Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate conducts research in core lab

Senior Thesis (CBE 454)

    As a senior, you embark on a year-long independent research project designed to demonstrate the skills necessary to think, analyze and write in a coherent and mature way.

    The project provides a unique opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member on a subject of your choice. This intense and sustained engagement with a problem that has interested and intrigued you will be the most challenging — and the most rewarding — experience you will have in your four years at Princeton.

    The Senior Thesis Guide (pdf) provides everything you need to know to plan, carry out and succeed in your project.

    Recent projects include:
    • Pattern Formation in Avian Lung Development  (Nelson)
    • Ring-Opening Metathesis Copolymerization of Bicyclic and Monocyclic Olefins  (Register)
    • Nanoparticle Drug Delivery for Cancer and Drug Resistant TB  (Prud'homme)
    • Design and Cost Analysis of Low-Carbon Transportation Fuel and Electricity Coproduction that Includes Carbon Capture and Storage in Shale Gas Formations  (Loo)
    • Probing Surfactant Self-Assembly and Calculating Critical Micelle Concentrations Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations  (Panagiotopoulos)
    Thesis ChecklistDue
    First progress report12/2/19
    Second progress report2/24/20
    Thesis first draft4/20/20
    Thesis final draft4/27/20
    Poster presentations5/7/20
    Oral exams completed5/8/20
    Electronic copy of thesis5/11/20
    Bound copy of thesis5/15/20

    Junior Independent Work (CBE 351 & CBE 352)

    While CBE students are not required to take on independent research during the junior year, more and more students are electing to do so.

    The first step is to identify a faculty mentor and a topic and write a brief proposal outlining a plan for the research. Satisfactory completion of the study includes a written report and may include an oral presentation to peers and faculty members.

    Students who take on junior independent work will enroll in CBE 351 for their fall term and CBE 352 for their spring term. Students are required to complete a lab safety course before starting laboratory research. Note that CBE 351 and CBE 352 are considered free electives and do not count towards any requirements.

    Students are expected to put in at least 15-20 hours per week on the project and meet regularly with the project adviser.

    Research for Sophomores and Juniors

    Research opportunities begin to open as soon as the summer before your sophomore year. Intrepid students ask early and often about available positions in a lab or group of investigators.

    This work leads to poster sessions, conference presentations and authorships on major papers. If you are interested in research or graduate school, these opportunities offer invaluable insight and experience.

    If you are interested, speak with your professors, the undergraduate departmental representative and the undergraduate administrator about currently available opportunities.

    Undergraduate Research News