While not required, many students find opportunity during their time here at VCU to perform research in the form of an independent study. Independent studies must be research based and hypothesis driven. Many will have a significant laboratory component but this is not required. Non-laboratory based independent studies are an acceptable option as long as they centered around a research question.
Please review the information below to learn more about who is eligible for an independent study, as well as the general enrollment process. If you have specific questions, please contact Dr. Catherine Connon, the Undergraduate Director, at email@example.com. Interest meetings are held each semester.
To qualify for an independent study, an undergraduate student must:
The student and their supervising mentor must complete the FRSC 492 Independent Study Contract. Once this is approved by the Undergraduate Director, an override will be requested on the student's behalf in order for the student to register for FRSC 492. The Undergraduate Director provide the student and mentor with any necessary forms, due dates, etc. required for the independent study.
A final scholarly report must be submitted to receive a passing grade. Although the format and contents of the report are left primarily to the discretion of the supervising faculty member, the report should include:
At least one draft should be given to the supervising faculty member no later than the Wednesday prior to the beginning of final exams. The supervising faculty member will provide feedback on the draft. The final version is due to the supervising faculty member by the agreed upon date. The final report must be emailed to the Undergraduate Director no later than the last day of finals. A submitted research manuscript for publication or an abstract (including the poster or presentation slides) for a presentation at a scientific meeting may be considered in lieu of a written final report. Please consult with the Undergraduate Director well in advance in order to determine if a manuscript or presentation with abstract is an acceptable substitution for the final report.
The supervising faculty member is responsible for assigning the final grade for the independent study. In addition to the final report, recommended areas for assessment or evaluation of the student might include:
View Current Research Programs at VCU through the Office of Research and Innovation
Research Assistant in the forensic molecular biology laboratory of Dr. Sarah Seashols-Williams. Duties will include general QA/QC duties for laboratory maintenance, perform necessary laboratory techniques as needed. Student may also serve as the lead investigator on an assigned research project, including completing experiments, compiling data, and writing/revising protocols. Requirements: Forensic Science or other natural science major with GPA >2.75. Completed coursework through Cell Biology preferred, but not required. Email Dr. Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Independent Study opportunities in forensic biology with Dr. Catherine Connon. I have two potential independent study opportunities for the winter 2020-2021 intersession and/or the spring 2021 semester:
If you are interested, please complete this form by November 30th, 2020. Preference given to forensic science or other natural science majors with a GPA >2.75.
Independent Study position in the Goodwin Research Lab with Dr. Sumitra Deb. Send Catherine Vaughan (email@example.com) your complete CV and names of references (3). Your resume should at least include your general work experience, your lab experiences, and GPA. If you know your class schedule for the next semester, providing that would also be very helpful (or at least your hours of availability). To find out more about the research, check out http://www.people.vcu.edu/~ sdeb/.
Please note that this opportunity will not count as FRSC 492 or FRSC 493. Students are eligible to enroll in BIOL 395 or BIOL 492.
American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners (ASTEE) Student Research Project Award. This $250 award is available to any undergraduate or graduate student who is pursuing a BS or higher degree in the natural sciences or forensic sciences and who is performing research in the field of Trace Evidence. The deadline for this application is December 1, 2020. Please see the ASTEE website for more details and to access the application form and the faculty recommendation form.