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Identifying Plants Together After a Long Day in the Field (Robert Peet Lab)

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Bio Undergraduate Research

Check here to view slides from Dr. Shemer’s research info session: Fall 2017 research info session

The Biology Department is home to a thriving and diverse program in undergraduate research.  This program provides opportunities for advanced undergraduates to conduct cutting edge Biology-related research in the laboratory and field.  BIOL 395, 395H, 495 and 692H are available to Biology majors/2nd majors only.  Faculty, postdocs, and graduate students can serve as research mentors to undergraduates within the department and in related disciplines throughout the university. Because this is a BIOL course, a full-time Biology faculty member must serve as the Biology sponsor and he/she is responsible for submitting your final grade.

Hands-on research experience provides motivated students with the opportunity to enrich their educations and develop their early careers.  Many students have had the chance to publish their research in top journals (summarized in a list of undergraduate co-authored papers). Students often develop long-term professional relationships with their mentors and go on to rewarding and productive careers in  various academic disciplines. We recommend that you begin your research experience as early as practical after gaining sufficient background through core coursework (you must have completed either BIOL 201 or 202 before you start your research for credit), to allow time for the completion of a significant research project.  You may choose to start work in your research area as a volunteer during your first year at UNC.  Most labs have their own websites and they welcome volunteers.  Be proactive and seek out your own research path!

Biology majors/2nd majors taking their second semester of BIOL 395 will be required to prepare a research poster that will be presented in the Genome Sciences Building lobby at a designated day/time and also will be required to turn in a final abstract summarizing their research.  This takes the place of the 10-page paper.  A green BIOL 395 Research Poster application must be completed.  It is due the first day of classes.

After six credit hours of BIOL 395, students can continue doing research for credit by signing up for BIOL 495 (pass/fail and 10-page paper required).

In addition to providing professional rewards, participation in the undergraduate research program also offers academic credit toward completion of requirements for the biology major. In a typical semester, the department has over 160 undergraduate Biology majors doing research for course credit. Other students work in laboratories for pay or on a volunteer basis; however you can’t get paid and get academic credit at the same time in the same lab.

In the left-side navigation menu you will find more details about  the research opportunities in Biology.

Note that BIOL 395/495 is offered all semesters – Fall, Spring, Summer School I and Summer School II.

BIOL 395H (Honors) is offered in Fall & Spring only.  Students must have a minimum 3.00 GPA and must attend a weekly class in addition to their research.  There is no BIOL 495H.  For seniors wishing to do a senior honors thesis (692H) in either the fall or spring semester of your senior year, please note that a minimum of only one semester of BIOL 395 is required and you don’t have to take 395H prior to taking 692H or be in the Honors Carolina Program.

Applications for 395/395H/495 research are due the first day of classes – final research papers/abstracts are due the last day of classes – all semesters.

SENIORS ONLY – Applications for 692H (Senior Honors Thesis) are due Nov 15 if you plan to do your senior honors thesis in the spring semester of your senior year OR April 15 if plan to do your senior honors thesis in the fall semester of your senior year BIOL 692H is not offered in Summer School.  There is no BIOL 691H.

Tips on how to find a Research Mentor

For more information, please contact:

BIOL 395/395H/495 – Dr. Gidi Shemer

Biology Director of Undergraduate Research – Dr Gidi Shemer

BIOL 395/395H Poster – Dr. Blaire Steinwand

BIOL 293 – Dr. Jennifer Coble

Biology Honors Director – Dr Amy Shaub Maddox

BIOL 692H –  Semester Directors:  Dr. Amy Shaub Maddox (Spring 2020) and Dr Steve Matson (Fall 2019)

Applications can be picked up in 213 Coker.  You’ll be registered by the department.