Broadening Undergraduate Research Participation in Behavioral Neuroscience

Student in lab with rat
Student in lab with rat

Apply now for the 2023-2024 BURP-BN program!

What is it?

The BURP-BN program is a year-long Structured Research Experience in behavioral neuroscience; this is an exciting research field that is rapidly increasing in popularity. The program aims to meet the tremendous demand for undergraduate research opportunities in behavioral neuroscience that cannot be met by the limited number of positions available in Miami faculty research laboratories. Students will benefit from rich and multifaceted interactions with researchers and faculty mentors. The program also provides a venue for peer collaboration and advanced academic inquiry among students.

Who is it for?

Participation in the program is offered to advanced undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) with strong academic records who want to be involved in undergraduate research in Behavioral Neuroscience. This is a perfect opportunity for students concerned about finding an opportunity to participate in behavioral neuroscience research prior to graduation from Miami. Students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in psychology and/or neuroscience are especially well-suited for participation in the program.

How does it work?

By joining the program, students commit to a year-long research experience, spanning the Fall, Winter, and Spring semesters.

Fall Term

Students will enroll in PSY 320 (3 credits). Participation will involve:

  • Complete online and hands-on animal training
  • Extensively review literature
  • Generate an empirical question/hypothesis with a suitable experimental design

Winter Term

Students will enroll in Structured Research Experience in Behavioral Neuroscience, PSY 352 (3 credits). As part of this immersive laboratory experience, they will:

  • Learn to conduct a series of behavioral assays used in rodents
  • Analyze, interpret, and present findings from their research
  • Learn about specific methods for manipulating brain function within the context of behavioral neuroscience experiments
  • Observe electrophysiological recording, intracranial surgery, drug infusions, intracardial perfusions, and histological analysis

Spring Term

Students will enroll in Structured Research Experience in Behavioral Neuroscience II, PSY 452 ( 3 credits). Participation will involve:

  • Work in small teams to conduct student-led research projects
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • Present posters on their work at the Undergraduate Research Forum (URF)
  • Revise their URF posters and presentations for presentation at the Hinkle poster session in Psychology at the end of the semester
  • Submit a manuscript to the Psychology Department’s Undergraduate Research Journal (COMPASS) or another journal and revise the manuscript based on reviewer feedback

Where can I find more information?

For more information, please email Dr. Jennifer Quinn (

What are some of our former BURP-BN students doing now?

  • PharmD at the Ohio State College of Pharmacy
  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign
  • PhD in Neuroscience at NEOMED/Kent State University
  • MS degree in Pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati
  • PhD in the Biomedical Sciences Training Program at Case Western Reserve University
  • DVM at St. Georges University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Research assistant in Psychiatry department at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Accelerated master’s program in Nursing at Mount St. Joseph University
  • PhD in Neuroscience at Marquette University
  • MA in the Social Sciences program at the University of Chicago
  • Clinical Research Coordinator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • MD/PhD at Case Western Reserve University
  • DO at Marian University medical school
  • MS in Modern Human Anatomy at the University of Colorado – Anschutz
  • Animal Behavioral Core technician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • MS degree in the Biomedical Research Techniques program at the University of Cincinnati

How do I apply?

Complete the online application during the spring semester preceding participation in the program. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis and space is limited.