Female student conducting research from a canoe

Student Research Opportunities

In addition to opportunities to work alongside faculty, NMU biology students routinely work on research projects of their own design and share the results at academic conferences or in professional publications. Our students research diverse topics, including:

  • Native fish ecology
  • Invasive species in Lake Superior
  • Cancer biology
  • Migratory patterns of loons
  • Gut microbiomes of carnivores
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Effects of historical climate change on boreal ecosystems

A great way to get involved as a student is to join one of the many biology-related student groups and meet others who share your passions.



Take Your Research Anywhere

NMU biology students conduct research and internships around the world, including in Zambia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Brazil, and elsewhere.

Nationally recognized research

NMU Biology graduate student Sierra Gillman (pictured above) was a recent recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in recognition of her work on the gut biota of black bears.

Faculty Mentors

Most student research starts with finding a faculty mentor. Explore our directory of faculty to determine who might be the right fit for your interests. 

Trees in front of a blue sky
Carly Johnson

"I decided to come to NMU because of the numerous research opportunities students have at the undergraduate level. I got to start conduction research my freshman year as a Freshman Fellow with Dr. Bammert of the Clinical Lab Sciences (CLS) department. Since, I’ve done research with Dr. Marquardt of the Chemistry department, the Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center (UMBTC), and Dr. Belton of the Biology department. The professors at NMU love working with students and I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had here."

Carly Johnson

Human Biology Minor

Student Research Funding

Student research is an important part of your education, but sometimes you will require extra funding to help you carry out your ideas.  The first step is always to work with your research mentor.  Next, you often need to put a proposal together, with input from your mentor, that will help you raise the funds to conduct the work.  There are many different options for funding; some unique to NMU and some open to other students.  The list below will give you a few ideas to get you started, but there are also many other possibilities out there.  Work with your mentor to identify the best options for your particular project.  Remember, each funding source will have particular application requirements that you must adhere to - check them over early to make sure you are on track!


Spooner Grant


Biology Department Development Fund

  • Maximum award of $1000
  • Application dates of October 15 and March 15
  • Guidelines are on file in the Biology office

The Scheidemantel Undergraduate Research Fund

This fund may be used to support
expenses directly associated with faculty-led undergraduate research activities in Biology (e.g., purchasing
of reagents or equipment, or costs associated with field transportation or data.

  • Maximum award of $500
  • Application dates of September 15, February 15, May 1
  • Guidelines are on file in the Biology Office and are available here 

Excellence in Education Awards


Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

Nnote that while membership in Sigma Xi is not a requirement for applying for funding from the Grants-in-Aid of Research program, approximately 75% of funds are restricted for use by dues paying student members of Sigma Xi or students whose project advisor is a dues paying member of Sigma Xi.

Tri-Beta Foundation Research Scholarship

  • Funds projects from $250 to $750
  • Application date of  September 21
  • Must be a member of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
  • More information