Intro to Biological Research Program

Introduction to Biological Research Program



The Department of Biological Sciences has developed the Introduction to Biological Research Program in order to guide students through the process of getting involved in research. This program will help students, who are interested in research but who do not know how to, identify and contact potential faculty research mentors to gain a meaningful research experience. We provide guidance and facilitate the process of finding a research mentor by bringing researchers to talk to the students. We also cover other topics such as Reading Scientific Articles, Ethics in Science, Intellectual Property, Data Recording, and enhances students’ written and oral skills. If you are interested please apply by October 31st by submitting the application form. 

Program Description

The Introduction to Biological Research Program is a two-course series (spring-summer) that facilitates the matching of students to faculty mentors by promoting seminars, training students in ethics and intellectual property of ideas, providing laboratory research experience, and both written and public presentation skills. Many students who complete the Introduction to Biological Research Program also apply for the Honors in Biological Sciences Research Thesis Program but that is not a requirement.

The first course, BSC 3453 Introduction to Biological Research  (1credit), is taught in Spring and students get matched to a research faculty of THEIR choice and also learn how to read a scientific paper, seek internships, scholarships and other research opportunities, as well as give oral presentations on their research topics. Interested students should contact a Biological Sciences Department faculty member whose research interests are closest to those the student wishes to pursue. If students obtain a grade of “B” or better they will be invited to enroll for the second course BSC 3481 – Biological Research in Summer. 

The second course, BSC 3481- Biological Research Writing (2 credits), is taught in Summer and students write and present a Research Proposal on their research project to the class. Both courses are taken while conducting research within the laboratory under the supervision of a faculty research mentor. Both courses are scheduled on Mondays form 10am to 11:50am, graded and considered electives in Biology (other majors should check with their academic advisors). 

In the Department of Biological Sciences, we have a diverse number of research programs covering all aspects of Biology. It is critical for students to plan early and join these laboratories as Directed Independent Research (DIR) students to secure a placement for their application form.

Areas of Research 

FAU’s Department of Biological Sciences houses research labs working on a wide spectrum of organisms, from fruit flies and worms to turtles and sharks. Areas of interest include environmental science, neuroscience, biomedical science, marine science, organismal biology, cellular/molecular biology, developmental biology, conservation biology, ecology, physiology, animal behavior and morphology/evolution. Students can study how organisms communicate, pick their mates, move and migrate, how animals and plants interact and evolve, molecular mechanisms behind why organisms sleep and age, the genetics behind how animals think and behave, and many more topics. Much of the research is done through partnerships with agencies and organizations in South Florida, such as the Center for Environmental Studies, the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Everglades National Park, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Scripps Research Institute of Florida, and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. These partnerships provide students with an extraordinary combination of facilities, state of the art equipment, and training and research opportunities in a number of research areas. 

Student participants in the Introduction to Biological Research Program Program must obtain appropriate laboratory safety training prior to initiating research. All students must obtain three key training sessions: Laboratory Safety Training, Biological Safety Training, and Hazardous Waste Awareness and Handling. Students may also require additional training specific to the research project. Students must confer with their confirmed Biological Sciences faculty mentor to identify appropriate training and register for training through Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) at the link above. Students participating in research labs within the affiliated institutions mentioned above must obtain site-specific EH&S training through the institution in which they are conducting their research. Students who will work on projects supported by National Institutes of Health and/or National Science Foundation funding must also complete Responsible Conduct of Research Basic Training through CITI Program.

Requirements To Apply

Application package is due October 31st

1. Minimum GPA 3.0

2. Core Course Requirement

  • Biodiversity + Lab
  • Biological Principles + Lab
  • General Chemistry + Lab (I & II)

3. Statement of purpose

4. Resume

5. Letter of Recommendation from faculty or graduate student is preferred. 

6. Unofficial Transcript

7. Completed Application Form

* These positions are highly competitive and limited candidates will be interviewed.   Students will be notified by  November 30th.

Program Contact:

For general information on the Introduction to Biological Research Program, please contact:

Dr. Evelyn Frazier

Honors Research Thesis Pathway Administrator

Senior Instructor, Department of Biological Sciences