Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory has established programs for undergraduate education to enhance scientific training in the biological sciences.
MDIBL provides the highest quality training for undergraduate students considering careers in research or medicine. MDIBL is a highly collaborative, collegial, and informal research environment, where students and scientists design and conduct experiments together.
The Research Experience
Each summer, over 40 undergraduates from around the United States participate in a research fellowship at MDIBL. Undergraduate students work in the laboratory of an MDIBL investigator on an independent project designed by the student and their mentor. Laboratory training includes techniques in molecular biology, physiology, and bioinformatics. Projects generally include the comparative study of a marine animal such as a shark, skate, or sea urchin. While most projects are laboratory-based, some include a field component. In pursuing their independent research project, students attend weekly seminars given by MDIBL scientists and invited speakers from other institutions discussing a variety of topics in the biological and environmental sciences.
NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates at MDIBL
Students may select a summer research mentor from among the Lab’s full time or visiting faculty whose research matches their personal scientific interests and career goals. Students applying to the Maine INBRE undergraduate program may select a mentor from MDIBL or one one of several Maine INBRE institutions.
Undergraduate summer research fellowships are 8 – 10 weeks long. Students are typically housed in either Spruce or Birch Hall. Meals are served in the MDIBL Co-op (called Co-op because students are responsible for their own meals on weekends).
Weekends are typically free and students enjoy recreational activities including hiking in Acadia National Park, swimming in one of Acadia’s pristine ponds, biking, running, sand pit volleyball, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, kayaking, or just relaxing on the Lab dock.
Admissions and Funding
Summer Research Fellowship applications are generally accepted in late fall, with an application deadline in early January. Most fellowships cover all expenses (room, board, travel) and pay a weekly stipend.