites undergraduates at Boston University to become members and engage in the program. Housed in the Biological Design Center [BDC], you will gain hands on experience in a rapidly growing field in STEM.


Learn more about the underlying biological phenomenon that allows living systems to compute


Create wetware, hardware, and software solutions to create novel living computing systems


Design new living systems using the engineering principles of standards, abstraction, and modularity


Analyze complex living systems to simulate and analyze their behavior

The two main opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in Synthetic Biology research is either though individual research outlined below, or by joining the iGEM team. Interested in the iGEM team? Click to learn more about [iGEM].

Expectations as a Researcher

As a STEM Pathways researcher, you can expect to receive mentorship and support from undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members; have access to resources to develop your career and research skills in preparation for summer internships, post graduation employment and entrepreneurship opportunities; engage in STEM Pathways hosted events, and mentor younger aspiring STEM audiences.

Each STEM Pathways cohort rotation lasts an academic semester (~12 weeks) in which you will work an agreed upon number of hours each week decided between you and your mentor. At the end of your second semester, in the cohort, you will give a brief presentation about the research you conducted and the results you have obtained. 

Cohort rotations run on the academic semester schedule, issuing in a new cohort each academic semester, including summer terms.

Aside from your time as an undergraduate researcher, STEM Pathways hosts a multitude of events to help engage you in the world of STEM outside of the laboratory.

  • Seminar Speakers:

    • Join us for our STEM Pathways seminar series and hear some of the ground breaking research being conducted in the field of Synthetic Biology. Get the opportunity to hear from graduate students, industry professionals, and educators in the field. 

  • Professional Development Workshops:​

    • STEM Pathways offers a plethora of professional development opportunities such as Resume and CV workshops, effective Cover Letter writing, Professional Headshots and LinkedIn workshops as well as Mock Interviews and other resources to help your career development.​

  • Mentorship Opportunities:

    • As a member of the STEM Pathways cohort, you will have the opportunity to mentor younger audiences in the field of STEM whether it be through the [iGEM] team, as a [BioBuilder] club mentor, or engaging with students during STEM Pathways high school career panels.​


You will be compensated with competitive pay to that of similar research experiences such as UROP. Room and Board can be provided if selected.


Funding is currently based on the "DoDSTEM" grant and will only be able to award stipends for the FIRST semester of your undergraduate research. This system is designed to help students get into their first research positions and maintain them. After your first semester, you are implored to apply for other forms of funding through Boston University such as UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program). STEM Pathways' goal is to secure your position in a lab and following, you are then able to apply for these other funding opportunities as you are now settled with a PI/mentor and a research project. STEM Pathways is more than happy to aid in applying for funding from these sources, just reach out to an administrator for help! Click to read more about [UROP].

If funding is not an option, you can still be an active member of the cohort! You are still welcome to attend all seminars, socials, or any other STEM Pathways events as well as continue your work unfunded.

Another option if funding is not available is Research for Credit. Depending on your studies and college within Boston University, your major may have a Research for Credit option you can register for. If you choose this option, you will still be an active member of the cohort and all of the benefits that come with it, and just have your research stand in place of one of your classes.

**If this option interests you, be sure to discuss with your academic advisor to make sure it fits into your academic plans**.

Who can join?

STEM Pathways research opportunities are open to any Boston University undergraduate student currently pursuing a degree in the field of STEM and whose interests align with the research being conducted at the BDC. We look to place students in their first research experiences, so those with no research experience are encouraged to apply!

How can I join?

The STEM Pathways Undergraduate Research Program is an application based group. Interested applicants should fill out the STEM Pathways application for the next semester and wait for further instruction. 

The 2024 Summer Research Application for Boston University Undergraduate Students is now live! Interested students are encouraged to apply by March 1, 2024 at


Be sure to stay connected with STEM Pathways to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news and opportunities!

bottom of page