Finding a research position in a Biology faculty lab or outside lab can take some time. Students are responsible for networking to find positions. Students can contact Biology faculty whose research interests them, talk to the Teaching Fellows in their Biology classes, or find faculty research projects posted on the UROP website. When contacting a faculty member, be sure to include your resume, transcript, and a short description of your goals (2 credit research, 4 credit research, Honors, etc.).
Please note: students may not receive academic credit and funding in the same semester.
Freshmen through seniors are eligible to apply for Undergraduate Research in Biology.
Seniors with a 3.5 GPA are eligible to apply for Honors Research in Biology.
Undergraduate Research in Biology
Undergraduate Research in Biology allows students to receive academic credit for research conducted within or outside the Biology Department. Students are not expected to be technicians or laboratory assistants, but rather semi-independent, intellectual contributors to a research project.
Courses & Credits:
Freshman BI 191/192 (2 credits)
Sophomore BI 291/292 (2 credits)
Junior BI 391/392 (2 or 4 credits)
Senior BI 491/492 (4 credits)
Note: Up to two 4-credit courses may be counted as major electives and one of those may count toward the three-lab requirement. Students do not need to take two consecutive semesters of research (e.g., students can take BI 391 and BI 491).
During fall or spring semester, students are expected to conduct research for 3 hours/week per credit. During the summer 1 or summer 2 session, students are expected to work 8 hours/week per credit.
- Determine which faculty members (or outside researchers) are conducting research in the area of biology you are interested in. Then contact the individual(s) directly to determine if they have openings in their lab.
- Alternatively, you can ask the Teaching Fellows in your courses if there are openings in the labs they work in or if they know of anyone looking for undergrad help.
- Once you have a faculty or outside research mentor, you may then apply for Undergraduate Research.
Please note: if you are conducting research outside the Biology Department, you will also need to ask a Biology faculty member to sponsor you (i.e., he/she will act as a liaison between the Biology Department and the outside researcher). Your sponsor is usually your faculty advisor but could also be another faculty member with whom you have a good relationship and who is familiar with the field of research in which you will be engaged. Both your PI and the Biology faculty sponsor must approve your application.
Applications are due by the date listed at the top of the Undergraduate Research application. Students must be participating in research during the semester(s) of application and thus cannot apply for Undergraduate Research for previously conducted research.
Honors Research in Biology
The Honors Research in Biology Program provides students with an opportunity to work closely with faculty who serve as intellectual and technical mentors in students’ exploration of biological research. Honors students also participate in a 2-credit research seminar, which provides exposure to a broad range of current science in the Biology research community. The Honors Program culminates in a written senior thesis defended before a faculty committee.
1) Senior standing
2) Overall GPA of > 3.5
3) Approval of the Honors Program application by the Biology Department’s Research & Honors Committee.
Please see the Honors application found on the Biology Forms webpage.
Please see the Honors Thesis document for formatting and content instructions.