Independent Research
Bio371, Bio372 and Bio373
Independent research to be just that -- independent. Projects in my laboratory do not need to be focused on my area of research and can include laboratory research, literature reviews and pedagogical projects (or combinations of these options). Each project will require input and preparation BEFORE the semester begins as well as continuing progress during the term.

Examples of recent syllabuses:

Effects of Selenium & O3 on Lung Cells


Projects are often sunk before they begin due to lack of planning. An independent study course is one where you are in charge of and must design the syllabus. Before the semester begins you must outline your goals for the project and a general timeline. It is your project, I am here to guide. We will discuss and modify this outline to plan the semester ahead.    

BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER:  By the end of the second week of classes you will write a formal proposal for your project. This proposal will be submitted to the department for internal funds to cover your expenses.    

THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER: Performing research and showing up for a class-lab require different kinds of preparation (i.e. you will be expected to make solutions and pour media, you must also keep up to date on literature). I expect at least 10 hr/week in the lab. The good thing is that you choose which hours they are. You will often need 'clumps' of time but the exact time they occur can change from week to week.

Most of you will be working with living organisms (Chlamydomonas, Tissue Culture cells). You will be responsible for maintaining cultures. During semesters where multiple people are working with the same organism you can share this responsibility but you must be sure that you a) communicate to be sure that all will have cultures when they need them; and b) be even more careful about technique since your actions will affect others.

We will meet one time/week to discuss experimental design and results.
We will meet one time/week to discuss articles.
You will keep a detailed notebook of your experiments and the data collected.    

LAB MEETINGS: Part of doing research is to be able to effectively communicate your work and get input from your peers. To facilitate this lab meeting will be scheduled (usually Friday afternoon) and you will present your work at a larger venue (ex. poster session)

Back to Bernd Homepage

Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to: