student in lab

In today's world, college graduates with hands-on lab experience have a big advantage over students from other college or university programs that place less of an emphasis on research. A UVM neuroscience degree helps you be competitive for graduate school, medical school, or other post-graduation academic positions; or to be competitive for laboratory jobs or as clinical assistants.

With over 100 internationally-recognized neuroscience faculty at UVM, you can learn while doing meaningful cutting-edge research. Projects range from basic genetics and developmental neurobiology research to health oriented, clinical research, such as how drugs like nicotine affect the human nervous system. Our students often earn authorship on peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and present their research at professional meetings and conferences.

On the fast track

Sahene photo

Warrick Sahene '18 is on the fast track: after graduation, he began working toward  his accelerated master’s in pharmacology at UVM (he started taking graduate-level courses during his undergraduate career), and eventually plans to apply to medical school. The neuroscience major did research with Professor Jom Hammack, examining how exercise and stress work in specific areas of the brain. “It’s helped me understand a problem-solving approach to clinical problems,” Sahene says. A New Jersey native, Sahene dove into student life, including as VP of the Boulder Society, a senior career peer mentor, and as president of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. 

Broad research exposure leads to new opportunities

Lindsay Smegal

High points of Lindsay Smegal’s UVM career included working in Associate Professor Donna Toufexis’ lab investigating sex differences in habit formation, and taking a course with Dr. Nicholas D’ Alberto that examined data from a large fMRI study that sheds light on how environmental factors effect a developing brain. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to do research on two completely different projects,” Smegal says. “In the first one, I was working with rats and studying behavior in a lab. The second was a personally designed research question based on a huge data set—thousands of brain scans and surveys from participants across Europe.” She thinks the twin approaches—performing traditional lab work and making meaning from big data—were one of the reasons she was accepted as a two-year research assistant to Dr. Anne Comi, director of the Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Syndrome Center, part of the Kennedy Krieger Institute-Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Smegal is assisting with clinical research studies on Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the skin, brain and eyes. “I see it as an opportunity to get more research experience, to work closely with a doctor who is really well-known and knowledgeable in her field, and to prepare myself for graduate school.”

Finding a Research Sponsor

The Office of Undergraduate Research can help you find a research laboratory. Dr. Ann Kroll Lerner, the director, can help you with the process (

Research Funding

Talk to your research supervisor about funding for research projects. If you have a research supervisor, you can apply for funding to support a research project in their laboratory. 

APLE (Academic Programs for Learning and Engagement) awards provide up to $500 in support of expenses involved in credit-bearing undergraduate research and creative activities. Each year, up to twenty-four awards will be available to support such activities as travel to research libraries or other sites to gather data. APLE (Academic Programs for Learning and Engagement) Fund awards application deadlines are October 31 (Fall semester); and February 15 (Spring semester).

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) offers an array of valuable resources for undergraduate students promoting mentored research, creative works, and scholarship. Read more about specific opportunities and funding sources.