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First Friday in October: The Annual NS Open Research Lab Day!


By Laura Wagner

Update: New registration link and more details now available online

The first Monday in October is famous for marking the beginning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s new session. The first Friday in October marks a similarly important annual event: the Natural Sciences (NS) Open Research Lab Day.

Held at the Sciences and Technology Building (STB) and labs in One Main Building (OMB), NS Open Research Lab Day is an invitation to all UHD students interested in on-campus research opportunities in Natural Sciences. A panel discussion will offer useful information about off-campus research programs as well.

michaeltobin 2Now in its third iteration, NS Open Research Lab Day was started in 2021 by NS Associate Professor Yuan Yuan (Connie) Kang. This fall, NS Associate Professor Michael Tobin is taking the helm. 

“CST has a long tradition of involving undergraduate students in research through our 3300 Undergraduate Independent Research course,” Tobin said. “That allows undergrads to pursue research with a faculty member in Biology, Chemistry, or Geology. NS Open Research Lab Day gives students the opportunity to see all the research options available to them in these disciplines.” 

connie kang2Accessibility was the impetus behind Kang’s original launch of the effort. “Our goal was to expose students to the full variety of faculty research they could participate in via the 3300 course and encourage earlier signup,” said Kang. “From the freshman level all the way up, we want students to have an equal opportunity to pursue the area of research that interests them, and to have the longest amount of time possible with that research and that professor.” 

Tobin agreed, adding, “The research collaboration is more beneficial for both student and faculty the earlier they start, so we have more time together over the course of their college career.”

NS Open Research Lab Day offers students several convenient ways to participate: 

  • Through onsite tours, which can be scheduled at times convenient for the student via the registration process. 
  • Through videos of faculty members explaining their research areas. 
  • Through flyers that describe the different labs’ focuses. 

Please fill out a survey before Oct. 6 to help the event organizers plan the day’s activities: Fill out the pre-registration survey online. Pre-registering will enter your name in a drawing for a Starbucks gift card! And you’ll receive information on the NS Open Research Lab Day tours that will be available. 

Scheduled activities:

  • An array of fun and informational lab tours (30 minutes each) that will allow students to talk one-on-one with research faculty and participate in hands-on activities. 
  • The opportunity to explore more than 15 Biology, Chemistry, and Geology research labs.
  • A panel discussion with students, alumni, and faculty at noon in the Fondren Commons on the first floor of the CST building.

Check out last year’s event in the photos and and pre-register today! 


Event: Open Research Lab Day

Date: Oct. 6, 2023

Time: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; panel discussion at noon

Place: College of Sciences and Technology Building

For more information and to sign up: Pre-register online


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.