BIOS 399: Independent Research

BIOS 399

Find out how to be a part of BIOS 399!

BIOS 399 is a great idea for any student who intends to pursue a research field or attend a graduate or professional school! This course gives students the chance to complete supervised research and obtain 2 hours of credit.

Students must choose a researcher to act as their supervisor. The work may be completed with one of our Biological Sciences faculty members or with a faculty member from another department. You select the faculty member you want to work with. You may find a suitable match by visiting our Research page, or by using the Undergraduate Research Experience website. It is your responsibility to find a research supervisor. The department will not place students into labs.

To obtain credit, students must meet the following three expectations:

  1. Student must work at least 10 hours per week in the laboratory (20 hours per week during the summer semester).
  2. Student must attend 3 mandatory workshops throughout the semester.
  3. Students must submit a research paper at the end of the semester that is in the style of a published article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

No more than 5 hours of credit from BIOS 391 and BIOS 399 courses can be used as credit towards the Biological Sciences major.

Credit will not be given for previously conducted research. The research must be done concurrent to enrollment in BIOS 399 for students to earn credit.

Minimum of 2.00/4.00 grade point average (GPA) in Biological Sciences courses and consent of the instructor and department.



Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades only. BIOS 399 will not affect your GPA.


Signing Up

New and continuing BIOS 399 students, please see the BIOS 399 COVID-19 Updates tab for important updates regarding application, deferral, and final paper submission.

First Time BIOS 399: Complete an Application for Independent Research.

Deferring BIOS 399 Credit: If you have not completed your research in the designated semester, but will be able to finish within the next semester, you must complete a Deferral Form and Deferral Notice. This must be submitted to the BIOS 399 coordinator at 3272 SES no later than 4PM on the Friday of the last week of instruction (December 6).

Submitting Your Paper: Please follow the instructions in the BIOS 399 Student Handbook 2018-2019 for writing your research paper. You must attach a BIOS 399 Cover Sheet to your final paper. All final papers must be submitted to the BIOS 399 coordinator at 3272 SES no later than 4 PM on the Friday of finals week (December 13).


BIOS 399 Workshop Series

BIOS 399 Workshop Series

All students registered for BIOS 399 must attend three mandatory workshops (two if you have taken BIOS 399 in a previous semester). The first workshop covers the basics the research process and how to write a research proposal, and is for students who have not taken BIOS 399 before. The second workshop covers how to present your research to non-scientists and how to write a research paper. In the final workshop, each student gives a short (3 minute) presentation on their research aimed at a non-scientist.

Workshop Schedule

All workshops will be held via Zoom.

Workshop 1 (new BIOS 399 only): Attend one of the following meetings
  • 9:30 – 10:20am, Tuesday, September 8
  • 3:00 – 3:50pm, Wednesday, September 9
  • 2:00-2:50pm, Thursday, September 10
  • 10:00 – 10:50am, Friday, September 11
Workshop 2 (all BIOS 399 students): Attend one of the following meetings
  • 8:00 – 8:50am, Monday, October 12
  • 9:30 – 10:20am, Tuesday, October 13
  • 3:00 – 3:50pm, Wednesday, October 14
  • 2:00 – 2:50pm, Thursday, October 15
Workshop 3 (all BIOS 399 students):  Attend one of the following meetings. No more than 8 people per meeting. Students will sign up in advance, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Additional meeting times will be made available December 12 and 13  if necessary.
  • 10:00 – 10:50am, Monday, November 30
  • 9:30 – 10:20am, Tuesday, December 1
  • 3:00 – 3:50pm, Wednesday, December 2
  • 2:00 – 2:50pm, Thursday, December 3
  • 10:30 – 11:20am, Monday, December 7
  • 11:30 – 12:20am, Monday, December 8
  • 2:00 – 2:50pm, Monday, December 9
  • 10:30 – 11:20am, Wednesday, December 10
  • 2:00 – 2:50pm, Wednesday, December 11

BIOS 399 application updates for the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters due to COVID-19:

New Applicants:

-Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes that have been implemented for the Spring 2020 term, BIOS 399 applications for the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters must be submitted via email to Please read the following submission instructions carefully.

-Please ensure that your application is 100% complete upon submission. This includes the attached proposal, and an electronic signature from your PI/supervisor.

· If your PI/supervisor is a faculty member of the Biological Sciences Department within LAS, please ensure that you have write the CRN that is designated for your PI.

· If your PI/supervisor is a faculty member outside of the Biological Sciences Department in LAS, please write in CRN 16416 if you are a Summer 2020 applicant, and CRN 18983 if you are a Fall 2020 applicant.

-Applications for the Summer 2020 semester are due no later than Friday, June 19th at 12pm. Applications for the Fall 2020 semester are due no later than Friday, September 4th at 12pm. -Any questions about this updated application process should be directed to

Current BIOS 399 students:

-Students who are in progress on BIOS 399 will be submitting final papers or deferral notices online to BIOS 399 instructor Dr. Alexander Shingleton. If you have any questions about this, please contact him at

· Deferral Applications are due to Dr. Shingleton no later than Friday, May 1st

· Final Papers are due to Dr. Shingleton no later than Friday, May 8th

BIOS 399 Student Handbook 2018-2019