Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Vermulst Lab Members working with pipettes

The USC Leonard Davis School offers numerous opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research.

Conducting research at USC Leonard Davis is a great way to get to know faculty, graduate students, and other undergraduates who share similar academic and career interests. Students participating in research at our school have published papers, presented at conferences and won numerous awards.

Explore this section to learn more about opportunities to contribute to the exciting research taking place at the USC Leonard Davis School. Some positions may include funding from our school, university or outside sources and be open to applicants from across USC and/or from outside institutions.


Below is a list of some laboratories that are currently accepting applications for undergraduate research.

The USC Leonard Davis School offers gerontology research opportunities through USC’s signature program that honors students who engage in undergraduate research or artistic endeavor with faculty guidance.

In the Cohen lab (seen above, with Research Assistant Professor Junxiang Wan), Dr. Renee Reams, Stephanie Rivera-Correa and Taliah Qaiyim learned about the lab’s in-house ELISA assays to detect mitochondrial peptides and mitochondrial DNA copy number assays. The team also visited the USC Institute of Translational Genomics, led by Keck School of Medicine Professor John Carpten, where Reams and students obtained isolated total RNA from tissues derived from prostate tumors in black men for RNA sequencing.
Diversity in Research

USC offers programs for students and postdocs at USC that support diversity and scholarship in research, as a foundation toward future efforts.

National Institute on Aging’s Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) Initiative


Information about the USC Leonard Davis School’s commitment to the ADAR Initiative will be shared soon.

Jahzhseed Hancock in lab

CaRE² funds training opportunities for Black and Latino investigators, from students to early-career scientists, in order to increase the workforce focused on translational cancer and enhancing our scientific community.

Work Study


Some approved work-study lab research positions may be available to students who are eligible to receive work-study funds. Visit the USC Career Center webpage for information about the Work-Study Job Fair and for all student job openings. For more information about federal work-study, refer to USC’s webpage.

If you are interested in an undergraduate research position in one of our labs, please reach out to Sara Robinson: sararobi@usc.edu

Visit the USC Office of Undergraduate Education to learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at USC.


Undergraduate Research and Awards

Q&A with Bachelor’s in Lifespan Health grad Astoria Ho

Astoria Ho ’21 wants to merge her interests in aging and technology to positively transform the lives of older adults and their families.

Q&A with undergraduate student Ryan Doyloo

Ryan Doyloo, a senior graduating from the Human Development and Aging program, shares his experience as an undergraduate student and president of the Student Gerontology Association.

Q&A with undergraduate student Ariana Chen

Ariana Chen, a senior graduating from the Human Development and Aging program, shares her experience as an undergraduate student and intern at NCEA.

Undergraduate student Luly Bustamante hopes to spread awareness of gerontology

Luly Bustamante, a senior studying Human Development and Aging at the USC Leonard Davis School, hopes to spread awareness of the importance of gerontology.

Twins head to USC after being named high school valedictorian and salutatorian

The high-achieving sisters, both USC Presidential Scholars, eye careers in medicine while studying at USC Leonard Davis and USC Dornsife.

Scientific Summer Vacation

USC Leonard Davis faculty members host student researchers from Howard University, UC Davis, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

Master of Science in Gerontology student Stephanie Bolton makes an impact

Even with her busy academic schedule, Master of Science in Gerontology student Stephanie Bolton has taken on several extraordinary roles both within and outside of USC.

USC Leonard Davis Students Win Awards at Undergraduate Symposium

Three USC Leonard Davis undergraduate students were recently recognized for their scientific achievements at the 20th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work on April 11. Sandhyarani (Sandhya) Gullapalli, mentored […]

Extraordinary undergraduate research focuses on cells’ ability to repair oxidative damage

Two USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology undergraduate researchers earned prestigious awards for research focused on sex differences in cells’ ability to repair oxidative stress.