Human Biology Undergraduate Research
BISC-490 Directed Research
Juniors and seniors may register for BISC-490 Directed Research. However, 490 requires the support of a USC faculty sponsor and the student must submit an application through the Department of Biological Sciences. Students applying for BISC-490 must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (science and cumulative).
If students sign up for 4 units of BISC-490, they are expected to spend a minimum of 12-16 hours per week in the lab (i.e. 3-4 hours of lab work per credit hour). Some students prefer to pursue their project by signing up for 2 credits of 490 in two consecutive semesters (i.e., eight to 10 hours per week of lab work for two semesters). Students who pursue this option are expected to work on the same project with the same sponsor both semesters.
Selection of a faculty sponsor is an important aspect of the research experience. The selection of a sponsor is a student-initiated process and should involve becoming familiar with several faculty members’ research interests. The process should begin with a web search and/or by reading published papers. You can find HEB faculty information here. Most faculty will accept undergraduates in their laboratories if they have space and funding, and if they are impressed by a student's interest and preparation. Once familiar with rules and regulations for 490 projects, a student should make a list of the faculty members whose research they are interested and contact them to set up an appointment. Be aware that faculty members are very busy and students need to plan well in advance to meet with them, write a proposal with their guidance, and meet the deadline for submission.
BISC research applications must be submitted to Linda Bazilian in AHF 107 F, by the end of the first week of classes in the semester in which you wish to enroll. Please make arrangements to meet with your sponsor well in advance, and allow two weeks for a decision from the department chair. For more information see the frequently asked questions.
HEB Faculty Research
Research opportunities are available in our department for unit credit, as well as volunteer options. Drs. Casey Donovan, Jill McNitt-Gray, Lorraine Turcotte, Scott Kanoski, Stephanie Bogart, and Craig Stanford offer research opportunities in their funded laboratories. If you are interested in research for unit credit or a volunteer experience, please contact them directly.
Other Research Opportunities for Undergraduates
Funding for undergraduate research projects is available by applying to the following programs:
A. University of Southern California
- Undergraduate Research Program
- McNair Scholars Program
- Student Senate Academic Research Fund
- Rose Hill Fellowships
- Provost's Fellowships
B. Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, USC
- Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Program
- Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)
- Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF)
- National Institutes of Health, Undergraduate Scholarship Program
- National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
D. Summer Programs
- American Heart Association, Undergraduate Student Research Program
- Mayo Graduate School, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
- Minority International Research Training Program
- MURF Fellowships Program, Caltech
- Sepela Field Programs in South Africa - offers courses in field ecology, primatology, photography, and veterinary care.
- DANTA Association for Conservation of the Tropics in Costa Rica - offers courses in the field on primates, birds, sea turtles, bats, and conservation
- Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, Costa Rica - offers courses in the field on primates, rainforest ecology, photography, and veterinary care.
- More field courses and volunteer opportunities researching nonhuman primates can be found on Primate Info Net's website under jobs.
- Department of Biological Sciences
- University of Southern California
- Allan Hancock Foundation Building
- Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
- Phone: (213) 740 - 1109
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org