Biology majors are encouraged to engage in independent study projects in areas of their interest. Independent study projects provide research experience and academic credit for laboratory, field work, or theoretical research. Independent study projects may be done with any faculty in the biological sciences. Eligible students may use their independent research as the basis for an honors thesis, leading to graduation with distinction.
Students in Biology are encouraged to pursue independent research projects in the biological sciences under the supervision or sponsorship of a faculty member. Up to 2 course credits (cc) in Independent Study will count as upper-level elective courses for the biology major, and one for the minor. Independent Study will also satisfy one of the two laboratory course requirements for the major, as well as the Small Group Learning Experience (SGLE) requirement for graduation. Additionally, Independent Study can satisfy the general education requirement for a Research Course (R).
All students should register for Independent Study under Biology 293 for the first semester of a project. Registration in Biology 493 is used for subsequent semesters in the same lab. The second semester, if it is a continuation in the same lab, will count toward the 400-level 'capstone' requirement (200-level prior to the renumbering) of the biology major. Students may also request Writing (W) credit for an independent study, typically in the second semester, with approval of their Research Supervisor and the DUS. No credit can be awarded for paid work.
Quick Link: INDEPENDENT STUDY FORM
IMPORTANT COVID UPDATE FOR FALL 2020:
1. The PI will need to approve the IS, to ensure that you can be accommodated in the lab’s COVID safety plan. Check with the PI to be sure that’s possible. If it is, you must follow all the directions of the lab’s safety plan, no exceptions.
2. For Duke Medical Center labs, in-person IS is only available for juniors and seniors, if the lab can accommodate them (remote IS is open to all). In Biology, and other Trinity College departments, IS is available to any student, if the lab can accommodate them.
3. Like other classes. students will need to re-register for IS if they were already registered for the fall. Students should reach out to their PIs to ask for approval and new permission numbers.
4. We don’t yet know what restrictions might be in place for the spring semester.