Reed's distinctive undergraduate science program is founded on hands-on learning that presents students with the challenge and excitement of confronting unanswered questions about the natural world. The success of this enterprise is based on a purposeful blurring of the distinction between the research activities of the faculty and the educational experiences of the students. Of the more than 200 articles published by Reed's science faculty in the last decade, well over 50 percent were coauthored by students. Students are involved in research in several venues.
All Biology Department faculty are actively engaged in research, with many research projects supported by extramural research grants from NIH, NSF, the Murdock Life Sciences Foundation and Department of Energy. Descriptions of individual research projects can be found on each faculty member's home page.
Faculty research is a vital component of Reed's science curriculum. The laboratory work of students in upper-division classes and in the Senior Thesis frequently is conducted in the laboratory of a faculty member and often moves close to the contemporary edge of scientific knowledge and conjecture.
Every 300 level course (of which Biology majors must complete at least 4) include a 6 week independent project that is designed, executed, analyzed and presented by students.
The Facilities web page provides a detailed description of our building and the research and teaching facilities available to our faculty and students.
All seniors on campus complete a year-long, senior thesis project. Biology majors use this opportunity to become engaged in an in-depth, independent research investigation. Follow this link to read more about Biology Senior Theses and to see a list of the diverse research topics that Reed Biology Majors and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Majors have pursued over the years. Abstracts are included at this link for many of the recent thesis research projects completed in the Biology Department
Reed Magazine has occasionally profiled Biology seniors and their thesis projects. The summer, 2007 issue featured an article on Monika Wieland and her thesis research investigating acoustic communication in orcas of Puget Sound, WA. The fall, 1997 issue included an article profiling Eliza Gould's investigation into the physiology of northwest conifers, which included field-work that took her into the canopy of Douglas-fir forests for her sample collection.
Summer research opportunities for students are supported departmental funds, College Fellowships as well as by grants to individual faculty members. The 2013 Application deadline is March 13th 2013.
Betty C. Liu Summer Research Fellowship is an endowed fund administered by the Biology Department. This fund was initially established by Sam B. Liu, an alum of 1936, and his wife Betty. In addition to summer research opportunities, this fund has long provided key support for the weekly departmental seminar series.
Helen Stafford Summer Research Fellowship is an endowed fund bequeathed to the department by the late Professor Helen Stafford. This fund is used to encourage student/faculty research collaborations in the department and provide opportunities to students for which other funding sources are not available.
Milton L. Fischer Memorial Field Research Fellowship is an endowed fund administered by the Biology Department. The fellowship honors Milton Fischer, a popular and influential graduate of this department (1986).
Sandy River Gorge Field Study Award provides an opportunity to conduct student-originated, independent research and field studies in the Sandy River Gorge east of Portland. The support comes from a grant to the college by a private individual with great interest in the Sandy River Gorge Natural Area. The Nature Conservancy shares in this cooperative project.
Arch and Fran Diack Student Field Research Award provides support for student independent field study during the summer months. The basic intent is to encourage original contributions by students to scientific problems in the natural world. Students in any academic disciplines can submit a proposal for a project of their own design and completion. The stipend may also be used to participate in an established field research program.
Reed College Science Research Fellowship is a college wide program that supports summer research by teams of Reed College faculty and students. The RCSRF was created through the generosity and thoughtfulness of Reed alumni who were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research.
The Mellon Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowships are intended to support continuing Reed students of any major pursuing environmentally-themed summer opportunities for which no compensation is otherwise available. These opportunities might include internships at nonprofit agencies or field research internships/training (on or off-campus).
The Student Fellowships and Awards website describes other research and summer opportunities that are available through the college wide programs.
We have compiled links to information about off-campus research opportunities. Many institutions have established Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs for research internships during summer months. Hard-copies of announcements for individual programs and positions are posted on a regular basis on the bulletin boards in the first floor hallway of the biology building. As most of these programs require faculty letters of recommendation we provide a suggest format for requesting such letters (instructions). All students engaged in off campus summer research opportunities are invited to participate in the poster session that occurs during the first few weeks of the fall semester (check the seminar schedule for the exact date).
The Biology Department also has an ongoing program of Research Seminars that take place on most Friday afternoons of the academic year. The list of invited speakers is chosen to represent a diverse cross-section of the biological sciences. The Seminar Schedule for the current academic year is available online. Please check back as this information is updated regularly.