Undergraduate Research in the Mount lab
Undergraduate research in the Mount laboratory is available through a number of mechanisms. A typical path is one or two semesters of research as BSCI379G followed by BSCI379H. A number of mechanisms are available for support of undergraduate research. These are described on the College web site (here).
Selection. More students want to do laboratory research than can be accommodated. Preference is given to those with a genuine interest in genetics and genomics and research. Students should be willing to work at least two semesters and preferably longer.
Expectations: Each semester that an undergraduate works in the lab for credit, they are expected to do the following:
- Work in the lab. You should put in the approprite number of hours per week. It is important to get a good start on the project early in the semester. Miracles rarely occur as finals approach and our research organisms do take time to reach maturity.
- Make an oral presentation to lab meeting at the end of the semester. This should provide background (What was the research question? Why is it important?) and summarize the experiments carried out. (Summarize even experiments that were not successful, in which case the reasons for their failure should be addressed). Future plans should be discussed (if this is your last semester, discuss where the project should go next).
- Submit a written paper. This should be in the form of a scientific report. It should have an abstract, an introduction, methods, results and conclusions. The most important role of this paper is to communicate precisely what was done (with details, gene names, numbers, data) so that there is a record of what was done in a form that is more accessible than your lab notebook. However, it is also essential to provide some context in the form of an introduction and a summary of what was learned. At least some references to the scientific literature should be included. This paper is due (to me) at the end of the term (24 hours after the last regularly scheduled final, for those of you who need a very precise deadline).