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Undergraduate Research

Guidelines for Arranging an Independent Research Position

Due to the large number of undergraduate students and University Scholars, both within and outside the Department, who seek to participate in the ongoing research programs of BMB faculty, it has become necessary to establish guidelines for arranging Independent Research 496. Thus, the following policy will be in effect:

  1. Review the listing of faculty who have open positions for research interests and qualifications the individual requires to participate in 496 work in his or/her lab (i.e., minimum GPA or semester standing). Select four faculty laboratories with whom you would be most interested to work with and indicate them on the application information sheet. Faculty will not consider a student for a 496 project without seeing a completed 496-Applicant Information Sheet.

  2. From the list of faculty members who have 496-positions available, the student will select four of the faculty with whom they would be most interested to work and indicate their selection on the back of the application form.

  3. SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICANT INFORMATION SHEET IS DUE THE END OF THE 8TH WEEK OF CLASSES FOR 496 POSITIONS TO BE FILLED THE FOLLOWING SEMESTER. The deadline for admission to summer session and fall semester positions will be the eighth week of the preceding spring semester.
  4. Following receipt of the completed Applicant Information Sheet, the Department office will distribute copies of the Information Sheet and the student's transcript to the faculty listed by the student. If interested, a faculty member will contact the student to arrange an appointment to discuss the possibility of working in his/her laboratory.
  5. If an appointment is arranged, the student should be prepared to discuss such topics as:
    1. the number of credits to be scheduled,
    2. the time commitment involved, and
    3. his/her future goals.  During the 10th and 11th weeks of the semester, faculty will hold interviews, make a decision, extend their offer(s) and request a response from the applicants. Faculty will notify the department office as their 496-positions are filled.
  6. If a student does not hear from any faculty member within 3 weeks, the student may submit another application and select another group of faculty who still have 496 openings at that time. This process may continue until all available faculty have been notified of the student's interest in securing a 496 position.
  7. Students in majors other than BMB, Bioch, Micrb, or MCB must register for BMB 496 to work with faculty in the BMB Department.
  8. Upon acceptance by a BMB faculty member for a 496 project, the student must obtain the signature of the faculty member on a 496-Approval Form and return it to the BMB Undergraduate Office to register for the course officially. It is not possible to preregister for 496 courses on LionPATH. The 496-Approval Form must be signed by the faculty member and returned via email to the BMB Undergraduate Office each semester the student undertakes 496-Independent Research.
  9. BMB 496 Applications must be submitted online.

BMB Students who arrange to do Independent Research with faculty who are not on the approved list will NOT be permitted to register for BMB 496. For example, a student who arranges to do research with a faculty member in Food Science must schedule FD SC 496 NOT BMB 496. If it can be demonstrated that the work done in other departments is sound biochemistry, microbiology, or molecular/cell biology, the student may petition to count the course as BMB 496 to fulfill degree requirements. Petitions must be supported and signed by the student's professional adviser and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. But, using the example above, the course will still appear as FD SC 496 on the academic transcript.  Request a substitution of non-BMB independent research credits.


496 Credit Limitations

  1. For each credit of 496 taken during the regular Fall and Spring semesters, the student is expected to contribute at least 5 hours of in-lab work per week. (For example, then, for 2 credits of 496, a student is expected to contribute at least 10 hours per week). A student is permitted to schedule a maximum of 3 credits for Fall and Spring semesters.
  2. For Summer session, a student is permitted to schedule a maximum of 4 credits of 496.