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Research Courses

Research Courses

Registering for one of the research classes is very different from the usual class registration process. If you are interested in one of these classes, you must apply.


BEFORE filling out the application

Volunteer on a project supervised by a professor. Talk to the professor(s) with whom you are interested in working. They cannot commit to accepting you 100% at this point; however, they are unlikely to accept you as a student during the application process unless you talk to them first. You should express your interest in doing research with them and verify that they are accepting students for the semester(s) you want.
Come up with a potential project and make sure there is a professor able to advise you on it.

Application Process

Submit a complete application to the department secretary before the deadline. All deadlines will be announced on the biology department mailing list. There will be three deadlines a year although there may be the opportunity to submit applications out of the normal cycle when a professor receives a grant and needs students quickly for a specific project.

If your project required departmental funding there are some additional steps:

  1. You must apply to the Student Senate for funding first.
  2. You must submit an application to the department chair by the announced deadlines with your professor's approval and signature. These applications consist of a 1-2 page project summary and a complete budget. The application form can be downloaded here.

Additional Information:

The total number of credits from Independent Research and Senior Thesis that can count as upper-division electives for a biology degree is four. Additional credits can be used to satisfy full-time status and may help to satisfy upper-division credit hours for general graduation requirements.

Each credit of Independent Research requires a minimum of 45 hours of work on the project. Thus, if you register for two credits, you must complete 90 hours of work on the project during that semester.

Who to Contact

The professors that are willing to take on research students are:

Name Phone Email (
Jennifer Ciaccio 435-652-7779 ciaccio
Martina Gaspari 435-652-7786 gaspari
Marius van der Merwe 435-652-7924 marius
Erin O'Brien 435-652-7761 obrien
Curt Walker 435-652-7785 walker
Don Warner 435-652-7631 warner