Who can be involved in undergraduate research?
Anyone can be involved in undergraduate research! There are many ways to be involved, from volunteering in a lab, to receiving credit or departmental honors for research in biology. Which form your experience takes will depend on your mentor and your standing within the department.
Who can I do research with?
You can work with any research active faculty member, in any department – based on your having identified them as a research mentor and assuming they are willing to have you in their lab.
What are the goals of the research experience?
As a student, you have the opportunity to learn a lot of biology in your classes. It is also important, however, that your scientific education include learning not just what we know, but how we know it, and how the scientific process is used to generate new knowledge. You can be part of the process of creating new knowledge by participating in a research project under faculty supervision, and earn academic credit for doing so. We strongly encourage this hands-on research experience!
What’s the difference between Bio_Sci 4950/4952 and Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H?
Bio_Sci 4950/4952 is Research in Biological Sciences. Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H is Honors Research in Biological Sciences.
Both courses are similar in that you are expected to have your own personalized research project, that you will design in consultation with your faculty mentor, and to spend 4-5 hours per week per credit hour working on your project. Both are 1-3 hours of credit up to a total of 12 credit hours.
The Honors Research course (Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H) requires that you present your research, orally or as a poster, at a public research forum or in a paper prepared in the form of a scientific journal article. The Honors Research Course also requires you to complete and submit an Honors Research Application. The pre-requisites for the Honors course is also higher: you need an overall GPA of 3.3 or greater to enroll in Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H.
Why should I take Honors Program in Biological Sciences (Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H)?
The Honors Program in Biological Sciences allows qualified students to graduate with departmental honors, a distinction noted on the diploma and transcript. You can read more about the requirements and benefits of earning departmental honors on this page: https://honors-research.biology.missouri.edu/departmental-honors/
Can I use research experience as a Capstone experience?
Yes. You have to enroll in Bio_Sci 4950/4952 or Bio_Sci 4950H/4952H. You must complete at least 6 credit hours of undergraduate research with a grade of C- or greater, and your research must conclude with a poster presentation and/or a written report. The second course in the sequence must be completed within the last 45 hours of enrollment before graduation. The presentation can be part of an on-campus
symposium (e.g., the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum or Life Sciences Week) or a regional or national meeting of a scientific society.
Can research credits be used as elective credits?
Yes. Upon completion of a total of 6 credit hours, 3 credit hours may be applied as biology major elective credit toward a BA or BS in Biological Sciences. Any remaining hours may be applied as general elective hours toward graduation.
Are there any research programs that include paid assistantships?
Yes, the following programs are available for biological sciences majors
- Freshman Research in Plant Sciences (FRIPS)
- The Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program
- The EXPRESS Program (Exposure to Research for Science Students)
- College of Arts and Science Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program
- Honors College Discovery Fellows
- Cherng Scholars
What opportunities are there on campus to present my research?
These are the most common events at which undergrads can showcase their research.
- Life Sciences Week
- Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum (Spring and Summer)
- Interdisciplinary Plant Group’s Annual Symposium (May/June)
I have more questions. Who can I contact to get more information?
If you have additional questions after reading through this website, you can email Dr. David Schulz, who is the Director of Undergraduate Research for Biological Sciences, to schedule an appointment. His office is located in 106 Tucker Hall. You can also schedule an appointment with your professional advisor in our Undergraduate Advising Office. They too can answer questions you may have about doing research as an undergraduate.