Undergrad research opportunities

General info about undergraduate research opportunities in the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology (GCB) —



We welcome applications from highly motivated undergraduates who wish to pursue an hypothesis-driven study within the context of our current research.  Many mechanisms exist to facilitate your joining our lab, including work-study positions, independent study for credit, and intensive summer research experiences.  In each case, active research can offer you valuable exposure to diverse experimental and computational approaches and let you experience the challenges and thrills of basic research first-hand.  It is also demanding of you, requiring your dedication, reliability, flexibility, and close attention to detail.   Given this, undergraduate research positions in the lab are quite competitive. We encourage interested undergraduates to read some of our recent papers first, and carefully consider the intersections of your interests and our ongoing research.  If you are excited about these intersections, you’re welcome to contact Jen or other members of the lab.  We select undergraduate researchers based on the following criteria:


  • genuine enthusiasm to conduct basic research.
  • appropriate match between your scientific interests and our focal areas.
  • relevant course work (quantitative courses, including some exposure to evolutionary biology, molecular biology, genetics and genomics, microbiology, bioinformatics).
  • when relevant, prior experience with lab and field approaches.
  • when relevant, recommendations from previous research supervisors.


Independent study

Students interested in pursuing an independent study in our lab are welcome to contact Jen at j.wernegreen[at]duke.edu.  Please include the following in your initial inquiry:

  • recent papers from the lab that you’ve found most interesting, and why.
  • statement of your interests, including why you want to do an independent study, the questions or research areas you would like to focus on, and why you are potentially interested in our lab.
  • your transcript, and a list of your current classes.
  • description of any prior research experience.