University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biology

Undergraduate Research and Funding Opportunities

"Learning by doing" is the best way to study life science, and is an active part of the undergraduate program in the Department of Biology. Students receive credit for participating in world-class research projects (and at every level from first year students to seniors), and also have opportunities for funding from a variety of sources. Undergraduates work with Biology Department faculty members at the bench or in the field to collect data that lead to publications in the major scientific journals. Students do this collaborative research during the summer or academic year. In the summer, students can be paid from faculty grants or from stipends that are part of competitive awards. Often faculty with NSF or NIH grants pay students from those funds.

Competitive Undergraduate Funding

Academic Programs for Learning and Engagement (APLE)

These are grants from the College of Arts and Sciences and may be awarded to fund academic year work (to pay for supplies, for example) or for the summer (supplies and stipend). Biology Department undergraduates have been very successful in receiving these awards. Full details are available at the APLE site

Undergraduate Research Endeavors Competitive Awards (URECA!)

The URECA! Program is university-wide and provides generous support for undergraduate research. Biology Department undergraduates have been very successful in receiving these grants. Full details are available at the URECA! site: Undergraduate Research Endeavors Competitive Awards Program (URECA)

Academic Credit for Research

During the academic year, many undergraduates carry out research and also often receive academic credit for this work. Students work with a faculty research advisor to design a project and submit the project description and a method for evaluation of the work to the department's advisor in charge of undergraduate research courses. Upon approval, students then enroll for research courses: Bio 191/192 Research Apprenticeship; Bio 193/194 Internships; Bio 197/198 or Bio 297/298 Undergraduate Research; Honors 208/209 Honors Research in Biology. The apprenticeship is designed for students in the first or second year to become acquainted with research. Internships are designed for students who want an experience outside UVM where they might work with the Medical Examiner, State Forensic Lab, a law firm specializing in intellectual property, a biotechnology firm, as examples. There must be an academic component minimally with a research paper and data analysis. Bio 197/198 and Bio 297/298 are the courses students enroll in when they are carrying out research in their junior and senior years. As for the apprenticeship and internship, the undergraduate must work with a faculty research advisor to design a project and a method of evaluation before the student begins the work. Senior students who are taking College Honors enroll in Honors 208/209 Honors Research which requires a formal proposal to the Honors Committee to describe the honors thesis research topic.

Research Opportunities

Students in Biology can work with faculty members in the Biology Department, or search with their academic advisor a laboratory and faculty advisor outside our department in one of the many life science laboratories, including clinical research laboratories in the College of Medicine. If an undergraduate wishes to enroll for academic credit for work with someone outside the department, our usual procedures are followed and there will be a department faculty member assigned as liaison to insure that the undergraduate has the best possible experience, when working in settings outside the Arts and Sciences College. For more information contact Research Coordinator: Prof.


Last modified September 30 2014 02:30 PM