Undergraduate Research in the Department of Biological Sciences

How Can Undergraduate Research Help Me?Turtle-08-2-710x300

  1. Develops useful scientific skills for ANY CAREER in biology.
  2. Provides EXCELLENT PREPARATION for graduate and professional school.
  3. Can add VALUABLE CONTENT to your resume, especially if you are awarded grant money or present findings at a conference.
  4. Can help your professors write informative and convincing RECOMMENDATION LETTERS.
  6. EARNS CREDIT toward degree requirements.

How do I become involved?2013-Research-Creativity-Day-300x225

  • Check out the biology professors’ research interests.
  • If you find a professor with whom you’d like to work, make an appointment with her/him to discuss possibilities.
  • Complete the approval process with the Department of Biological Sciences Chair, Dianne Baker.

What support is available for undergraduate research projects?

What are my options?dept photos 9_06_12 027

 URES 197.  University Research.

URES 197 is a course in which a student conducts individual or group research as a part of a faculty member’s research project. This guided research experience course is open to all students, including first- and second-year students, who meet the qualifications set by the faculty member in charge of the research project.  Students serve as research apprentices who conduct important tasks with the faculty member on his or her project and learn about the process and products of the research as a result.

Information about  URES 197, including how to sign-up for a project.

Biol 491.  Special Problems in Biology.Marium lab

Biology 491 is an independent study course consisting of an undergraduate laboratory or field research project supervised by a faculty member and is only open to junior and senior biology majors. After completing Biol 481 (Readings in Biology), students planning to enroll must submit a research proposal for departmental approval before enrollment is authorized. Students should approach individual faculty members during their sophomore year to inquire about research opportunities and project possibilities.

The Summer Science InstituteSSI 2013 group

The University of Mary Washington’s Summer Science Institute is a program that offers UMW science majors an opportunity to participate in a summer-long research project supervised by a faculty member. The institute runs concurrently with the summer sessions (mid-May through mid-July). Room, board, and a stipend are provided to participating students.

Opportunities are limited. Interested students should contact Dr. Jeb Collins (Dept. of Mathematics) or respond to advertisements posted in Jepson.

Department of Biological Sciences Honors Program.

The Honors Research Program of the Department of Biological Sciences is a research-intensive program designed to offer a special set of opportunities and challenges to students who have demonstrated the ability to master complex biological concepts, think analytically and are likely to successfully engage in an independent research environment.  The program is the most challenging and potentially most rewarding research opportunity the Department offers its majors. It is designed to lead the undergraduate researcher through a true, complete research project, from the development of an original research question and the drafting of a formal research proposal, through the collection and analysis of data, to the drawing of formal conclusions that add new knowledge to our understanding of the biological world. The Honors student is required to write a formal thesis, a copy of which is held in the library’s collection, and deliver an oral presentation to department faculty and other interested parties.

Detailed information about the Department’s Honors Program.