Bowdoin College is a four-year liberal arts college comprised of 1,700 students and 170 faculty members. Bowdoin, the oldest college in Maine, consistently ranks among the nation’s top ten liberal arts colleges. A selectivity rate of 18.4%, a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, and a science curriculum grounded in faculty-mentored undergraduate research, make Bowdoin’s science program particularly robust. Over the past five years, 21% of graduates have majored in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or neuroscience. Between 90–100 students engage in research at Bowdoin each summer, nearly doubling the number from the beginning of the decade. Half of these are in the biosciences. Over 20% of faculty publications (1991-2000) in the natural sciences had student co-authors. Since January 2004, Bowdoin faculty in the biological sciences have received more than $4 million from NIH and NSF in support of research and the acquisition of scientific equipment. Evidence of strong institutional commitment to the sciences since 2004, includes a $1.275 million investment of internal funds to support faculty start-up, expand laboratories and provide equipment for teaching and research. The College also sustains a matching fund for faculty research grants.
Through INBRE, Bowdoin has acquired equipment that has enhanced the ability of faculty to expand the reach of their research and training of students. More faculty and students are conducting genomics research. There are many opportunities for students to gain rewarding laboratory experience that increases their interest in continuing biomedical research.
Mentored Academic Year Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Academic Year Research Experiences are available to Bowdoin students to work on biomedical research in comparative functional genomics with research faculty. Fellowships are awarded competitively each year based on written project descriptions from students. Awards support supply funds for a year-long research project.
Summer Research Fellowships
The INBRE Summer Research Fellowship Program pairs individual students with a federally-funded biomedical researcher of the student’s choice for a 10-week hands-on summer research experience. Funding is provided for lodging, food, and supplies for student participants.
These Summer Research Fellowships are available annually to Bowdoin students to work with faculty at Bowdoin or at various institutions in the statewide network. Applications are due to MDI Biological Laboratory in January for the following summer and must be accompanied by a transcript and two letters of recommendation from faculty members.
Additional fellowships are available for Bowdoin students wishing to work specifically with Bowdoin faculty for 8-10 weeks over the summer. Applications are available on the Bowdoin Biology Department website and are due to Bowdoin in early to mid-February.
Laboratory Experience at the MDI Biological Laboratory
Each year, Bowdoin students have the opportunity to participate in a two-week residential laboratory experience at the MDI Biological Laboratory during spring break. The course focuses on biomedical research laboratory methods and theory. Past courses have included topics such as Environmental Toxicogenomics and Molecular Biology of Crustacean Neuropeptides.
Travel to Scientific Meetings
Students have the opportunity to travel to national, regional, and state conferences to present their research.
Summer Post-baccalaureate Fellowship
This position allows a newly graduated senior who has conducted independent research to continue his or her research at Bowdoin for an additional summer after graduation, often completing work that needed further investigation. Many recipients have used this time to complete work that is subsequently brought to publication.