Research Opportunities and Available Scholarships

The Center for Life Beyond Reed is a great resource for both summer research and scholarships. The Biology Department provides a list of off-campus summer internships. This is a short list of opportunities that I have compiled, mostly relating to computational biology and computer science.

Summer 2020 Research in the Compbio Lab

I have many ongoing projects that students may contribute to over the summer. All projects involve a large computational component; programming experience is useful (e.g., Bio131, Math121,...). Keep an eye on the Applications page for summer undergraduate research fellowships in the Biology department. Applications are due March 4, 2020 -- come talk to me at least a week before the deadline to discuss options.
  • Reconstruct disease/dysregulated pathways. Our previous work reconstructs canonical signaling pathways from large protein-protein interaction networks. We want to extend similar ideas to study signaling pathways that are known to be perturbed in cancer.
  • Interactive graph algorithm tutorials. Interested in software engineering? We are developing a tutorial-based version of GraphSpace, an interactive graph sharing and visualization tool that has been invaluable for analyzing protein-protein interaction networks. No biology experience required.
  • Hypergraph Connectivity Integration. Want to learn Java programming (or sharpen your Java skills?) Another computational project this summer involves integrating our recent hypergraph connectivity algorithm into ReactomeFIViz, another web-based tool for exploring pathways. No biology experience required.
  • Identify candidate regulators NMII regulators. Collaborating with Derek Applewhite's lab, we will revisit a final project from Bio331 and determine candidates for the next round of validation.
  • Build a signaling and gene regulatory network of the Retinoic Acid (RA) pathway. Collaborating with Kara Cerveny's lab, we will use a zebrafish interactome from a recent thesis to manually build an RA signaling pathway.

I also work with Adam Groce in CS and Andrew Bray in Math on differentially private hypothesis testing, which lies at the intersection of cryptography and statistics. We plan to apply apply newly-developed algorithms for statistical tests to (potentially) private human data.

Research During the Semester

Students interested in learning about ongoing research and thesis projects may join the weekly lab meetings. Students must commit to participating in weekly one-hour meetings and leading discussion about one topic or paper in the semester. In some circumstances, I may advise independent projects over the semester. These half-unit Bio481 courses require a petition that is approved by the Department and the Division.

Post-Baccalaureate Research Opportunities

Depending on the status of my grants, there may be funds for a post-bac researcher to join a project. There are also post-bac summer research fellowships courtesy of the Stafford Fund. I usually hire post-bacs to do one of two things: (a) convert their thesis project into a publishable unit, or (b) work on a specific part of a grant-funded research project.

Email me if you are interested in any of the opportunities above! If you are unsure about your qualifications for a position, please ask. I look to build interdisciplinary research teams.


These databases contain hundreds of opportunities, and are actively maintained. They have multiple deadlines and multiple locations.

Federal Programs

Federal funding agencies also have summer opportunities for undergraduates. Typically, US citizens or permanent residents are eligible for these opportunities.

Professional Society and Organizations Programs

Different professional societies also may have undergraduate summer programs.

Twitter and Other Platforms

Twitter has also become a big place to find positions. Follow @cs_opp for CS Opportunities on twitter. Professional societies like, @cmdit (Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in Information Technology), and @ncwit (National Center for Women and Information Technology) also have opportunities.

Recently, planetary science PhD student Lavontria Miché Aaron put together an outstanding list of resources for people of color (POC), and was written up in Nature and in an article from Johns Hopkins University.

Institution-Specific Positions

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Are you an undergraduate and want to attend a computational biology conference? We invite applications for students to receive registration and housing for ACM-BCB '22 in Chicago, IL. The award is open to any undergraduate from a 2-year or 4-year institution, but preference will be given to applicants within driving distance of Chicago.

The application is short, and is now open. See the award website for more details.

Some institutions and federal funding agencies offer Postbaccalaureate Research Education Programs (PREPs). Unfortunately, nearly all of these opportunities require US citizenship or permanent residency, particularly those sponsored by the NIH (a full list of participating institutions is available here).

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These spreadsheets are continuously being updated. Additions or corrections are welcome! If you have a research opportunity or scholarship for students in computational biology or related fields, please let me know.

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Biology Department
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202-8199

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