Frequently-asked questions about research opportunities in the Department of Biology at FMU:
Q. Do I need prior research
experience to do this?
A. For most of the research positions, previous experience in that type of project is not necessary. However, your prospective mentor may request or require that you have taken certain courses, in order to make sure you understand the concepts and vocabulary in that area of research. The faculty mentor will teach you what you need to know to complete the projects. What you will need is enthusiasm, motivation, willingness to learn, and independence.
Q. Can I get credit for
this, or is it on a volunteer basis?
A. Research credit (ex. BIO 407) is available for dedicated students that are willing to become part of the research team for a full semester. However, students can also volunteer if they have limited time or are unsure about making a big commitment. Please mention to your prospective mentor (before starting a project!) your specific schedule and how many hours a week you can volunteer or work for credit. (Most students who sign up for Independent Study work 3 hours a week and earn 1 credit hour.)
Q. Can I get paid for
A. Most projects do not offer wages. Some do. Don't be afraid to ask your prospective mentor about whether or not money is available. However, it is still well worth the effort because it provides you with real-world, hands-on experience. This will prove invaluable on your resume when you apply for jobs or professional schools. In addition, your faculty mentor may be able to write you an excellent letter of recommendation that will help your application stand out from the rest!
Q. Can I choose my own
A. Most faculty mentors will be happy to discuss your ideas with you, and will help you conduct your own original study. Again, don't hesitate to ask your prospective mentor about whether or not you can design your own project. For some students, easing into an existing research project is easier than designing their own "from scratch." Either of these options will give you the research experience you are looking for.
by Greg Pryor, 2006. This web site is for educational purposes; if you have
comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact
Written by Greg Pryor, 2006. This web site is for educational purposes; if you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact me.