Microm 499 offers the opportunity to learn current laboratory technology essential for industry or graduate school, and to participate in scientific research at the conceptual and technical levels. Microm 499 can therefore be a very rewarding experience, however it is a demanding and time-consuming endeavor. It is not for everyone, and for this reason is not required of microbiology majors.
Consider carefully your ability to commit the necessary time and effort before deciding to do a Microm 499 project. It is expected that students will register for 2-3 credits of Microm 499 for AT LEAST 2 quarters (1 credit is equal to 3 hrs per week). Students should expect to spend a minimum of 6-10 hours per week in the laboratory, and should be somewhat flexible with regard to scheduling time in the lab. In most cases Microm 499 students begin their work in their senior year, and are typically supervised by graduate students or post-docs. Normally, Microm 499 students will also register for Microm 496, Library Research, with the 499 advisor.
There are two ways to go about identifying a research mentor. You can go directly to one or more faculty member(s) with whom you might be interested in working, or you can schedule an appointment with Dr. John Leigh (E-311, 685-1390, email@example.com) who oversees the Undergraduate Research Program, to discuss research opportunities and availability of specific faculty members to sponsor students. Prior to meeting with potential faculty mentors it is recommended that you look over some of the publications of that laboratory.
Please be aware that not every laboratory may have an opening for a 499 student. Try to arrange your Microm 499 as far as possible in advance (1-2 Quarters) of the quarter you wish to begin. Once you have been accepted into a laboratory for Microm 499, contact Sarah Mears, Academic Adviser, to obtain an entry code to register for the course. A C/NC grade is given for each Quarter of research. Most research mentors require that the results of your study be written up as a research report; Microm 496 can be used for this purpose.
Undergraduate Research in any department may be used as an elective, provided the research project has the prior approval of the Undergraduate Research Advisor. Petition froms are available in Sarah Mears' office.
Other research opportunities and information may be obtained from the University's Undergraduate Research Program Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
University Honors Program and Microbiology with Distinction students are required to carry out a research project (Microm 495). The procedures for identifying a research mentor and the necessary time commitments are similar to those for Microm 499, as described above. The major difference is that Microm 495 students will receive research credit only upon submission and acceptance of their research paper (Microm 496), and the research paper must be read by the research mentor and another faculty member (identified by the research mentor).