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Research Opportunities in The Forsburg Lab

The Forsburg Lab combines independent and hardworking undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral scholars with a talented technical staff. If you are interested in working with us, please read the information below.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Availability of postdoctoral places varies, depending on space and funding. If you are interested, please send a CV and arrange for three letters of reference. Generally, qualified applicants will be recent PhDs with at least 2 primary research publications in excellent journals, and will have an outstanding technical background that includes at least one of the following: yeast genetics, molecular biology of DNA replication/repair, chromosome biology, cell cycle/signal transduction, or cell biology and imaging. Contact Prof Susan Forsburg directly.
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Graduate study

We get a lot of inquiries about PhDs. In the US system, students apply for admission by the university and choose their lab advisor during their first year of study, following several rotations with different labs. There is not a studentship system as in other countries, and individual lab heads do not admit students directly. Students can compete for a place in our lab after completing their rotations; we generally take one student a year but this is dependent on space and funding.

Prospective students can apply to USC through the PhD program in Molecular & Computational Biology, which is located in our department (admissions info).

We encourage interested students to apply to our graduate admission program if they are interested in study in the Forsburg Lab. However, admission to the program does not guarantee a place in our lab. Contact the admissions office as described above.
Masters (MS): We do not admit outside students for terminal master's degrees in Molecular Biology. Under certain condition, current USC students may apply for a Progressive Masters in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry that overlaps with their undergraduate degree. Enrollment is limited to current USC undergraduates only--no exceptions.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

We welcome highly motivated undergraduates in the lab for research or lab support . However, remember that our lab is a professional research environment, and thus undergraduates need to be committed to making a positive contribution to our research mission.

Independent research BISC490 and research opportunities are determined by space available. We welcome students who want to make a contribution to our research. A minimum of a 2-semester commitment is required. If you are interested in our research, you must volunteer for at least one semester prior to your anticipated 490 enrollment, to see if you are the right fit for our lab, to be trained, and to develop a project. Minimum requirements for admission are satisfactory completion of Molecular Biology (BISC320), and a strong interest in DNA replication and chromosome dynamics. Completion of Genetics (BISC 325) is highly recommended. Students interested only in résumé building are not accepted-- you must be able to articulate a clear vision of why you want to join our lab! Students must be extremely reliable and responsible, and good team players. All students must sign a statement of expectations and policies. Failure to adhere to these policies is grounds for dismissal. Contact Prof Susan Forsburg.

Work-study:
a few work-study positions are available to provide laboratory support (dish-washing, media making, and related tasks). Students must have completed basic chemistry and be familiar with making molar solutions and dilutions. Students work under the supervision of the Lab Manager and must be diligent and responsible for this vital support position. Students must be extremely reliable and responsible, and good team players. All students must sign a statement of expectations and policies. Failure to adhere to these policies is grounds for dismissal. Contact Lab Manager Ji Ping Yuan.

Summer research Opportunities for summer research vary, depending on time, space, and funding. Some funding opportunities are listed at the bottom of this page.

Alumni Past undergraduates from The Forsburg Lab have gone on to medical school or graduate school at UCSF, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Loyola, UCSD, Oxford, Ross SoM, Rutgers, Georgetown among others.

Scholarship and fellowships for undergraduates

If you are a USC undergraduate looking for support for school (scholarships) or research fellowships, here are some useful links (USC rearranges these frequently; let us know if there are changes)