BCMB INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
(BCMB 4960L/H, BCMB 4970L/H)
Course Description for Spring 2014
All students who major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology are required to take two semesters of independent research (BCMB 4960L/H and BCMB 4970L/H, each 4 hr credit). For additional semesters of research, BCMB 4970L/H can be repeated and Honors students may elect to complete BCMB 4990H as an Honors Thesis (also 4 hr). BCMB 4960L/H requires little or no previous laboratory experience.
Objective: The objective of these courses is to train students in the basic techniques used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and the application of the scientific method. Students typically become part of a dynamic research environment and gain experience in both the experimental approach and the culture of a research laboratory. Students in these courses have been co-authors of research papers published in the primary scientific literature.
How to find a Laboratory: These courses are unusual in that the onus is on the student to find a Faculty member that will accept the student into their laboratory. Attached is a list of Faculty mentors and their research interests. All are familiar with the requirements of these courses and most have mentored students in the past. Prospective students should arrange for an appointment with prospective Faculty mentors to discuss research areas. Students choose laboratories based on personal research interests, their knowledge of the professor, recommendations from other students, etc. Although it is possible for students to take BCMB 4960 and BCMB 4970 courses in separate laboratories, they are usually carried out in the same laboratory. Indeed, most professors prefer students to complete more than one semester.
Laboratories outside of BCMB: Students can take the BCMB 4960/4970 courses with faculty members not on the attached list (outside of the Biochemistry Dept) as long as the research is biochemically-related and it is pre-approved the prior semester by the BCMB undergraduate committee. To obtain approval, please submit to Dr. Adams (email@example.com) a one-page abstract of the proposed research together the name and email address of the proposed mentor.
When to find a Laboratory: BCMB 4960 and BCMB 4970 courses must be arranged during the semester prior to when the student will begin the course. It is never too early to talk to prospective Faculty mentors about their research and about the possibility of taking this course with them.
Registration: Permission of the Department is required to resister for these courses. In addition, a REGISTRATION FORM must be completed by the student and signed by the Faculty mentor. The form can be obtained from the Departmental web site at http://www.bmb.uga.edu/students/undergraduate-research-forms, from the Biochemistry Office (Life Sci., B122) or from a Biochemistry Advisor. Once the form is signed by the Faculty mentor, you must take the signed form to Ms. Angie Stockton in the Biochemistry Office (Life Sci., B122) and you will be cleared to register.
Time Requirement: BCMB 4960L and BCMB 4970L are taken for 4 hr credit each. For this students should expect to be in the laboratory for a minimum of 12 hr/ week (for 15 weeks) in the Spring/Fall or 24 hr/week (for 7.5 weeks) in the Summer. The exact schedule is to be determined by the Faculty mentor and the student.
Examinations and Grades: The final grade is determined by the Faculty mentor. This is based on:
a) Performance in the laboratory (75%). This does not mean the number or accuracy of the results! It reflects the aptitude, effort, reliability, dependability, perseverance and meticulousness of the student in the laboratory setting.
b) Written Presentation of Research (25%). Each student must write a Research Report, which describes what has been accomplished in the laboratory. The report should resemble a brief scientific paper and be of at least 8 pages in length (double spaced, 1” margins). The report should be sub-divided into a) Summary, b) Introduction, c) Experimental Methods, d) Results, e) Discussion and f) References. For detailed instructions, see http://www.bmb.uga.edu/students/undergrad-research-report
The Research Report should be sent by email as a single word.doc or pdf file attachment to
Dr. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5 pm on the last day of classes.
Note that Research Reports not received by 5 pm (EST) on Monday, April 28th
will result in a C grade (no exceptions)