BSCI 348R is a course where a student is offered the opportunity to perform research under the supervision of a Ph.D. microbiologist who is external to the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, usually in a laboratory at one of the government agencies, industrial corporations, or hospitals in the greater Washington, D.C. - Baltimore, MD area.
The purpose of this course is to provide an additional learning experience by means of a structured project and by expanding the student's exposure to a particular area of Microbiology. By working off-campus the student has the opportunity to function in a different setting, gain additional (or new) experiences with a variety of instruments, listen to other viewpoints, and generally establish a certain degree of confidence in knowing that she/he can function in such a non-college setting.
Thus far, students have worked on numerous projects, both applied and basic, ranging from agricultural to medical in nature. A few of the participating organizations have been the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, as well as other departments on the College Park campus which have ongoing research in some facet of Microbiology.
BSCI 348R is sponsored by the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. Each semester a faculty member will serve as the Instructor for the course. However, this course will not be a traditional lecture variety. In BSCI 348R, the student will meet with the Instructor during pre-registration, or prior to the Add/Drop date of the semester in which the course is taken. This initial meeting is required to receive permission to take the course. The student will then work with the course Instructor to find an off-campus mentor for the BSCI 348R research experience. The student will meet with the off campus mentor, devise a project, and then return to the course instructor for project approval. A written proposal describing the research is due at this meeting. After project approval, the student will perform research in the lab of the off -campus mentor. At the end of the semester, a ten page paper, or a poster, will be due to the course Instructor. Based upon this final project, and comments from the off-campus mentor, the Instructor will decide the course grade.