Neuroscience Research Practicum & Laboratories

Research Practicum

A research practicum introduces students to faculty-directed research in a basic science or clinical science setting. Typically, the course will include readings from primary and review literature, data collection and analysis, and regular discussions among students, faculty and other research associates working under the direction of the principal investigator. The research practicum is for preliminary academic and “hands-on” research activities, which are important in their own right, but should be distinguished from the more formally planned and intensive course of independent study. For many students, independent study with the same faculty mentor will follow the research practicum. However, the research practicum should be an appropriate means for students and faculty to explore the potential for independent study and the greater level of commitment required from both parties. Although desirable in most cases, students and faculty should recognize that successful completion of the research practicum does not obligate either student or faculty to subsequent independent study.

The course is worth a half-credit and is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading only basis. Please note: no course credit can be awarded for paid work.

Before registration, the student must submit a Research Practicum form via email to Tyler Lee ( by the first Friday of the first week of classes.


Many Duke faculty welcome undergraduate student participation in their laboratories. Browse DIBS faculty as well as Psychology & Neuroscience faculty that may currently have undergraduate opportunities available. For a list of mentors who've provided guidance to past seniors as they've written theses, check out the Graduation with Distinction page.