Research Credit Requirements

Requirements to Receive Credit for Research

  • Attend a Scientific Communication (080.500) section at the beginning and end of each semester. The first session will be the orientation session. The second session will be the exit session. Both sessions are mandatory. The dates and times of these sessions are noted in the special notes section of SIS for each section. You must attend the section that you signed up for. You must register for Scientific Communication until you have reached your 6 credits of required neuroscience research.
    • Students who are applying for departmental honors are required to add an additional 3 credits of research.
    • Credit hours: 1 credits = 40 hours, 2 credits = 80 hours, 3 credits = 120 hours
    • View the Academic Advising Research Guidelines
  • Work for the designated amount of time in the lab.
  • Write a journal-article-format research paper (2-4 pages but can vary) about your lab work. This paper is to be signed by your research supervisor and submitted during your Scientific Communication exit session.
  • Arrange to have your lab supervisor (PI or Post-doc) send an email to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Jason Trageser stating the number of credits earned at the end of the semester. If your lab supervisor is a Homewood faculty member, this requirement is not needed.
  • Fill out an online research survey.

Signing up for Research Credit

Once you have found a lab, you need to sign up for a section of Scientific Communication: Neuroscience (080.500), which is a 0.5-credit course. and Neuroscience Research. The Scientific Communication section is taken concurrently with Neuroscience Research and consists of a two-hour research orientation session held at the beginning of the semester and a two-hour exit session held at the end of the semester. Each section meets on different dates and times, and these dates and times will change each semester. See the “special notes” listing in the course description to sign up for the section that fits into your schedule. To fulfill the time necessary to earn the 0.5 credit, you are also expected to meet with your lab supervisor or attend a lab meeting once a week to understand the research the lab is undertaking and receive feedback on the work you are doing.

  • Fill out the independent research form, online, through SIS. This will be approved for all neuroscience students by the administrative office.  Students have an option to register for 1-3 credits but this should be based on a conversation between the student and the PI.
  • Register for Scientific Communication (080.500) and the corresponding Neuroscience Research section based on the students academic year and the PI.
  • Students have an option to register for 1-3 credits but this should be based on a conversation between the student and the PI. Most full-time Homewood faculty will have a section number. If the lab supervisor is not a full-time faculty member on the Homewood campus, students must register under Dr. Jason Trageser as their full-time Homewood faculty sponsor. Sign up for the number of credits that you think you will be able to earn. Remember, you may not go over 18.5 total credits per semester. Going above the credit limit warrants the approval of Academic Advising.

Be sure to complete your paperwork prior to leaving campus or you will not be able to receive credit for your work. You do not have to pay for research credits done over the summer.

Lab Supervisor Emails (for Students Not Working on Homewood Campus)

If you are not working on the Homewood campus, Dr. Trageser must receive an email from your lab supervisor prior to the last day of the semester.

If you are working at another university, speak to Dr. Trageser and complete the following:

  • First email: The email should state the nature of the work you will be doing in the lab and how many credits you plan on earning.
  • Second email: The PI of the lab needs to simply state that you have successfully completed X number of research credits. If you are working with a post-doc, the post-doc may send the email, but must state the name of the PI of the lab. If you are working with a graduate student, the PI or post-doc must send the email.

Scientific Communication

Beginning Fall 2017:

Students must sign up for Scientific Communication (080.500) prior to signing up for NS Research until they complete their 6 credits of research.  (This procedure remains the same as before.)

After completing 6 credits of research, students may sign up for NS Research without having to sign up for Scientific Communication. SIS will automatically check to be sure the student has 6 credits of NS Research. Students may still sign up for Scientific Communication, but only if they want to.

Please note: If you are currently finishing up your 6 credits of research – there is an “in progress” tag on your research. This means you must wait until a grade is posted on SIS to sign up for more NS Research.  You have until the end of the add period to sign up for classes.

Research Orientation Session

Scientific communication is vital to advancing science, and the research orientation and exit sessions are designed to help you describe your laboratory experiences. Small groups of students will meet for a two-hour session to discuss the work that they will be doing during the upcoming semester. Orientation sessions are held in the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Conference Room, Dunning 414.

Research Exit Session

All exit sessions are held during the last week of classes, in Dunning 414. For these sessions, you will need to prepare a 2–3-minute presentation. These are not PowerPoint presentations. The presentation should include an overview of the work that is being done in the lab (questions being addressed, methods used, etc.), your role in the project, and something about the composition of the lab (e.g., it is a large lab with grad students, post-docs, etc.). In your presentation, you should be able to describe your work in terms that anyone can understand. You should also be able to answer questions that your colleagues and fellow neuroscientists may have.

Students not registered for research are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. Come and find out about the labs in which our students are working. You do not need to sign up to attend if you are just visiting.

Research Survey

All students are also required to complete an online research survey. You will receive an email directing you to the survey during the last week of classes. If you do not receive the email, contact Linda M. White at

Research Paper

You must turn in a report on work accomplished to the Homewood faculty sponsor during your Scientific Communication exit session. Unless an alternative arrangement has been made with the sponsor beforehand, late reports will not be accepted and may result in a grade of unsatisfactory. The typewritten report must be signed by the lab supervisor. If you are working with a post-doc, he or she may sign the paper but must also state the name of the PI of the lab. If you are working with a graduate student, the PI or a post-doc must sign the paper.