All biochemistry majors are required to do a minimum of 3 credits of BCHM 49800 research as part of their capstone project. Honors students are encouraged to register for BCHM 49900 one time. BCHM 29800 is offered for freshmen and sophomores wanting to get an early start in undergraduate research.
Step 1: Find a professor willing to work with you in his or her lab. See Our Faculty page for descriptions of research done in Biochemistry professors’ labs. Search other departments' faculty research pages if you would like to do your project in another department.
Step 2: (Skip this step if you are working with a Biochemistry professor.) If your professor is from another department, the project needs to be approved by your Biochemistry academic advisor. Write a description of your research and send it via e-mail to your advisor. He or she may have some follow-up questions for you. It is important to note that this description should be written by the student and not by the research supervisor.
Step 3: Discuss with your research supervisor how many hours you will work on the project each week. A minimum of five hours per week in the lab corresponds to 1 unit of credit during a regular 15-week semester. During the 8-week regular summer session, students will earn 1 credit for 10 hours of research per week. During the 4-week Maymester session, students will earn 1 credit for each 20 hours of research per week. In general, one credit requires approximately 75 hours of research. Any activity relevant to the student's research experience (e.g. attending lab meetings, reading necessary literature, etc.) will count toward the approximately 75 hours of work per credit hour.
Step 4: If you have not already done so, you must complete safety training before you can enroll in BCHM 29800, 49800 or 49900, or work in a lab for pay. Review the University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan manual, then meet with your labs' principle investigator (PI) or his/her designee to be trained on laboratory specific safety and personal protective equipment:
Chemical Hygiene Plan (Two parts)
Part 1: Basic Lab Safety Fundamentals:
a. Go to https://purdue.vividlms.com/
b. Register to create a new account and login
c. Complete the 3 modules and take the exam
d. Print the certificate and bring it to BCHM 120.
Part 2: Laboratory Specific Chemical Hygiene Plan:
a. Read the CHP manual: https://www.purdue.edu/ehps/rem/documents/programs/chp2014.pdf (cut and paste URL into your browser)
b. Print out the form under Appendix A and take it to your research lab's principal investigator (PI) to discuss laboratory-specific safety. Sign the form and bring it to BCHM 120.
Personal Protective Equipment:
This training should be performed by your research lab's principal investigator (PI) or your immediate supervisor. Complete and sign the form. Your PI must also sign the form.
Deliver the completed forms to the BCHM Main Office (120).
Step 5: Ask your PI to e-mail the Biochemistry Undergraduate Program Administrator, Sherry Pogranichniy (email@example.com), giving their permission for you to register for BCHM 29800, 49800 or 49900 under their supervision, and indicating the number of credits you should receive. Because this is a variable-credit course requiring instructor permission, Sherry will add the course and credits to your schedule. Please do this before the end of the first week of classes. Otherwise, you will need to take a signed Form 23 to the Registrar’s Office.
Step 6: Download the syllabus so you and your research supervisor have guidelines to follow:
2nd half-semester (8-week) versions of these are also available: