Frequently Asked Questions


What is ROOTS?

The Biology Research Opportunity and Orientation for Transfer Students (ROOTS) promotes transfer student success by helping incoming students gain useful skills and critical connections with the UCSD research community immediately upon matriculation.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, ROOTS is a four-week workshop prior to the start of fall quarter for incoming transfer students.  Students build laboratory skills in a supportive setting while meeting other transfer students and networking with UCSD Biology faculty seeking student researchers.

What do students participating in ROOTS do?

Learn research skills: ROOTS is a four-week, full-day workshop that runs from 10 AM to 4 PM daily in newly-built Division of Biology teaching laboratories.  Monday through Thursday students will work in teams to assist in real research projects while learning basic molecular biology skills that are broadly useful across model systems.  Students will learn how to isolate nucleic acids, how to genotype organisms, clone genes and generate expression constructs, analyze gene expression, and evaluate protein expression through western blotting.

Learn about research opportunities at UCSD: Each Friday is dedicated to learning more about research opportunities available.  Faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students seeking undergraduate researchers will give short talks about their work and meet ROOTS students through informal networking hours.  ROOTS students will also tour laboratories in diverse research disciplines within the Division of Biology.

Build a supportive network of peers and mentors: By working with a team of peer incoming transfer students, ROOTS participants will develop a network of fellow students before the school year begins.  Through networking with UCSD students and faculty enthusiastic about mentoring incoming student researchers, ROOTS participants will meet diverse faculty and find positions as student researchers in laboratories.

Who is eligible for ROOTS?

Incoming transfer students accepted into UCSD to start in the Fall quarter are eligible for ROOTS.  Although you must be accepted by UCSD to participate in ROOTS, you may apply prior to receiving acceptance.  The ROOTS program is targeted to students joining the Division of Biology and to those without prior research experience. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents (AB 540 or DACA students are eligible), and demonstrate academic aptitude and achievement.

When is ROOTS?

ROOTS is a four-week, full-day workshop that runs from 10 AM to 4 PM daily (M-F).  The dates for 2022 are from Monday August 15 to Friday September 9.

Is ROOTS free to attend?

ROOTS is funded by the National Science Foundations and is free to attend for all students admitted.

How do I apply for ROOTS?

To apply for ROOTS, applicants should submit a personal statement, CV or resume, and a letter of recommendation.  All materials are due by June, 25th.  Detailed application instructions and information are available at the following link: