Undergraduate Researchers

There are many opportunities for undergraduate researchers in the Edwards Lab both during summer and the semester. If you are interested in working in the Edwards Lab, please note the specific deadlines detailed below.

We are looking for Undergraduate researchers interested in projects going on in the lab that include genetic, ecological, morphological and behavioral data collection. Fall semester projects available generally focus on data analysis and genetic sample or video/image processing. Spring Semester and Summer projects usually involve field data collection, in addition to data analysis and sample processing. As undergraduate researchers develop their skills, it is expected they will work to develop a research project of their own. Positions in the lab are dependent on mentor availability.

Undergraduate researchers working in the Edwards Lab can earn research credit (e.g., BIO 095, BIO 195) for time spent during the academic year.  Typically, this involves committing to 1-2 units of research credit or 3-6 hours per week, but this is flexible. Paid positions may be available from time to time, dependent on funding.

If you are interested in being an undergraduate researcher in the Edwards Lab, please email Prof. Edwards with the following information in the form of a cover letter:

  1. Your name, major, year
    A 1 paragraph description of your own educational and career goals
    A 1 paragraph description of which aspects of the Edwards lab research most interest you & how this ties in with your own academic interests

To consider you for a position in the lab during the academic year Prof. Edwards needs this letter by the end of Week 2 of each semester. If you are interested in participating in summer research, Prof. Edwards needs your application 6 weeks before the close of the spring semester. No exceptions. Prof. Edwards will review applications and determine which students will be accepted into the lab. Preference is given to Ecology/Evolutionary Biology students.

Expectations of undergraduate researchers working in the Edwards Lab:

  • You will work on lab projects for the agreed-on number of hours
  • You will meet with Prof. Edwards at the beginning of the semester to develop your research goals, these may be periodically revised throughout the semester
  • You will work week-to-week with a dedicated mentor in the lab
  • You will write a report of the work you have done in the lab each academic year, due the final week of Spring semester.
  • Further expectations for undergraduate researchers can be found in the Edwards Lab expectations document, found here.

Graduate Researchers

Graduate researchers interested in joining the Edwards Lab, should take a look at the Quantitative Systems Biology Graduate Program at UC Merced. You should also take a look at the expectations I have for my lab, here.

As a PI, I am interested in working with graduate researchers whose research interests intersect with my own. Please have a look through the lab website and read a few of the labs papers before contacting me so you have an idea of what we do that interests you.

Research in the lab is heavily interdisciplinary. I have interests in diverse areas including genomics, phylogenetics, population genetics, ecology, behavior, morphology and conservation. Work is primarily focused on herpetofauna, and there are a few main systems we focus on. We welcome the opportunity to work with those who have similarly interdisciplinary interests, and want to develop independent projects within the systems I focus on. I am also interested in purely genetic/genomic projects. My lab is a state of the art molecular lab, and at UC Merced we have access to a range of different core facilities, including a stable isotope lab, environmental analytical facility, microscopy facility and spatial analysis labs.

Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions are available dependent on funding. UC Merced offers competitive Teaching Assistantships, many internal fellowships (both for current and incoming students) and affordable living costs compared to other UC campuses. There are numerous competitive internal fellowships for recruits and current students at UC Merced. Merced is also very close to the Sierra Nevada, which offers ample opportunities for those who like to explore, including proximity to Yosemite National Park.

If you are interested in applying to graduate school at UC Merced and training in the Edwards Lab, please contact me. If I am recruiting in any season, I will typically interview potential candidates in October, ahead of the December deadline for graduate applications.

Postdoctoral Researchers

I am always interested in talking with those who have an interest in joining the Edwards Lab for postdoctoral work. I occasionally have funding for postdocs, but am also interested in chatting with those that would like to apply for fellowship funding or other grant funding. Please look over my lab expectations, found here.

Some opportunities for fellowship funding within the UC system for postdoctoral scholars:

  • The Presidents Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers postdoctoral research fellowships, professional development and faculty mentoring to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity across the University of California system
    The Chancellors Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers postdoctoral research fellowships, faculty mentoring, and eligibility for the UC-system hiring incentive to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at the University of California, Merced

Other opportunities may exist for fellowships from other agencies. Some that may be applicable to our research:

Please contact me if you are interested in collaborating on these or any other postdoctoral fellowship applications.

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