Undergraduate Student Research

UCA biologists engage in a wide range of research activities, from studies related to cancer treatment to studies of ecological relationships in Arkansas streams. Research projects engage students in a wide variety of activities.  Faculty supervise student research projects and much of the equipment and instrumentation obtained through faculty projects is also available to students.

Ways to get involved with undergraduate research

  1. Volunteer in a faculty research program.
  2. Obtain research credit at the 3000- or 4000-level.  This will appear on your transcript as either BIOL 3V85 or BIOL 4V85 and indicate Undergraduate Research.  See below for details.

Types of Research Credit

  • 4000-level credit (4V85)

Credit for 4V85 counts as upper division elective hours toward the biology major requirements (up to 4 hours).  This course satisfies the Z-attribute (capstone requirement) and one (out of four) of the lab course requirements for the biology major.  To count for one of the lab course requirements, students must enroll in at least 2 total credit hours of BIOL 4V85 (this can be cumulative so students can enroll in 1 credit hour for two consecutive semesters).  Up to 4 credit hours of BIOL 4V85 (cumulative) can be used as upper division biology elective credit for the major. 

Students that desire to receive BIOL 4V85 credit for research mentored in another department (e.g. chemistry, physics) have to submit a research proposal to the Biology Dept Chair.  This will undergo a committee review by the Chair’s Advisory Team.

  • 3000-level credit (3V85)

This does NOT count as upper division elective hours toward the biology major laboratory credit hour requirements.

Procedures and Expectations for BIOL 3V85 or 4V85

Faculty members must go into the shared Google Drive (“Variable Course Sign-up”) and enter in the student information so the departmental advisor can add them to the class.

BIOL 4V85 students are required to submit a 1-2 page research summary that includes a rationale, specific aims, and expected outcomes by the sixth week of the semester.  A continuing research student needs to submit a 1 page progress report of what they have done, and their aims for the semester.  Individual labs may require students to submit a more complete proposal if they wish.  Documents must be submitted to their research advisor who needs to upload it into the “Research Summary” folder under the shared Google Drive (“BIOL 4V85 Research Documents”).  Also, in the “Research Summary” folder there is a summary project information spreadsheet that will need to be filled out by the faculty mentor.

Faculty must provide research students with an undergraduate research syllabus.

At the conclusion of their BIOL 4V85 experience, students are required to write a report and/or give a presentation at a scientific meeting (e.g., CNSM symposiums, Arkansas Academy of Science meetings, INBRE symposiums).  These are required components of the UCA capstone (Z-attribute) experience.  Faculty mentors must upload the report/PPT/etc into the “Artifacts” folder under the shared Google Drive (“BIOL 4V85 Research Documents”).