Live Imaging of a Mitotic Spindle Preparing for an Asymmetric Cell Division (Bob Goldstein Lab)
The Biology Department will register you for your research classes – BIOL 295, BIOL 395, BIOL 495, BIOL 395H, BIOL 691H – with the exception of BIOL 211. First, find a Biology faculty member who will be willing to mentor you in your research. Don’t wait until the start of the semester to find someone to work with. The Dean’s Office now requires that you submit your application/transcript when you preregister for classes prior to the start of the semester that you plan to do research. If you choose to work with someone outside the Biology Department, you will need to find a full-time Biology faculty member to sponsor you. Then, pick up a research application from our Biology Undergraduate Registrar, Summer Montgomery in 213 Coker Hall. You will see two application forms – one for the Biology department and a Learning Contract that is required by the university. For BIOL 395/395H/495, you will need to bring in a copy of your internal transcript pulled from Connect Carolina along with your application. For BIOL 691H, no transcript is needed – your grades from the current semester will be checked to see if you are eligible to do honors research. All applications are due by the first day of classes. Once your application has been approved, Summer will enroll you in the proper research section.
Identify a faculty mentor
The first step to doing undergraduate research is to find a faculty mentor. Choosing the right mentor and laboratory will have a large impact on your research experience and deserves serious effort and preparation on your part. Faculty do not generally advertise undergraduate research positions and, therefore, you will have to actively seek out a mentor. You do not need to have a particular research project in mind, just the desire to do research. Your faculty mentor can be someone from the Department of Biology or someone in a related discipline outside the department. If you plan to do research for Biology 395/495 course credit and you choose a mentor outside the Department of Biology you will also need a faculty “sponsor” within the Department, who will be willing to meet with you on a regular basis and keep track of what you are accomplishing in your mentor’s laboratory.
To identify a potential faculty mentor we suggest talking to professors from whom you have taken classes and scanning individual faculty web pages to identify a research program in an area of particular interest to you. (See these listings of faculty on the Research Areas page.) Ideally, you will identify several possible mentors. Contact the individual faculty member(s) in person, by phone, or by e-mail to set up an appointment to talk about the possibility of undertaking an undergraduate research project in their laboratories. (Contact professor email tips) Professors are generally more than willing to talk with students about their research programs. However, students should recognize that not all faculty have the space, time, or resources to mentor every interested undergraduate, and some faculty may not able to consider you for a position in their laboratories. Therefore, it is advisable to consider multiple faculty members. Perseverance in finding a mentor will almost always be rewarded. We suggest that you start looking for a mentor one semester before you would like to begin a research project.
Don’t wait until the start of the semester to look for a research advisor or faculty sponsor! Completed applications are due by the first day of classes. You will have to submit a new application/transcript for each semester you do research. Pick up the most updated research application form in 213 Coker Hall. This is a contract and we need a paper copy with original signatures (not signed in pencil, please) that we must keep on file per university policy.