Research Opportunities at Cal State Fullerton

The opportunity to engage in undergraduate research is a hallmark of the NSM student experience; all of the major departments in the college offer students the opportunity to engage in faculty-mentored research. Several departments also offer specific programs to support and mentor students in the research experience. The list below includes many of the research programs available to undergraduates, however countless other opportunities are available within the college. If you do not see a program below that matches your interests, you can reach out to any faculty member for advice and opportunities.

Bridges to Stem Cell Research (BSCR)
The Bridges to Stem Cell Research is a one-year program that provides students with research experience in Molecular and Cell Biology in the areas of stem cell and regenerative medicine. Students are immersed in various cell biology techniques while at CSUF, and then the following year, they will undertake an internship in one of four participating research institutions (USC, UCI, CHOC, UCR).
Contact: Dr. Nilay Patel, 657.278.2483,

California Pre-doctoral Program
The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Winners will be designated as Sally Casanova Scholars, as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for whom the award is named. With the aid of a faculty sponsor, these scholars are exposed to unique opportunities to explore and help prepare them to succeed in doctoral programs. The program provides travel funds to visit doctorate-granting institutions, options for summer research internships, and funds for other related activities.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
The LSAMP program encourages and prepares college students from STEM disciplines for graduate programs. LSAMP has three tiers of students: research, community college transfer students, and participants. LSAMP serves 30-40 students per year bridging the gap between research faculty and students. Summer and academic year workshops, academic year conferences, research and summer research prepares students for post baccalaureate work.
Contact: Dr. Zair Ibragimov, 657.278.5439,

McNair Scholars Program
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1986. The Program, named for astronaut and Challenger space shuttle crew member, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, encourages students to pursue graduate studies. The program provides opportunities to define goals, engage in research, and develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level.
Contact: Dr. Patricia E. Literte, 657.278.7367,

Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program is sponsored by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its goal is to prepare students underrepresented in the biomedical sciences for success in a PhD program and research career.
Contact: Dr. Amybeth Cohen, 657.278.2178,

Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT)
The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program is an NIH-sponsored program that provides minority students with the opportunity to carry out research during the summer under the direction of world-renowned biochemists and molecular biologists at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, York, and London in Great Britain, the Chiang Mai University in Thailand, and Institutes of Basic and Clinical Research in Argentina.
Contact: Dr. Marcelo Tolmasky, 657.278.2472,

Research Career Preparatory Program (RCP)
The RCP program is for lower-division undergraduate students potentially interested in entering a research career. Its mission is to expose students at the beginning of their university career to the world of research and its potential benefits.
Contact: Dr. Laura Arce, 657.278.7761,

Southern California Ecosystem Research Program (SCERP)
The Southern California Ecosystems Research Program (SCERP) is an NSF-funded program that prepares students for careers in environmental industry, government agencies, and graduate programs in Biology or Environmental Science.
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Burnaford, 657.278.2382,

Scholarships to Enhance Excellence in the Chemical and Biological Research-Based Workforce (STEER)
The STEER Program recruits and supports students in becoming highly qualified members of the STEM workforce through activities that (1) provide opportunities for students to enrich their understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry through research experiences in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, (2) develop technical knowledge with supported experiences in research laboratories, and (3) facilitate the use of information and techniques in research to improve competency in industry.
Contact: Dr. Sean Walker, 657.278.3610,

Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE)
The U-ACRE program focuses on the development of a research experience for undergraduates in agricultural ecosystems and biodiversity; social, cultural, and biological influences on behavior in terms of food choices; the holistic study of child growth and development across food environments; and economic and financial aspects of addressing food security through urban agriculture and good webs.
Contact: Dr. Joel Abraham, 657.278.3138,