student researcher

If you are pursuing a major or minor within the biology department, you can take biology research courses. In these courses, you may work with any faculty member on campus, and in some cases, off-campus. All Biology research courses must involve biology research! Consider focusing on a topic covered in your BCOR 11 & 12 courses.

List of biology research courses

  • BIOL 098 credits count toward the total 120 needed for graduation, but not toward a biology or zoology major (BS or BA) or minor
  • Biology BS major: Up to 6 credits of undergraduate research in any biological discipline may be applied toward the 26 credits of advanced electives. Only three of these can be taken for credit at the 100-level, and these will be counted in the 8 credits allowed at the 100-level.
  • Biology BA major: Research credits do not count toward the three 200-level biology electives.
  • Zoology BS major: Up to 6 credits of undergraduate research (BIOL 198, 298, or HON 208) count toward the 27 credits of advanced electives. Only 3 can be taken for credit at the 100-level, and these will be counted in the 8 credits allowed at the 100-level.
  • Zoology BA major: Research credits do not count toward the 15 credits of BIOL electives.
  • Zoology or Biology minor - Up to 3 credits of undergraduate research in BIOL 198, 298 or HON 208 may be applied toward the minor.

 

  • Emily Holt

    Research Spotlight; Emily Holt

    "Everyone has a unique event that they can recall that got them interested in research. Maybe it is a particular professor, course, or lab experience, but for me it’s a bit more personal than that. When I was younger, my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. In order to understand what that truly meant, I searched around for any literature I could find about the disease, figuring that if I could learn about the disease then it might seem less intimidating. What I didn’t expect out of the whole process, however, was to find a true interest in research. It just so happened that right around this time I also got my first taste of the true experimental process through my high school biology class and it all snowballed from there. Needless to say, I came to UVM with the intention of joining a research lab, and as a result have had the privilege of working in the Mawe Lab on a Multiple Sclerosis related project for the past three years.

    Read more of Emily's story.

    Currently I am working on my honors thesis in the lab examining the effects of mucosal serotonin (5-HT) signaling in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis. 5-HT is a neurotransmitter that initiates, regulates, and modifies GI motility, secretion, and vasodilation and has been noted to be altered in inflammatory diseases. Although Multiple Sclerosis is classified as an inflammatory disease, the implications of 5-HT signaling have yet to be examined. That said, it is the aim of this work to test the hypothesis that there will be an increase in 5-HT expression in the EAE GI tract driven by a decrease in the 5-HT transporter SERT. Additionally, my project has recently adapted an additional component of examining the possibility that female mice respond to EAE in a similar manner to male mice in terms of GI dysmotility symptoms, as male mice have up until this point been the commonly used model in the lab. This exploration is based off of a recent finding in the lab that showed asymptomatic male mice can still present with GI dysfunction, leading to the hypothesis that female mice, which generally present asymptomatic, might also develop GI dysmotility and therefore could serve as equal models to their male counterparts. Once this work is complete and I have graduated in the spring, it is my plan to continue straight into graduate school in order to obtain a Ph.D. in neuroscience with the ultimate career goal of pursuing research full time."

BIO 098 Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship 1-18 credits

Students step into an ongoing research program, working under the supervision of a faculty mentor, but perhaps helping a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. Students may take BIO 098 during any semester, from their first year through Senior year.

Students who are Biology/Biological Science/Zoology/A&S Environmental Sciences majors may work with either a Biology Department faculty member or a faculty member in another life science department.  Students who are not majors within the Biology Department must work with a Biology Department faculty member. Students can enroll for multiple semesters.

BIO 198 Undergraduate Research

Students work closely with an experienced researcher who will aid in the identification and conduct of an original project. Each credit requires a minimum of 40 hours. However, students put in even more time. Often students do not have prior research experience and step into an ongoing project, but are working independently by the end of the semester.

Students who are Biology/Biological Science/Zoology/A&S Environmental Sciences majors may work with either a Biology Department faculty member or a faculty member in another life science department.  Students who are not majors within the Biology Department must work with a Biology Department faculty member. Students can enroll for multiple semesters.

BIO 298 Advanced Undergraduate Research

Students work closely with an experienced researcher who will aid in the identification and conduct of an original research project. Each credit requires a minimum of 40 hours. However, students typically put in even more time. Often students have prior research experience and are working at an advanced level having already taken Undergraduate Research (BIOL 098 or BIOL 198), or have had a few 200-level Biology courses, at least one with laboratory.

Students who are Biology/Biological Science/Zoology/A&S Environmental Sciences majors may work with either a Biology Department faculty member or a faculty member in another life science department.  Students who are not majors within the Biology Department must work with a Biology Department faculty member. Students can enroll for multiple semesters.

 

 

Finding a Research Sponsor

Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research, an excellent resource in helping students locate a lab. Also, consider talking to instructors you've had, especially graduate student lab instructors. Also, ask your friends who have worked, or are working in labs. Get more information on faculty research interests.

When you approach a faculty member about the possibility of doing research in their laboratories, it's a good idea for you to read about their work before contacting them. Start with the information found on their websites, and even try to read one or more of their scientific papers. After this, contact the faculty member expressing your interest in the research. Before the meeting, think of how you would answer the faculty member if you were posed the question, “What specifically about my work interests you the most?” If things go well you could ask the faculty member if there might be a position in the lab in order for you to participate in a research project.

Still Have Questions?

Contact Dr. Lori Stevens (Lori.Stevens@uvm.edu),  UVM Department of Biology Undergraduate Research Director.