Guidelines for arranging an independent research position

Due to the limited number of available positions, the following steps for arranging a 496 Independent Study research project are required.

  1. Review the listing of faculty who have open positions for research interests and the qualifications they require of students to participate in 496 studies in their lab, such as minimum GPA or semester standing. Select up to four faculty laboratories with whom you would be most interested working and indicate them on the application.
  2. The completed application must be submitted prior to the first day of classes to assure that students may be added to course roster by the Add Course deadline. However, students are strongly advised to submit the application during the preceding semester. For example, if you are interested in a 496 project in the fall semester, the form can be submitted after the eighth week of the preceding spring semester.
  3. Following receipt of the completed Applicant Information Sheet, the department office will distribute copies of the completed application and the student's transcript to the faculty listed by the student. If interested, a faculty member will contact the student to arrange an appointment to discuss the possibility of working in the laboratory.
  4. If an appointment is arranged, the student should be prepared to discuss such topics as the number of credits to be scheduled, the time commitment involved, and future goals. Note: It is expected that each credit of 496 research will require 3-4 hours per week. The faculty and student will make a decision on an appropriate match of student and laboratory.
  5. If a student does not hear from any faculty member within 3 weeks, or if the decision is made by either faculty or student that a match has not been made, the student may submit another application to a different laboratory.

Upon acceptance by a VBSC faculty member for a 496 project, the student must obtain the signature of the faculty member on a 496-Approval Form and return it to the VBSC Undergraduate Office to register for the course officially. It is not possible to preregister for 496 courses in LionPATH. The 496-Approval Form must be signed by the faculty member and returned via email to the VBSC office each semester the student undertakes 496-Independent Research.