Undergraduate Students

Research Options for Undergraduates

How to apply (for undergraduate students):

If you are interested in working in the lab as an undergraduate, please read through the available options below before inquiring.


To apply for any position as an undergraduate researcher, please email Dr. Crawford directly and include the following:

  1. In the email:

    1. Introduce yourself: name, major, year of intended graduation.

    2. Say what position type(s) you are interested in.

    3. Say why you are emailing: what do you want to get out of this experience and why you are interested in this lab.

  2. Attach your CV/resume including any relevant courses (science/math/sci comm) that you have completed and courses you are currently taking.

Internship / Volunteer Opportunities

Internship positions are available at the volunteer level for students at all experience levels. Project type will be chosen depending on your interests, previous experience (if any), time commitment. Some scenarios:

  1. Students who wish to see if this type of research is for them.

  2. Students who wish to see if this lab is for them and gain the needed background knowledge before applying to a funded position.

  3. Students without prior research experience are welcome to volunteer in the lab. Projects may be available within the general lab or under the supervision of a specific senior lab member. First-year students should consider the FYRE program (see Funded position section, this page).

  4. Students with multiple commitments who would normally consider course credit (i.e. 3-6 hrs/week) but do not wish to enroll in credit. Note this is for students who do not need the course credit (they have enough credits with their current enrollment), not that they do not have time for course credit. The time commitment is the same.

  5. Students who wish to do their senior/honors thesis in the lab. Please inquire with specific information and we will meet to see if you are eligible for funding and/or with your advisor to determine if this is a volunteer or course credit option.


For internship positions, please inquire at least 3 weeks before the start of the term you are interested in.

All positions for Fall 2022 are currently full.





Course Credit

Positions are available for students through the Biochemistry Department. (Options through other programs may be available but check with your advisor first.) Project type will be chosen depending on your interests, time commitment, and class type.

Please be sure to check with both Dr. Crawford and your advisor before considering this option.


Possible courses may include: BIOC 499/499H, BIOS 498/499/499H, MBIO 498, UHON 99H/499H.


For course credit, please inquire at least 2 weeks (but preferable mid-way through the term before) before the registration deadline for the term you are interested in.


Funded positions

Positions with funding for student salaries are available through a variety of sources. Links to the funding organization are in the title.

Note that for all funded opportunities (except the FYRE program) you must write a proposal on the work you plan to complete prior to applying. Therefore it is often advisable to work for 1-2 semesters in the lab to see if this is the right fit and learn the background information necessary to be successful.

Some options include the following:

  1. UCARE. The Crawford lab posting is here.

UCARE is open to all students and can be awarded multiple times/student.

Note that a UCARE application requires you, the student, to write a research proposal with the assistance of Dr. Crawford.

  • If you are interested in UCARE, please inquire at least 2 months prior to the UCARE deadline so that we can discuss projects that will work for you and so that you have time to write and revise a proposal with Dr. Crawford's help.

  • This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate a competitive research opportunity on their CV.

  • Because the UCARE proposal is research-method intensive, it is highly recommended you have research lab experience (in addition to relevant courses) before applying. Students may want to consider volunteering in the lab for 1-2 terms prior to writing a UCARE proposal to get a better idea of possible projects.

If you are interested in UCARE, please inquire at least 2 months prior to the deadline (the deadline for both summer and the following academic year deadline is typically early in spring semester, link to whole program, our posting here).


  1. FYRE. The FYRE program is for first-year students only. Eligible students will be invited the summer before their first semester to select from available postings, link here.


  1. IANR ARD Undergraduate Student Research Program.

Dr. Crawford is an ARD faculty member and can support your application to this program.

This program is open to students with junior or senior standing and can be awarded once/student.

Note that this application requires you, the student, to write a research proposal, including a budget, with the assistance of Dr. Crawford.

  • If you are interested, please inquire at least 2 months prior to the deadline so that we can discuss projects that will work for you and so that you have time to write and revise a proposal with Dr. Crawford's help.

  • This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate a competitive research opportunity on their CV.

  • Because this is a full funding proposal (research-method intensive plus additional documentation), it is highly recommended you have research lab experience (in addition to relevant courses) before applying and have a specific project in mind. Students should consider volunteering or working in the lab via another method for 1-2 terms prior to applying to this program.

If you are interested in this program, please inquire at least 2 months prior to the deadline (typically mid-January, link).


  1. INBRE Scholars Program. The Crawford lab posting will be located here.

  • The INBRE Scholars Program is administered through UNMC and supported through an NIH IDeA program grant.

  • This is a two-year research-intensive program that begins the summer between sophomore and junior years.

  • Funding is provided for the entire program. Additional funding is available for conference travel.

Sophomore students should inquire as early as possible to begin application development. Applications are typically due in the Fall semester.


  1. Other programs - a number of other options are appropriate for the types of projects and training opportunities available in the lab. Some include:

    • Scientific foundations: American Society for Microbiology, American Society for Virology, American Heart Association

    • National Societies: NIH, NSF

    • Internal (lab-based) funding directly from the Crawford Lab

Most of these programs include research-specific applications. Please contact Dr. Crawford at least 2 months prior to your deadline if you wish to apply.


6. Programs external to UNL. These programs are great for your individual career development. If you wish to apply and would like a letter for support, it helps if Dr. Crawford knows you (through courses, or even better through a research experience in the lab). Please give at least 3 weeks notice if you need a letter (especially for the first letter). Some programs include:

  • REU programs: both at UNL and other universities. The link to UNL's virology program is here.

  • Fellowship programs: Fullbright, Truman Scholars, Goldwater. UNL's fellowship page is here.