Undergraduate Research Projects

Guidelines: MMG 197/198; 297/298



Undergraduate research course work should be considered just as any other course within the Department. The Course Director is defined as the faculty member responsible for guiding the student’s research. The Course Director is expected to make clear to the student what the expectations are with respect to the particular project and its scope. The student must be informed of each of the parameters described below prior to initiating the project. The student’s Academic Advisor should also be informed of these expectations. The Student, Course Director, and Academic Advisor are required to sign the Undergraduate Research Proposal Cover Sheet and return the signed form to the Undergraduate Program Director at the beginning of the semester.  Here’s a list of past undergraduate research projects.  Projects may be eligible for CALS Distinguished Undergraduate Research (DUR) Honors should the student choose to submit them to the CALS Academic Awards Committee (see CALS DUR Guidelines).

Course Credits :

Course credits will be assigned in accordance with University guidelines, which assume that students should work 3-4 hours per week for 1 research credit. It is understood that a particular research project undertaken may require more time than that allotted and, should this be the case, the student and the Course Director may discuss the awarding of additional credit.

Completion of Projects:

There are two requirements for this course at the end of the semester: (1) the student must either write a research paper including: an Introduction to the research area, a Materials and Methods section, a Results and Discussion section, and a References section, or produce a research poster that will be displayed outside the lab or on the MMG Undergraduate Bulletin Board (Stafford, First Floor); and (2) the student must orally present his/her results at a lab meeting or a regular Departmental seminar (choice is the discretion of the Course Director).


Assignment of grades is the responsibility of the Course Director (grades will be given to Douglas Johnson, Director of the Undergraduate Program, during Final Exam week). The grade will be assigned in accordance with the expectations agreed upon between the student and the Course Director and should take into account the student’s performance within the lab (i.e., reliability, work ethic, interest level, etc.), the student’s research paper/poster, and the student’s oral presentation. Grades should not be assigned solely on amount of research productivity.

2012 MMG Grads

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    When I came to UVM I really didn't have any clear idea of what I wanted out of college. I liked biology but I never really felt a connection to it in some 200+ person lecture hall. When I found out about the microbiology program, I really found my calling. Upon my first semester of being part of the program, I was immersed in lab scenarios and hands on learning about the material. The faculty in the MMG department strive to prepare you for a career in the science field and are more than willing to help you along the way. Hearing experiences from my peers in other programs I realize now that the MMG department here at UVM gives you a truly unique experience. Not only that, but the faculty in the department are always accepting new students to pursue research outside the classroom. I was fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. Christopher Huston, working with Entamoeba histolytica. My time in the lab was invaluable, and I learned so much working in an actual research environment. My experience with MMG has really shaped the career I want to pursue and has given me the clear sense of direction leaving college that I didn't have going in.

    Connor (Double major in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics), graduated 2016