Welcome to Undergraduate Research Central. All students who major in Pharmaceutical Sciences are required to take two semesters of undergraduate research (PMCY 4960 and PMCY 4970, each for a minimum of 2 credit hours). For additional semesters of research, PMCY 4980 or PMCY 4990 may be taken.
Objective: Undergraduate research will train students in the design, execution, and reporting of scientific studies. Students typically become part of a dynamic research environment and gain experience in both the experimental approach and the culture of a research laboratory.
How to find a laboratory:
Independent research courses are atypical in that the onus is on the student to find a faculty member who will accept the student into their laboratory. The faculty within the department represents the wide variety of disciplines that encompass Pharmaceutical Sciences. Listed here are the names of the faculty members in the Department and their research interests. You are encouraged to contact faculty members and arrange appointments to discuss research opportunities in their laboratories either via e-mail or in person. Students choose laboratories based on such criteria as personal research interests, their knowledge of the professor, and recommendations from other students.
Once you have identified a faculty mentor, your mentor will generate a course syllabus that will be filed with the Director of the B.S. Program. This syllabus will provide the details of the research project, the number of credit hours that the course will entail, and the assignments that the student will be required to complete in the class in order to determine their grade. Once this documentation is received by the Program Director, the course will be created and the student involved will be cleared to register for the course. Although it is possible for students to take PMCY 4960 and 4970 in different laboratories, they are generally conducted with the same faculty member. Most faculty prefer students to complete more than one semester of research.
Laboratories outside of PMCY: Students are not required to conduct undergraduate research with faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. If a student finds a faculty mentor in another department they need to provide to the Director of the B.S. Program a syllabus and appropriate information on the method of assessing the student for approval.
When to find a laboratory: It is important to begin the process of identifying a faculty mentor for undergraduate research well in advance of the semester during which you wish to fulfill this graduation requirement. Guidelines for finding a laboratory for undergraduate research are provided below:
Fall Semester Research–Identify advisor by July 1
Spring Semester Research–Identify advisor by November 1
Summer Semester Research–Identify advisor by April 1
Time Requirement: PMCY 4960 and PMCY 4970 may be taken for a variable number of credit hours each semester (2-4). For this credit students should expect to be in the laboratory for a minimum of 3 hr / week/ credit hour (for 15 weeks) in the Spring/Fall or 6 hr / week / credit hour (for 7.5 weeks) in the Summer. For example, in the Fall semester a student registered for 3 credit hours would be expected to work a minimum of 9 hours per week in the laboratory. The exact schedule is to be determined by the Faculty mentor and the student.
Grading: The final grade is determined by the Faculty mentor. This is based on the method of assessment on the syllabus. This is generally based on 1) performance in the laboratory based on aptitude, effort, reliability, dependability, perseverance and meticulousness; 2) participation in lab meetings; and 3) written presentation of research. Generally final written reports should be substantial and sub-divided into a) introduction, b) experimental methods, c) results and discussion, d) conclusions and e) references.