Research Project Survey

Purpose of the research:  You are being asked to participate in a research project that is being conducted by Dr. Gabriel Lopez (UNM Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering) and Dr. William Gannon (UNM Graduate Studies and Department of Biology).  The purpose of this research is to describe characteristics and motivations of students who have entered the university as undergraduate and graduate students to pursue research in synthetic cell biology. You are being asked to participate because you are a graduate (master’s, doctoral) or senior undergraduate student at UNM enrolled in the fall course 2022 Synthetic Cells and Organelles: Research & Impacts (3 credit hours; CBE 515-001, BME 598, and NSMS 595; undergraduate CBE 499 and Biol 402).

What you will do in the project: Should you participate in this research, you will be asked to:  1. Complete a short Google Form Survey of (sections 1, 2) demographic information (takes about 8-10 minutes to complete), and another (section 3) short survey about your journey to graduate school, barriers encountered, and your hopes for a future research career (takes about 15 minutes to complete).  2. Participate in one Zoom-recorded focus group interview (of about 12-18 people for 1.5 to 2 hours over ZOOM after the semester has ended and grades have been submitted for the course; likely the week of 19 December 2022. 3. Write a short exit reflection after the focus group interview to elaborate your thoughts. The surveys will ask questions such as, “How long have you been a graduate (or undergraduate) student at UNM?”, “Please indicate the race(s)/ethnicity(ies) that you most closely identify with” (standard list provided), “If other members of your family have gone to college, please list their relation and highest degree attained.”  Your involvement in the research is voluntary, and you may choose not to participate. You can refuse to answer questions at any time. There are no names or identifying information associated with your responses. There are no known risks in this research, but some individuals may experience discomfort or loss of privacy when answering questions.

Data will consist of recordings and written reflections and will be stored on the researcher’s personal computer that only they have access to. A copy of data will be stored on One-Drive Cloud as a backup, only accessible by the researchers using a password-protected two factor authentication. All data (recordings, transcripts, responses, etc) will be destroyed at the end of the study.  All identifiable information will be removed from the information collected in this project. After we remove all identifiers, the information may be used for future research or shared with other researchers without your additional informed consent. Participants may or may not receive direct benefit from participation. Participation may help students gain insight into what opportunities and hardships that may affect them or their fellow researcher/students. By the end of the study, they may know more about the research environment and benefits or hardships of attending graduate school at UNM. Information from the study may also be vital in helping encourage other students, who might not have considered this area of research, to become involved in STEM fields; highly innovative and cutting-edge funded research. If published, results will be presented in summary form only. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about the research, please feel free to Dr. Lopez (505-269-9639, or Dr. Gannon (505-249-7906, for further information. If you have questions regarding your rights as a research participant, or about what you should do in case of any harm to you, or if you want to obtain information or offer input, please contact the UNM Office of the IRB (OIRB) at (505) 277-2644 or If you agree to participate in this research, please complete both surveys available through the links below. (You will need to be signed into a Google account the complete the surveys.)