Research Opportunities in Biology
There are a number of options for undergraduates to pursue meaningful research opportunities. Some students volunteer in the labs of a Georgia Southern Faculty member or they serve as support personnel and are paid as a work study student. Others earn academic credit for involvement in an ongoing research project (see below). Some students do research because they plan to as a member of the University Honors Program, which requires a Senior Honors project and thesis.
Many undergraduate students want hands on research experience before they commit to entering a graduate degree program. This is an excellent idea.
A good first step for any student interested in undergraduate research is to talk to faculty in the Biology department and tell them about your interest in undergraduate research and career aspirations. Then once you find what sounds interesting, volunteer to assist faculty members with a project, or for a few week, or over the summer to see if you would like to pursue work in that area.
Grants in support of research
Grant money is available to support research via the College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR). The mission of COUR is to further the undergraduate research experience. COUR has an annual research competition and awards research grants to outstanding applicants. Currently, grants up to $2500.00 are awarded to cover research expenses and travel to national meetings. COUR also sponsors research symposium each year in April where undergraduate researchers from across the college present their research.
Application materials can be found at the COUR website.
There are also scholarships that support research experiences for Biology undergraduates. Visit scholarships page.
Options to receive academic credit
Undergraduate Research: BIOL 4890/4890S
Besides volunteering, this is the most common way studentâ€™s gain research experience. In this course, Biology majors will conduct a research project under the supervision of faculty. The sponsoring faculty member and student will design the type of study to be conducting and the evaluation criteria. The student will submit a poster presentation of the results at the end of the semester. A maximum of five credit hours of BIOL 4890 may be counted toward Biology Elective course work. Prerequisites: BIOL 2107, BIOL 2107L, BIOL 2108, BIOL 2108L, minimum GPA of 2.75, and junior standing.
Honors Research: BIOL 4895H
This independent research course is like 4890, but is for students enrolled in the Departmental Honors program. This course is required for students attempting to earn Departmental Honors in Biology. Students may register for 1-3 credit hours, but must complete 4 credit hours. Students opting to attempt the honors degree program would be precluded from receiving biology elective credit for BIOL 4890. Prerequisites: Junior level or above; good standing in the University Honors Program (3.3 GPA or higher).
Written and oral presentation of results of independent research is required. Honors thesis must follow the guidelines adopted by the University Honors Program. This course is required for students attempting to earn Departmental Honors in Biology. Prerequisites: A minimum grade of “C” in 4 credit hours of BIOL 4895H; good standing in the University Honors Program (3.3 GPA or higher).
The University Honors Program
The University Honors Program (UHP) provides a small college atmosphere in the context of a large comprehensive university. The program is designed to foster the development of a critical sense of inquiry, a spirit of creativity, a global perspective, and an ethic of civic responsibility. A hallmark of the program is the emphasis on bringing ideas to life through undergraduate research, experiential learning, and service-learning opportunities.
Approximately 175 new students are admitted to the University Honors Program each year and those students compete for $1,500 renewable scholarships. Incoming freshman can compete for a 1906 Scholarships (full tuition).
Admission to the University Honors Program is competitive. For more information, call the University Honors Program at 912-478-7926 or visit the UHP website.
Last updated: 11/30/2015