Research in a modern research laboratory, under the direction and supervision of a faculty member, is a required part of the Biophysics curriculum to prepare students adequately for their future careers as a biophysicist in academic or industrial research.
This course number is used for an individualized research experience under the guidance of a Biophysics faculty member. If a non-Biophysics faculty member serves as the principal mentor, a Biophysics faculty member must be identified as a co-mentor. Students need permission from their biophysics faculty mentor before they can enroll in this course. Typically, students will work on a small, well-defined project that may subsequently turn into a senior or honor's thesis.
The student is expected to work on a research project under the direct supervision of the faculty mentor, who accepts responsibility for all aspects of the student's work. Each credit hour is equivalent to at least four hours a week of actual work in the lab for a 14 week term (minimum 50 hours per term-credit hour). The faculty mentor may delegate some day-to-day supervisory functions to a post-doc or graduate student, but the mentor is nonetheless expected to meet regularly with the student and monitor his or her progress. The mentor is also responsible for assigning a grade at the end of the semester. In case of co-mentorship for a project under the guidance of a non-Biophysics faculty member, the Biophysics co-mentor is expected to take responsibility for the overall appropriateness of the project, ensure that the principal mentor fulfills his or her mentoring obligations towards the student, and, in consultation with the principal mentor, assign a grade.
Students are required to submit a one-page report on his or her research project at the end of the semester. Reports are submitted both to the faculty mentor and to the Biophysics main office for student records.