Integrative Biology of Social Behaviors is a summer training program for undergraduate students, funded by the National Science Foundation. Social interactions lie at the core of animal and human societies, and behavior and physiology at the individual level are profoundly affected by the behavior of others. Michigan State University has a long history of strength in the study of the biological underpinning of social behaviors and the faculty members involved in this proposal are engaged in research examining an array of social behaviors (parenting, mating, aggression, social preference) and associated processes from a broad range of perspectives (neuroscience, endocrinology, evolution, and ecology). Participating students will receive 10 weeks of hands-on research experience by assisting with projects in our laboratories involving a wide range of model organisms (rodents, carnivores, birds, lizards, salamanders, fish, insects, and digital organisms) and levels of inquiry (molecular, cellular, systems, individuals, populations).
Students will also benefit from weekly journal clubs and research presentations from the mentoring faculty, and will participate in modules related to research ethics, statistics, laboratory safety, strategies for applying to graduate school, and the diversity of careers in the biological sciences. At the end of the program, students will present their summer activities at a university-wide undegraduate research symposium. These activities will sharpen the students' critical and scientific thinking skills, provide a unique opportunity to gain experience with laboratory and field research methods, and help prepare the next generation of researchers studying the biology of social behaviors.
Integrative Biology of Social Behaviors is a 10-week summer program. In 2015, we will accept at least nine students. The program will begin on Sunday 17 May and end on Saturday 25 July 2015. This is a full time program, and students should not expect to take additional courses during the program.
Student participants from other schools will receive free room and board as well as an allowance for travel expenses to travel to and from MSU at the beginning and end of the program. In addition, all participants will receive a $5000 stipend for the summer.