Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities are ALIVE at RIC!

Attention RIC Undergraduate and Graduate Students:

Want to get your hands on biology? Now you can get participate in the many research opportunities in the RIC Biology Department.

Hands-On Science!

Although a research project is required for some degree candidates (for example, Secondary Education Majors in Biology), it is optional for others. Engaging in and completing a research project will provide valuable hands-on experience in the sciences that will enhance the marketability of your RIC degree, whether you choose to continue your education or enter the workforce directly after graduation.

Get Credit and/or Get Paid!

Research may be undertaken at either the undergraduate or the graduate level. Undergraduates may register for up to four credits per semester in Biology 491-494: Problems in Biology. This would serve as a biology elective. Up to four credits are allowed for a standard degree, while up to six credits are allowed for students eligible for Department Honors. Graduate students may register for up to six credits per semester for a total of six credits per degree in Biology 691-696: Directed Research. In addition, some faculty have funds to pay student researchers. In this case, the student does not need to register for credit.

Apply Today!

Instructor approval is necessary before the student can register for any research course. There is an "Application for Independent Study and/or Directed Study" form that must be filled out and submitted by November 15th if the research project is to be undertaken in the spring, and by April 15th if the project is to be undertaken in the summer or fall. This form includes a proposal section where the project, the evaluation procedure, and meeting times are described. Depending upon the instructor, the student may have to develop this proposal section on his or her own. Also, some instructors prefer to have research students begin laboratory work long before the independent study/directed research officially begins.

Flexible Schedule!

Unlike most courses with set meeting times, the amount of time required to complete a research project will vary. A general rule of thumb is to allow about three hours per week per credit. It is often extremely difficult, if not impossible, to complete a project in a semester if the student is taking a full course load and working off-campus. Therefore it is common for students to receive a grade of "I" (incomplete), which will be converted to a letter grade once the project is completed.

Contact Us Today!

There are several ways to find a research project and a research advisor. Probably the best way is to approach the faculty member directly. To get you started, Biology Faculty is a link to the faculty listings within the Biology Department. All contact information and faculty research interests can be found here. Also, there is usually a Biology Mixer in the fall, where faculty will discuss their projects with students. Finally, keep watch for specific research opportunities posted near the Biology Department Office located in FLS 252. Once an interesting project is found, the student should meet with the faculty member to discuss potential projects in more detail. Occasionally, research may be performed at an outside location with a faculty member serving as a sponsor.

Biosafety, Ethical Research Practices, and Animal Care Training

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Page last updated: Aug. 6, 2013