Science is a fun and exciting career path that requires many years of training to be successful. Moreover, the labs scientific questions can not be tackled if trainees are not improving their skills, knowledge and career path along the way. Therefore, effective mentorship is essential for the success of all trainees, including K-12 students, undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs and collaborators. It is the fundamental philosophy of the lab that the only measure of success is the success of all trainees, and this success begins with effective mentorship.

Our lab works together to develop a formal description of our philosophy, guidelines and rules for ourselves. All trainees routinely contribute to updating our lab philosophy to ensure that all trainees mentorship needs and expectations are understood and our goals met.

Olson Lab – lab philosophy

Joining the Olson Lab

The Olson lab is always looking for trainees at all levels. The Olson lab is an inclusive environment that supports training for students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The lab develops personalized approaches to mentorship of all students to ensure their scientific and career goals are met. I especially encourage women, minorities and those under represented in STEM to join the lab. The lab is a member of Safe Zone and we participate in numerous programs to promote diversity, inclusion and equality.


Potential post-docs should contact Brad Olson to discuss current opportunities. The best way to get started is to send a email with your CV and a short overview your research interests in the Olson lab and your long term career goals. It is always best if you contact me sooner, rather than later to express your interest so we can ensure that funding is in place to support you in the lab.

Graduate students

The Olson lab takes both PhD and MS student in the Biology program and the Interdepartmental Genetics program. If you are interested in pursing your graduate degree in the Olson lab, contact me to discuss opportunities. Usually it is best to contact me before you apply to the program, so I can help you through the application and interview process. All potential students are welcome to contact me prior to applying to either programs. All students accepted to the Biology graduate program are guaranteed full support of the stipend and tuition as long as they are making satisfactory progress toward their degree. This is great for students as your graduate experience is not tied to external funding. Please send a CV and a few sentences describing your research interests in the lab.

KSU Undergraduate students

The lab typically has 4-6 undergrads that all participate in research. I usually meet personally with all potential students, so email me to schedule a time to sit down and chat about opportunities.

SUROP, KINBRE and REU summer students

I typically fund 1-2 summer SUROP, KINBRE and/or REU students. If you are interested in any of these programs, please contact me by email. SUROP and KINBRE students will need to be accepted into the program by submitting an application. Summer REU students need to contact me and submit and application directly to me by April 15th of each year.