BIO 398: Research and Writing in Biology

BIO 398: Research and Writing in Biology, is a variable credit course for the advanced biology student wishing to gain experience in research and scientific writing. This course fulfills the written component of the GCCR, and is an outstanding opportunity for students to expand their horizons and deepen appreciation of contemporary biological research, whatever their career goals. Unlike BIO 395, for BIO 398 a minimum portion of the student's grade MUST be determined by one or more writing assignment(s) for a total of 4,500 words, with an opportunity to revise and turn in subsequent version(s). BIO 398 works well for students who are continuing a project into another semester and therefore have good working knowledge within that particular research topic. 

Fall or Spring of the junior year are good times to initiate a research project but involvement in research at any point is very beneficial. However, faculty prefer to take juniors so that projects can be continued over several semesters. BIO 398 needs to be taken only once to earn credit for the written portion of the GCCR requirement. It is generally not a good idea to count on taking one semester of BIO 398 during your last semester, as you may have trouble finding a lab to join. Those wanting to take BIO 398 need to have confirmed a project with a faculty mentor well ahead of the semester when they will start their research.

** Please note that only 6 TOTAL hours of BIO 394, BIO 395, BIO 397, or BIO 398 can be counted towards Biology upper-level electives.**


Student instructions

1. Use the Mentor List to identify potential mentors whose research interests you.

2. Contact potential mentors during the semester before you want to do research to determine if they are interested in accepting BIO 398 students and if you are eligible to join their lab, or more likely, continue a BIO 395 project under the BIO 398 title.  Potential mentors may ask about what courses you have completed, your GPA, your time commitment, etc. (Lab Hours to Credit Hours Conversions)

3. Set up a meeting with the faculty member to discuss potential projects.

4. In consultation with your mentor, complete the BIO 398 contract (digital form or print form) by answering the three given questions that describe your proposed work. 

5. Once the student portion is complete, the faculty mentor will need to complete their portion. Contracts can be submitted either (1) in-person: THM 101, or (2) electronically to (ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ARE PREFERRED). To submit electronically, please submit only PDF files; RENAME YOUR FILE AS FOLLOWS: BIO398_F21_lastname_firstname.pdf (change semester and year as needed: F for Fall, S for Spring, Su for Summer).

6. You will receive email confirmation and instructions for registration if your project is approved. At that time, you will need to register for the course in myUK. If the contract is not approved, we will contact you or your research mentor.

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