We’re currently looking for new MartenLab Team members!

Undergraduate Research

  • No previous research experience required.
  • Must be able to work an average of 10 h per week.
  • Students in first and second year at UMBC are strongly preferred.
  • Must be an “Ideal Team Player.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience is a plus.

Why do research? Through undergraduate research, you’ll: (i) learn about an exciting area of cutting-edge science, (ii) have the opportunity to help solve real and important scientific problems, and (iii) gain tremendously valuable experience in critical thinking and problem solving.

What will I do?  MartenLab research is focused on engineering aspects of systems biology and cellular engineering. Essentially, we learn how cells work and then use this information to (i) improve beneficial cells (e.g., to make more product) or target pathogens (e.g., by finding their weaknesses).  In addition, you’ll learn techniques which will make you much more competitive when you graduate and look for a job. To learn more, you might look at this article Students discover the beauty of mold and mentorship in Mark Marten’s UMBC lab.

When will I need to work in the lab?  After an initial training period, undergrads have tremendous flexibility regarding the days and times they work in the lab. Generally, students are able to be in the lab on the days and times that make the most sense for them and for their experiments.

Will I get paid? Initially, students learn experimental techniques and research skills as volunteers. As a student successfully progresses there will be paid opportunities that arise. Students in CBEE may also register for ENCH468, which involves carrying out research for credit.

How do I apply? If interested in applying for a lab position, you must read the Marten Lab Undergraduate Research Agreement carefully to make sure you understand what’s involved. Then include in a single email: (1) your resume (PDF), (2) unofficial copy of your transcript (PDF); freshman can send high school transcript (PDF), and (3) one page or less explaining why you’d like to work in our lab (PDF). To write this well, I suggest you look at some of our papers from from the last few years to orient yourself to our current projects. Make the subject of your email “Undergrad Application” and send this to search@martenlab.com


Comments from some former undergrads who did research in the Marten Lab.

“By far, the best part of working in the Marten Lab are the people, as they constantly help, advise, and encourage you and your work. You’re a part of a team: to learn and produce useful results.”
— Jessica Ramsey (BS, Chemical Engineering, Pre-Law)

“The Marten lab is a perfect learning place for research techniques and lab practices. It’s not a high-stress environment because you’re slowly given larger assignments and leadership roles that build on what you’ve learned in the past.”
— Alexis Ramsey (BS, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pre-Law)

“Martenlab is an excellent environment to gain research experience. I started working under the supervision of a graduate student. With time, I gained more independence and responsibility. The people of Martenlab provide excellent support, and I feel happy to be part of the lab.”
— Donnel Thomas (BS, Chemical Engineering, Biological Sci.)

“I’ve learned from working in the Martenlab is that mistakes are inevitable in research, and each mistake is a stepping stone on the path to success. Dr. Marten’s rule of five: you haven’t learned how to do something until you’ve done it five times.”
–Sirasa Iambamrung (BS, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pre-Med)

“Dr. Marten really invests in his students. Expect to be offered real responsibility and look forward to working alongside a really great group of people.”
— Alexander Doan (Formerly BS/MS, now PhD student in Chemical Engineering)