Prospective Students

The McCowan-Vandeleest Laboratory is always looking to meet interested graduate, postdoc, and undergraduate students and interns. Prospective students are evaluated based on their academic performance, achievements, and professional potential.

We see student support as a critical aspect to advancing the fields of animal behavior, as developing experts with requisite skills in multidisciplinary research approaches is paramount in understanding the interactions between health, behavioral, and social processes at multiple levels. UC Davis is unique worldwide in training students for success in multidisciplinary education, which is continuously reinforced by the Graduate Group structure that encourages networking across disciplines and highly emphasizes educational and advisement sharing of graduate students. For example, the majority of our current graduate students list the combination of behavior, health, computational modeling, or epistemology as their interests and work collaboratively with several advisors to achieve their educational goals.

Graduate Students

It is encouraged that prospective graduate students have a clear understanding of their scientific and academic interests as they relate to the lab’s Research Areas in managed or free-ranging species. Though it is not a requirement that prospective students have identified specific projects they are interested on focusing on during their studies, a defined academic interest is beneficial in identifying placement. Many of the lab’s graduate students are involved in planning collaborative research projects and gain the necessary experience to work in future collaboration on multiple organizational and governmental levels, both within and outside the US. Because of this, the McCowan-Vandeleest Lab favors those who are self-motivated and possess sound knowledge of scientific methodologies, critical thinking skills, and have high regard for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to meet with Dr. McCowan and current lab members to discuss their scientific interests. Additionally, prospective graduate students should consult their interests and aptitude for one of the following Graduate Groups:

Postdoctoral Scholars

The McCowan-Vandeleest Lab is always interested in discussing potential collaborations with advanced graduate students. It is recommended that doctoral candidates interested in a Postdoctoral position with the McCowan-Vandeleest Lab align with our research interests and seek multidisciplinary collaborations with current lab members.

Undergraduates and Interns

Undergraduate internships are available within the McCowan-Vandeleest Lab on multiple projects. Due to the sensitivity of many research projects and the high amount of investment in training interns, it is requested that those interested can commit to multiple quarters, if not years of study. Interns will work closely with a graduate student, postdoc, or staff mentor and will receive 199 credit under Dr. McCowan.

Undergraduates showing particular motivation, knowledge, and skill are welcome to request independent study under Dr. McCowan. It should be noted that those with lengthy service to the McCowan Lab are better position to work collaboratively in the analysis of data for senior projects for publication, so please contact us early in your undergraduate career!

Non-credit volunteer internships may also available to those interested in developing professional skill sets.