The Department of Biology at FMU strongly encourages
student participation in research activities.

The mission of the Department of Biology is to produce scientifically literate graduates who display robust knowledge of basic principles across a broad spectrum of biological principles. We strive to train our students to use their critical thinking skills and mastery of those principles to perform inquiry into the biological world and effectively convey biological information. For this reason, we are committed to experiential learning including: laboratory, field, and research experiences.We offer many opportunities for undergraduates to assist in faculty research or develop their own independent research projects. Students can also earn academic credit through Special Studies and Honors Independent Study courses. If you have more questions about engaging in a research project, please contact the program coordinator.

Why participate in research?

Research experience benefits YOU by enhancing your collegiate learning experience, building your resume, introducing you to the methodology of modern science, and teaching you how scientists apply classroom concepts in practical real-world investigations. It also gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with a professor you admire, which provides the basis for great letters of recommendation. Perhaps most importantly, it helps you decide whether biology is truly the best career choice for you. The faculty in the Department of Biology conduct research in many aspects of biological science. Use the links to their personal webpages to find more information about the research programs of individual faculty members. Your adviser should also be able to answer any questions you might have about getting started on the exciting journey that is the undergraduate research project.

PURE (Program for Undergraduate Research Experience)

Program Coordinator: Dr. Tamatha Barbeau

PURE is a program that helps provide students information about research in the Department of Biology, including the types of student research completed in previous semesters and also current research opportunities available.

Each semester we host a PURE Symposium on campus, where motivated student researchers can present their results. Participation in this symposium is optional, but strongly encouraged. Fellow students and faculty attend the symposium to learn more about the various ongoing research projects in the department. It also provides a great opportunity to give a scientific presentation (which also goes on your resume), become more comfortable with speaking professionally in a public setting, and explain with confidence the results of your scientific work.

BIOL 497: Special Studies

Getting credit for a research project is available to Juniors and Seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. You can earn 1, 2, or 3 credit hours depending on the intensity of the project. There are forms that have to be filled out and approved, so once you have identified a faculty member you want to work with, ask them how to go about completing the paperwork for BIOL 497. The credits earned from BIOL 497 can be applied to the 8 biology elective hours required for the degree.