Undergraduate Students

Volunteering as an undergraduate research assistant is an excellent way to gain hands-on experience and build an understanding of the research process for future graduate studies. Undergraduate students from Engineering (Biomedical, Mechanical, Material Science), Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Biomedical Science, Anthropology, Neuroscience, etc. have all been involved in IBRC research. In the IBRC, interested undergraduate students start as volunteers. If this is your first time doing research, we want to allow you to test out the waters at your own pace in order to determine if research is for you and if you enjoy the type of research we do. Volunteers are encouraged to spend as much time in the IBRC as their schedule allows in order to learn as much as they can and become fully immersed in all aspects of injury biomechanics research.

What to expect:

The Injury Biomechanics Research Center typically has around 10-20 undergraduate volunteers at any time. The IBRC prides itself on teamwork and readily welcomes student participation in all research and testing activities. Undergraduate students who are willing to dedicate time every week to work in the IBRC will gain knowledge of research equipment and processes that far exceed what is taught in the classroom environment.

  • Volunteers should be interested in and willing to learning about all functions of the IBRC testing process including but not limited to: preparing and acquiring data, setting up high speed cameras and recording videos, maintaining instrumentation, screening subjects for testing, etc.
  • Regular emails will be sent out to all laboratory members regarding any help needed. Volunteers should be on the lookout for these emails as they are great opportunities to learn and gain experience.
  • We encourage volunteers to gain experience in all areas of testing so that they gain knowledge of multiple projects and types of equipment. We do not assign volunteers to specific projects until they have helped with multiple projects and developed an interest for a specific research area.

Interested undergraduate students should email ibrc@osu.edu, contact the IBRC Administrator (Michelle Whitmer michelle.whitmer@osumc.edu),  or any other faculty member whom they are interested in working with to discuss volunteering. We are always interviewing and accepting new volunteers.

Volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional work ethic and a dedicated interest in the IBRC will be considered for a paid Undergraduate Research Assistant position.

Quotes from previous undergrads:

Chris MacClugage (Biomedical Engineering) – 2020

"I had a great time volunteering for the IBRC. I made many like-minded friends who were focused on working hard and helping the lab in whatever way possible. I had many good experiences and was able to learn a lot during my time volunteering. The IBRC provided me many opportunities to be a part of things that were nothing like anything I had ever done before. It was a great learning experience for me."

Leah Hefelfinger (Medical Laboratory Science) - 2020

"The IBRC was a place where I could get hands-on experience more so than I could have in any undergraduate anatomy course. As a pre-medicine student, this experience gave me unique exposure to research that was engaging and different from traditional laboratory bench work."

Rachel McNulty (Biology/Forensic Science) - 2020

"There is so much to learn from the leaders and there are so many opportunities for undergrads! Leading my own research projects was an incredible, unique learning experience. The IBRC was integral in supplementing my education at Ohio State, and I am so lucky to have been supported and mentored by this community!"

Talmadge Gaither (Biomedical Engineering) - 2019

"My experience in the IBRC as a student research assistant and team lead have provided me valuable leadership skills and application based experience for my field of study. I have utilized these skills after graduation while working at a small biotech company as a junior engineer and a non-profit organization as an engineering lead. The attention to detail, work ethic, and thirst for knowledge are prominent pillars of the IBRC and are instilled in those fortunate to experience this environment."

Kiel Pfefferle (Biomedical Engineering) – 2007

"Working with Dr. Bolte in the IBRC are some of my favorite memories during my undergrad education at THE Ohio State University. During my mechanical engineering education, I was having trouble figuring out what I was going to do beyond undergrad. It was during my time in the IBRC I decided to pursue medical school and an orthopedic residency. Combing my engineering knowledge and lessons learned in the IBRC gave me an advantage in medical school and residency. I am now the division head of adult reconstruction at Summa Health in Akron, Ohio. I believe working with Dr Bolte was critical to help catapult my education and career goals. I hold Dr Bolte as one of my greatest mentors and I have a great deal of gratitude for everything he has done for me. Go Bucks!"