Research Credit Requirements

Requirements to Receive Credit for Research

  • Work for the designated amount of time in the lab.  Students must consult with their PI regarding the number of lab hours prior to registration.
    • Credit hours: 1 credits = 40 hours, 2 credits = 80 hours, 3 credits = 120 hours
  • Write a journal-article-format research paper (2-4 pages but can vary) about your lab work.

    Note: Your lab supervisor will need to review and approve your paper via an email confirmation that is due on the last day of classes. Details about how to submit your paper and email confirmations will be emailed to all students registered for research during the semester.

  • Arrange to have your lab supervisor (PI or Post-doc) send an email to stating the number of credits earned at the end of the semester. Note: If your lab supervisor is a Homewood faculty member, this requirement is not needed.
  • Fill out an online research survey at the end of the semester.

Signing up for Research Credit and Scientific Communication

Once you have found a lab:

  • Fill out the Independent Academic Work (IAW) form online, through SIS. Note, two separate IAW forms are required if you are planning to do research and Scientific Communication during the same semester. The request will be reviewed 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. Most full-time Homewood faculty will have a section number. If the lab supervisor/PI is not a full-time faculty member on the Homewood campus, students must register under Dr. Jason Trageser (section 01) 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.
  • All neuroscience students must register for two semesters of Scientific Communication and are strongly encouraged to only take Scientific Communication when they are either actively involved in research or have completed at least three credits of research. 

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 the lab you’re working in is not on the Homewood Campus, your lab supervisor must send an email to 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 Spring 2021:

Students need to complete two semesters of Scientific Communication (AS.080.500). Students are strongly encouraged to only take Scientific Communications when they are either actively involved in research or have completed at least three credits of research.  

  • Scientific Communication meetings are held at the beginning and end of each semester. Both sessions are mandatory. The first session will be the orientation session, held at the beginning of the semester to discuss the work that you will be doing during the upcoming semester. The second session will be the exit session, held during the last week of classes. 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. 
  • 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.

Scientific Communication: 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 at the beginning of the semester to discuss the work that they will be doing during the upcoming semester (see the “special notes” for dates/times of each section).

Scientific Communication: Exit Session

All exit sessions are held during the last week of classes (see the “special notes” for dates/times of each section). 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.

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 the work you accomplished. This report must be reviewed by your PI or post-doc. Once reviewed the report must be submitted to the Neuroscience Program along with an email confirming the paper has been approved by the PI or post-doc. The report is due on the last day of classes each semester. 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.

Each semester, students will receive an email with specific instructions explaining how to upload the papers. The instructions will also include reminders about paper and research credit confirmation. Please be sure to read the email carefully.