Many opportunities exist for students to pursue individual research projects directed by faculty members. The project may vary depending on the subfield of biology, but all projects will have in common the experience of working one-on-one with faculty interested in exploring critical questions in the Biological sciences. Some projects result in the publication of student-derived data, which can be advantageous for both the faculty and student participants. Because Biology is a hands-on field, all majors are encouraged to utilize this opportunity to experience the challenges of a research project, which is expected to complement coursework in the department.
How to choose a project
If you are interested in doing research, but don't know what area you are interested in, you should speak to your professors about their research programs, or read about faculty research interests. Most commonly, student projects are planned in consultation with faculty members and fall within that faculty member's expertise. This allows the student to benefit from specialized knowledge and skills of the faculty.
When/Where is the research performed?
Research experiences can take place off campus, in the field and/or within research labs on campus.
Independent Study: After consultation with a faculty member, a student may volunteer work on a research project. This project may continue throughout the student's career at Bucknell. In fact, interested first and second year students are especially encouraged to begin research, as often it takes longer than an academic semester to acquire meaningful results.
Research for Credit: Students eligible to take 300 level electives may receive up to 2 credits for research by registering for BIOL399; this course may be taken for up to 2 credits in one semester. Guidelines for this course can be found at Guideline for Independent Research - BIOL399.
Summer Research: University and departmental fellowships and on-campus housing are available to support students who conduct research in the summer. In 2013, the fellowships provided stipends of $3,000 (University) or $3,500 (departmental). To apply for these competitive fellowships, submit an application endorsed by a sponsoring faculty member. Application materials are available around the beginning of the spring semester from either the Office of the Provost or the biology department. For departmental fellowships, preference is given to students in their second or third year at Bucknell.