At the beginning of the summer, QB3-Berkeley offers a five-day Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp for undergraduates participating in summer research projects. The course is a molecular biology experimental primer, covering the basics of microbiology and molecular biology, research methods, safety and human practices, experimental design, and demonstrations of basic techniques likely to be encountered in a molecular biology lab. All instructors are UC Berkeley graduate students and postdocs. There is no charge or credit offered for the course, but participants who complete the course receive a certificate of completion.


The QB3 Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp is for undergraduates who will participate in summer research projects at UC Berkeley and have little or no previous research experience. Berkeley and non-Berkeley students are eligible. Note that you must have a faculty mentor who can verify your summer research placement in their lab. Preference is given to those who will be working in a QB3 faculty affiliate’s lab. Students must be available for a full (9 AM – 5 PM) five-day session–late starts and early finishes cannot be accommodated.


  • To train students in culturing bacteria and using sterile techniques molecular cloning (including PCR, plasmid preparation, restriction digests, ligation, and agarose gel electrophoresis), protein expression and purification, and enzyme activity assays.
  • To give students an understanding of the importance of sound experimental design, appropriate controls, and their impact on the interpretation of results.
  • To teach students how to use standard software such as Benchling for their molecular cloning experiments (identify restriction sites, plan digests and predict their products, or assemble plasmid maps).
  • To prepare students to fully and completely participate in a laboratory setting, including sessions on how to read a research article, a discussion about research ethics, and a career panel about the variety of jobs that are attainable after graduate school.

Bootcamp – Summer 2024


May 20 – 24, 2024
June 3 – 7, 2024

June 10 – 14, 2024

The Bootcamp Application for students to register is now open.

2024 Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp – Registration

If you have questions about the program, please email