One of the main requirements for undergraduate majors in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry is to perform an independent research project. The goal of this requirement is to further expose students to a research environment and provide practical training for careers in medicine, or academic and industrial research. It is our belief the best way to learn science is by doing science.
In addition to working in laboratories during the academic year, many undergraduate students work over the summer in the lab so that they can devote their full time to the projects. These students have often been awarded fellowships to support their research. Many of the students that conduct research are able to present their research at scientific meetings both on and off campus or had their work published in peer reviewed scientific journals.
Undergraduate research may be carried out with any science faculty member at Rutgers University or at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS). However, in order for MBB students to register for independent research courses students must obtain special permission from their MBB academic advisors. Forms for special permission numbers can be obtained from the undergraduate secretary for MBB. It is advisable to meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester. In this way, they can follow your progress and provide guidance and suggestions on career choices. This interaction is also important from the perspective of the department because it helps us to track how students are doing and how it can make improvements.
Registration in research courses is by special permission only. Students must first fill out a Special Permission Form for Undergraduate Research and then have it signed by their research advisor and MBB academic advisor. They should then bring the signed form to the Dept Undergraduate secretary, Shalene Montgomery to obtain a special permission number. Registration for research courses should be done during the normal registration periods in the previous semester. Those students who found a research laboratory after the registration period may register during the Add/Drop period at the beginning of the semester but they must also get a signature from the Undergraduate Director, Andrew Vershon.
Students need an overall GPA of 2.8 or greater to conduct research.
Students are expected to do 4-5 hrs of research a week for each credit. (i.e. students taking research for 3 credits are expected to be in the lab at least 12 hrs a week.)