Prospective Undergraduate Students:
We are always interested in highly motivated undergraduates joining the lab. We typically have a substantial group of undergraduate researchers in the laboratory – ranging from the starting level of assisting with basic projects to fully independent undergraduate research projects. We advertise our lab on the Experiential Learning Network (ELN) Project Portal. For students interested in working in the laboratory whether paid or unpaid, the best way to get in touch with us is through an introductory email. Tell us a little bit about yourself and why an experience in this particular laboratory is important for your interests and training. You don’t need to have had any experience in a laboratory – we look for motivation, curiosity, commitment and a basic appreciation for the fact that this is a professional research laboratory designed to train future scientists and develop publishable work. We will let you know if positions are available and possibly schedule a time to meet.
Below are some tips to see if undergraduate research might be of interest to you.
Do some research to see which projects interest you. Why do they interest you?
Research is challenging. We generally see the final product of research, a video or figure that really captures the goal. What we don’t see are the often many days (or even nights) of no results, with ups and downs, to get to that. Therefore, choose a project that interests you, with a clear goal, and something you will enjoy. This will help get through some of the less than productive research times.
Talk to people. You learn the most from your peers. Everyone has a unique skill set and you can learn the tools that someone else has for your project, and even offer advice of your own.
Manage your time and expectations. Classes take time, research takes time, and you cannot possibly work in the lab every waking moment. Plan your time and make a schedule.
Document your work. The highest goal in research is to have others use what you have done. They can’t do this if you don’t write (or type) it down. This will make disseminating your results (e.g. conference talks or proceedings, journal articles, etc.) easier in the end.
Research is hard. Undergraduates are often involved in completely new research directions in our lab which means that the original goal is not always successful. Motivation, creativity, and hard work are most important here.
If this still seems interesting, contact Prof. St. Pierre via email. If he doesn’t respond within a couple days, send another email. Be persistent.
If interested, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospective Graduate Students:
All of the above applies to you as well. Research is challenging and requires that you be creative, persistent, intellectually curious, and so much more.
To join the lab as a PhD or MS student, please apply through the UB admissions.
Our goal is to train graduate students to become independent engineers and scientists. It is expected that graduate students will work to develop their own independent research project for their thesis or dissertation. The options for this are broad, and students place their research within the scope of robot design and control, and in more generally, form and function.
The other crucial piece for graduate students is that you are fundamentally interested in the focal research of our lab. Our lab examines a very wide breadth of systems, approaches, and topics (detailed in the research tabs of this site). Make sure to read through these pages, and ideally some of the linked scientific papers, to examine our research and find tangible connections with your own research interests. We expect prospective students to articulate their research interests in the context of our lab’s research areas, so that it is clear how pursuing your MS or Ph.D. training in our lab matches your goals and interests.