Student Research
Frequently Asked Questions

Research Questions

  1. Are there many research groups with industry connections?
    There is a small number of research advisors performing joint research with industrial partners. Opportunities for MBP students to engage with industry in these labs will depend on intellectual property and other contractual obligations. However, the MBP offers opportunities (7-10 projects per year) to conduct research at local companies instead of Northwestern University laboratories. These companies include Pfizer, Ohmx, Exicure, Nanocytomics, and BriteSeed. International students choosing to conduct research at local companies are limited to 3 month long internships due to a visa requirement.

  2. How many hours per week will I be spending in the lab?
    We require our students to spend at least 20 hours/week in the lab during the winter and spring quarters. They will be awarded 1.5 units/quarter for these efforts. In the summer quarter, students continue research full-time (40 hours/week for 12 weeks) and receive 3.5 units. The research requirement is completed in the second fall quarter at a rate of at least 15 hours per week for a total of 1 additional unit. Students doing an internship during the first summer and fall quarters will complete 4.5 units of research (about 600 hours) during the second winter and spring quarters. An MBP graduate accumulates a total of at least 6 months of full-time research (7.5 units).

  3. How will I manage my time between taking courses and doing research in the lab?
    The MBP accommodates research by scheduling all the required and core courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, leaving Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays allocated for research. Students are encouraged to choose their electives judiciously, so that they do not fragment the three days allocated for research. Students doing research on the Chicago campus or in the industry should consider the time spent in commuting between campuses.

  4. How can I get more information about research? Can I contact research preceptors myself?
    You can get more information about research by exploring the websites/articles of the research advisors listed on our website. You can also contact us with any specific question about research. We discourage students from contacting research advisors prior to enrollment in the MBP. We have a structure and mechanism in the fall quarter that allows for sufficient interactions between students and advisors.

  5. How would my decision to do an internship affect my research project?
    Your decision to do an internship may affect your choice of a research project. While most research advisors do not object to students splitting the research project into two parts, others may insist on an uninterrupted research project. In the latter case, you will still have an opportunity to enroll in an internship after you have completed all five quarters of the MBP coursework and research.

Additional Questions

If you have a student research question which is not discussed here, please email the program