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Undergraduate Research

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Participating in research as an undergraduate student has definitely helped shape my future plans. Through involvement in research, I had the chance to improve my livestock handling skills through hands-on work with dairy cattle, learn about forages, fiber digestibility, and many lessons about applied dairy nutrition. When I started at Virginia Tech, I wanted to become a large animal veterinarian but getting involved in research made me realize that I want to pursue another career path that better fits my interests. I love working closely with dairy cattle, enjoy the attention to detail, record keeping, and curiosity that research sparks and I hope to incorporate those things into a future career in the agriculture industry.

Anna Cappellina, Class of 2023

Undergraduate research is a great opportunity to enhance your educational experience and develop valuable skills such as problem solving, organization, critical thinking, along with professional written and verbal communication. By participating in undergraduate research you will be working closely with faculty members, graduate students, and perhaps other undergraduate students.

There are several areas of research that faculty focus on within the department; however you can do research with faculty members with faculty from other departments as well.

Areas of Research
Muscle Biology
Exercise Physiology
Health and Diseases
Behavior and Welfare

How do I find research opportunities?
To find research opportunities, start by reading about the research areas of different faculty on their profile pages. Once you find an area of research that interests you, email the faculty member and ask for more information, express your interest and ask for a meeting. If you are interested in the research, be persistent and show them you are interested.

You might also receive emails about research opportunities from the APSC undergraduate program. When labs are actively looking for help, the department will often send out a notice to let students know.

What is the time commitment?
Time commitment is variable. Most faculty would ask that you start as a volunteer a couple of times a week, after which you can both decide on the extent of involvement and commitment.

Can I get credit?
Yes, you can get credit for research. Usually 1 credit is equivalent to 3 hours per week in the lab. You and your faculty mentor decide on the number of credits and details of your research.

Talk to your faculty advisor about current opportunities!


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