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Optional Research

In-Department Research (BIO 300 or BIOHOPK 300H)

Biology Coterm students doing research in Biology Department labs should enroll in their faculty member's section of BIO 300 (if on the main campus) or BIOHOPK 300H (if at Hopkins Marine Station). No petition is required to enroll in BIO 300 or BIOHOPK 300H.

Out-of-Department Research (BIO 300X)

Biology Coterm students doing research with a non-Biology Department faculty member need to apply for BIO 300X in order to count the units toward their program. Many students find research opportunities in labs outside the Biology Department. Students only need to petition once to work with the same sponsor. If you choose to switch labs, you will be required to submit a new petition.

BIO 300X is available for Biology coterm students involved in research which is substantially independent. Although this course should be used once students have a project of their own, the first quarter may be used to learn essential techniques while helping with other's projects. Although the independent project may be suggested by the sponsor and developed with their guidance, the student is expected to be involved in the planning and execution of experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, presentation of results and evaluation of the research. The research field is expected to encompass biological concepts and processes.

Research Sponsors

Sponsors should be Academic Council members (assistant, associate, or full professors) if possible. If you are not sure if your research sponsor is an Academic Council member, search on StanfordWho in the "Search in Stanford view." If your sponsor is not an Academic Council member you will need to find a faculty member in the Deparment of Biology to serve as a co-sponsor of your research. This can be your faculty advisor if appropriate.

BIO 300X Deadlines

Autumn 2016 – October 5, 2017, 3:00pm
Winter 2017 - January 18, 2018, 3:00pm
Spring 2017 - April 12, 2018, 3:00pm

Petition Procedure

To petition for BIO 300X credit, students must submit the following items to Gilbert 108:

  1. Signed Petition and Research Sponsorship forms

  2. Project Description. This should be submitted to both your research sponsor and faculty advisor, along with the above petition form well ahead of the deadline allow for enough time for them to review your proposal and give you feedback for revisions! The proposal should be at least 2-3 pages in length (double spaced, not including references and figures) and should be organized as described below using the following headings. Also please include your Sponsor's name and department at the top.

  • Title of Research Project

  • Objective of research. Briefly and clearly state the question that your research is designed to address. Explain the specific aims of the research.

  • Background and Significance. Using appropriate background information which is appropriately referenced, indicate the significance of your research.

  • Experimental design. Describe the project design you will use to carry out your research including methods and materials. Indicate how these techniques will allow you to address your research question. Note the following: 1) research involving vertebrate animals requires that your sponsor have an approved Animal Use Protocol on file with the University Panel on Laboratory Animal Care; 2) work with radioactive substances requires certification in the University’s radiation safety course; 3) work with pathogenic organisms requires special training and precautions 4) work with human material requires that you complete the Human Subjects Training. If any of these apply, describe them in your proposal.

  • Possible results. Describe the expected outcome of your research, indicating how the data collected will be used to draw conclusions regarding the research question. Throughout your proposal, be specific about your own work: do not simply state the goals of the lab in which you are working. Stress the biological concepts you are using and your understanding of the methodology. The proposal should clearly show some level of independence in your research, the feasibility of the project, and an understanding of the basic biology involved. If this is your first Quarter of Bio 300X and you do not yet have your own project, but are helping someone else in the lab on their project while learning concepts and methods, then describe the project that you are working on instead.

  • References

  • Print this handout and give it to your sponsor