Seminars in Biology

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   Course Syllabus
   Course Overview
   Research Proposal
   Application for Mentored Research

Course Syllabus

Biology 362
Seminars in Biology
Spring 2009

Instructor: Dr. Mary Ogilvie
Office: # 203F
Phone: 321-3437

Course Description: Seminar series in which research scientists are invited to discuss their research. Students are assigned research mentors in anticipation of fulfilling the requirements for Mentored Research I, II, and III. As a requirement of this course, students are asked to write a proposal describing the research project to be conducted in Mentored Research. Prerequisites: Junior standing.

Required: Planning, Proposing and Presenting Science Effectively, Hailman and Strier

Course Goals:
1. To develop the ability to critically evaluate the interpretation that a scientist offers in order to explain his/her experimental results.
2. To learn how to write a research proposal.
3. To collaborate with a research mentor in order to design a research project.
4. To appreciate the ethical issues associated with conducting a research project using either animals and/or humans as subjects.
5. To be able to critically evaluate the design of a research project.

Grading scale:
A = 90 to 100 D = 60 to 69
B = 80 to 89 F = < 60
C = 70 to 79

1. Completing an on-line ethics course sponsored by UT, Memphis, Dept. of Human Values and Ethics. Proof of this will be due by March 2.
2. A rough draft of your research proposal, due March 30
3. A final, corrected draft of your proposal, due April 20.
4. Attendance at the Tenn. Academy of Science Meeting
- This will be held Saturday,April 3 at Rhodes College.
5. Attendance at Sr. poster session, April 20
- 11:00 - 2:00 in the East Lounge of the Thomas Center.

Grade: Rough draft of proposal 100 pts.
Final draft of Proposal......... 100 pts
Total Pts............................. 200 pts.

Attendance: Will be taken at each class. You may miss no more than one class to pass the course.


Jan. 13 Course Introduction

Jan. 20 Dr. Stan Eisen, CBU, "Dealing with the Application Process"

Jan. 27 Dr. Terry Ackerman, Dir., Human Values & Ethics, U.T., Mphs Dr.
"Bioethics in Human Research"
Transcript and Application Due

Feb. 3 Dr. Stan Eisen, CBU, Dept. of Biology,
Travelogue of Uganda and an Invitation to MIRT

Feb. 10 CBU Seniors ..What to expect of Mentored Research

Feb. 17 Dr. Scott Franklin, U of M, Dept. of Biology,
Forest Fragmentation and Biodiversity

Feb. 24 Planning meeting, Hand out instructions for writing the proposal, Etc.

March 2 Dr. Eldon Geisert, U.T.M., Dept. of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Proof of on-line Ethics Course due.
Mar. 9 Spring Break ----------- No classes

Mar. 16 TBA

Mar. 23 Shelby County Science Fair Judging, Youth Bldg. at Fair Grounds

March 30 Dr. Gabot Tigyi, U.T.M., Dept. of Pharmacology,
Phospholipd Growth Factors: From Lab to the Clinic
Rough Draft of Research Proposal due

April 3 Tennessee Academy of Sciences at Rhodes College

April 6 Dr. Suleiman Bahouth, UT, Memphis, Dept. of Pharmacology

April 13 TBA

April 20 CBU Poster Session, East Lounge
Final Draft of Research Proposal due.

April 27 Course Evaluation
Dr. Malinda Fitzgerald, Mentored Research

May 4 Study Day

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Course Overview

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to prepare you for your research project which will be conducted primarily over the course of the next 9 -10 months. You will be assigned a research mentor before spring break of this semester.
To participate in the mentored research program, you must enroll in Mentored Research I, II and III. Mentored Research I is a 1 credit course typically offered the summer before your senior year. You will enroll in Mentored Research II and III (both worth two credit hours) the fall and spring, respectively, of your senior year.
To be eligible for Mentored Research, you must have a biology GPA of a 2.0. If your GPA is below a 2.0 and you are interested in Mentored Research, please schedule a time with me to discuss the feasibility of your enrollment in this program.
Alternatively, some students have conducted research on the CBU campus under the guidance of a biology faculty member. In that case, you would enroll in BIOL 461-462 (Independent Research I and II).
For this Seminar class, you will be responsible for submitting a research proposal describing what you intend to do for your senior project. You will obtain this information by discussing your project with your mentor. Your mentor will assign a project related to his/her own research. The proposal is done to certify proficiency in developing a convincing research project. In reality, it may turn out that the research you actually complete will vary considerably from the proposal you write.
The following are deadlines that must be met for this course:
Jan 27 : CBU Transcript due and Application for Mentored Research
March 2: Assignment of Research Mentors by this date
Proof of on-line Ethics course due.
March 30: Research proposal (rough draft)
Apr. 20 Research proposal (final draft)
Failure to meet these deadlines will result in loss of points from your final grade.

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Instructions for Writing a Research Proposal

A first draft of the proposal will be submitted to me, I will make suggestions and give it back to you. Your final draft, with changes incorporated, must be handed in with the original proposal. Grading will be based on spelling, grammar, clarity, and content..
For every day late on the rough and final drafts, I will deduct 2 pts. from your final draft grade.

The research proposal must include these sections:
a. A Descriptive Title

b. Experimental Plan,
In one paragraph, briefly describe the research you intend to conduct.

Describe the background and present knowledge of the field in which you will be working

Provide a description of the organisms(s), experimental protocols, hardware, software and analysis procedures you intend to use.
List the principal materials needs for your project (include here the number of animals you estimate you will need, glassware, culture media, and other chemicals).
Explain how your data will be evaluated.

Provide information pertaining to the costs of the items you will need. Indicate anticipated quantities.

f. Literature Cited
Information must be cited in the body of the text simply by using numbered subheadings. Specific information (corresponding to these citations) with regard to journal, volume, author and page numbers will be included in the References section at the end of the proposal.
Include 4 ­ 5 citations.
No citations can be taken from the Internet unless they are originally found in a book or journal article.


-Avoid using 1st person, proposal should be written in 3rd person, passive voice.
-All sections of your proposal should be written in future tense, except the Introduction which should be written in past tense.
-Aim for a proposal of 3 - 4 pages, 11/2 line spaces.
-Include flow charts when appropriate in your Introduction if it will help with my understanding of the material in the Introduction.

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Application for Mentored Research

DUE: Jan. 27

Name ________________________________________

Have you had Organic I? __________
Have you had Organic II? _________
Have you had Biochemistry? __________
What upper division (>112) have you taken? List below.






B. If you prefer a specific location for your research, please indicate your first
choice __________________________________

C. Do you have a research mentor in mind?
Name ________________________________
Address ________________________________
Phone # ________________________________
Area of Research:

D. Below, write a brief description (or list) of your particular research interests:





E. Give the names of at least 2 science faculty who know you well enough to recommend you for mentored or independent research. ____________________ and _____________________

F. Are you planning to do Independent research or mentored research? _______________________


PLEASE RETURN WITH THIS COMPLETED FORM, AN UNOFFICIAL COPY OF YOUR TRANSCRIPT. (It often takes one week to get a transcript so don't delay. That means you!)


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