MDI Biological Laboratory

Undergraduate Student FAQs

What type of housing can I expect?

Undergraduate fellowships include housing and board at no cost to the awardee. The MDI Biological Laboratory offers on-campus housing that is within a minute’s walk of the laboratories and the Dining Hall. Birch and Spruce Halls, the two main undergraduate student residences, feature the amenities of a traditional college dormitory. Each dorm is co-ed and has eight double occupancy rooms and two gender-specific shared bathrooms. A resident advisor is available to assist dormitory residents.

The residence halls have quiet hours and are substance free. Overnight guests are not permitted, nor are pets and appliances.

Fellows must arrange for their own transportation.

Who will be my roommate?

Your roommate will be one of your peers. All roommates are same-gender. Roommates are assigned by the Education Office.

Where will I eat?

Everything you need is available in the dining hall. Our wonderful kitchen team will accommodate special diet requests to the best of their ability.

Lunch (12–1 pm) and dinner (6–7 pm) are prepared Monday–Friday. Breakfast is self-serve every day. On the weekends, students are provided with lunch makings and the cooks prepare dinners.

Who else will be at the MDI Biological Laboratory?

The summer community is composed of visiting scientists from institutions around the world, and post-doctoral, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. The residential scientific staff and the summer community are highly interactive. Prominent scientists come to the laboratory to give seminars and workshops. Students are provided opportunities to interact with guest speakers and are expected to attend seminars. In addition, Courses and Conferences are held on campus throughout the summer, offering informal interaction with a large range of scientific community members from around the globe.

What will my work hours be?

Most students work a typical 7-8 hour week-day with breaks for meals.

Student work hours depend on experiments and seminars, and sometimes students start early or work late, depending on what is going on in the lab.  Students may not work in the laboratories unsupervised. Students are expected to attend seminars throughout their stay; most seminars are scheduled on weekday late afternoons. Sometimes a weekend conference will be held on the laboratory campus and usually students are invited to attend the sessions, but for the most part weekends are free for student-initiated activities.

What activities are there outside the lab?

Fellowship students attend a weekly Communications Class. The class is focused on providing students with information, guidance and practice communicating their research orally and with posters.

Undergraduate fellowship students attend a Bioentrepreneurship workshop, focused on preparing students to explore entrepreneurial approaches to science and the associated ethical and socioeconomic implications.

Many seminars are offered while students are in residence. Students are highly encouraged to attend. The invited speakers are highly respected scientists from around the world and our venue is intimate, providing an exceptional opportunity to engage in conversation with these amazing scientists.

Mount Desert Island offers a plethora of summer activities. Using the free Island Explorer public transportation system, students can travel around Acadia National Park and into Bar Harbor.

There are many activities in the Park, from hiking mountains and the Carriage Roads to cycling, rock climbing, kayaking, sailing, and swimming. Bar Harbor offers even more attractions, including whale-watching excursions and shopping.

There are sports competitions with summer students at The Jackson Laboratory, including Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, and sandpit volleyball.

What types of research are conducted at the MDI Biological Laboratory?

Research at the MDI Biological Laboratory.

May I choose my mentor?

Undergraduate research fellowship applicants may request consideration by three specific mentors or placement in preferred research areas on their application. The Education Office and the mentors will consider your preferences when making placements.

May I bring my car?

Undergraduates may bring a car and free parking is in regular campus lots.

How do I get to the MDI Biological Laboratory?

Directions to the MDI Biological Laboratory.

How do I apply?

Undergraduates may submit an application for summer fellowship online. Applications for the next summer season open each fall.