Prospective Students

 
 
 
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
C127 Ramaley Hall, University of Colorado-Boulder
Campus Box 334, Boulder, CO 80309-0334
Phone: (402) 370-6749
Fax: (303) 492-8699
Smith Lab Home

Information for Undergraduates

Undergraduates interested in plant evolutionary biology are encouraged to inquire about research opportunities in the lab. The best time to begin undergraduate research is your sophomore and junior years. With your freshman year finished, you will have the basic foundation in biology and chemistry necessary for undertaking research in the lab. By beginning in your sophomore or junior year, you will have the time to learn the techniques and advance to an independent project if you chose to continue in the lab. Projects may focus on one of the areas of ongoing research in the lab (molecular evolution, comparative analysis, biochemical studies of plant pigments, phylogenetics, floral ecology).  Students can participate in undergraduate research in the lab in one of several ways: (1) as a volunteer, (2) for credit, (3) as a work study student, or (4) as a UROP or BURST student. Also take the time to read Ted Garland’s thoughts on undergrad research. Interested students should contact Dr. Smith to discuss current research opportunities in the lab.
 

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

The Smith lab seeks creative, motivated, curious, and hard-working students to join in our group. Students may pursue research in any of the lab’s areas of interest (evolutionary genetics, molecular phylogenetics, comparative methods, plant biochemistry, and pollination ecology), either in Iochroma and its relatives, or in another group of plants. Prior lab experience in one or more of the research areas is a plus, but being persistent and having a positive attitude is the best predictor of success. Depending on the nature of the project, research may range from mostly molecular work (genetics, biochemistry) to more computational/statistical work (e.g. comparative methods) or more field-oriented work (e.g. systematics, pollination biology), but most students will gain experience in several of these areas. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at CU-Boulder offers master’s and doctoral degrees. Instructions for applying can be found here. Students accepted into the program are offered support through graduate teaching and research assistantships. Students are strongly encouraged to apply for internal CU-Boulder fellowships as well as external fellowships (NSF graduate fellowships, NIH pre-doctoral programs). In addition to the CU application, prospective students should contact Dr. Smith directly about working in the lab. Before contacting us, look at the ongoing research projects and read some of our publications. In your email, please include the following: (1) a paragraph explaining why you want to go to graduate school and why this lab is a good fit for you and (2) an attached CV highlighting relevant research experience and coursework. It’s also a good idea to read one of the many guides to success in school before embarking on your graduate career.
 

Information for Prospective Postdoctoral Fellows

We welcome inquiries from doctoral students interesting in pursuing postdoctoral research in the lab, and prospective postdocs are advised to begin looking into funding sources at least a year before graduation. Every two years, UNL offers a postdoctoral fellowship through the Program of Excellence in Population Biology, but postdocs should also aggressively seek external funding. Interested parties should contact Dr. Smith to discuss possible projects and funding sources, and expect to apply for one of the many available funding mechanisms (e.g., here, here, here).
 
 

 About the University of Colorado-Boulder

CU-Boulder is a large public university institution with over 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Boulder is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in the U.S. -- in large part because of its gorgeous location at the front range of the Rockies, its extensive biking and hiking trails, and its vibrant array of restaurants, cafes, and music venues.