Research for Credit

I. Look for a research opportunity

The first step in conducting independent research is finding a lab in which to work. Here are two good pages with advice about finding a research lab in which to work: MBB research page, Aresty research page. Also, we recommend attending research seminars in order meet people actively involved in research at Rutgers:

Cell Biology and Neuroscience Seminars
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Seminars
Genetics Seminars 

The following web sites also contain information about faculty research interests:

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience

Graduate Program in Neuroscience  

Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Department of Genetics
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Aresty Center
Waksman Institute
BioMaPS
Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine

Contact Information for the CBN Coordinator of Research:

Dr. Shu C. Hsu
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
848-445-1665
Nelson Labs - Rm D419

II. Register for Research Credit

When you find a research opportunity with a faculty member with shared interests, you must submit a brief (one to two page)* research proposal and a signed research application to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in order to register for research credit. The research proposal must include a specific, testable hypothesis, a plan for collecting and analyzing data plus a clear description of your specific role in the project. Students must have completed general biology 101 and 102 and have a 2.8 GPA overall and in courses required for the CBN major in order to register for research credit. The deadline to register for research is the fourth Friday of every semester.

*Honors research applications are expected to be five pages and include relevant findings from previous research.

III. Create New Knowledge!

Work in your research lab (at least 3 hours of work per week, per credit) and complete a progress report that documents your research effort and findings for that semester (Guidelines for writing the progress report). The report is due no later than the last day of classes for that semester.  The report should be uploaded to your ‘Assignment’ on the CBN Sakai Student Research web site.

*Honors thesis requirements should be discussed with your PI and with the Coordinator of Research. 

Below are specific guidelines for each type of research or independent study project.


Independent Study in CBN, Research in CBN, Honors in CBN

Eligible students may work under the supervision of faculty members associated with the Division of Life Sciences or professors affiliated with any Rutgers-New Brunswick campus or the UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. However, your project must involve ‘wet lab’ research related to cell biology or neuroscience. Clinical studies that only require data analysis are not eligible for CBN research credit.

Students cannot receive CBN Independent Study/Research/Honors credits for participating in internship programs, volunteer service or political activities. Research credits must be carried out under the direction of a Rutgers faculty member, and be directly relevant to the faculty mentor’s research effort.  Students may not be paid for the work for which they are earning credits. Students may not receive credit for assisting faculty in their teaching responsibilities or for preparing and/or grading exams.

With the approval of a CBN Advisor, two semesters of research (minimum 3 credits each semester) carried out under the direction of the same faculty member may be used as one of the 300-400 level electives and fulfill the lab requirement of the ‘Track A’ major. Independent Study in CBN does not fulfill the laboratory requirement. Each Independent Study/Research/Honors course requires the submission of a written progress report, due at the end of the registration period. The specific format of the report is discussed below. This requirement is in addition to any requirements determined by the faculty mentor.

Independent Study 01:146:201-202 (1-3 credits)

Pre or Co- Requisites: GPA of 2.8

Independent Study in CBN is intended to freshmen and sophomores with the opportunity to expand their studies into areas not specifically addressed by the formal course offerings. Independent Study involves an introduction to the relevant scientific literature, techniques and experiments carried out in the mentor’s lab. Students are not expected to have their own assigned project.

A term paper in appropriate scientific format, including a full literature cited section referencing peer reviewed primary and secondary sources is submitted to and graded by the faculty advisor. The graded paper must be submitted to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before the start of the final exam period for that semester.

The application form for Independent Study in CBN must be completed and approved prior to the start of the project. 

Registration must be approved by the CBN Coordinator of Research.

Research in CBN 01:146:307-308, 406-407 (1-4 credits)

Pre- or Co- Requisites:  GPA of 2.8

Research in CBN is intended to provide students with an opportunity to experience the scientific discovery process. Students engage in laboratory experiments under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor. Each student is expected to carry out his/her own research project. "Hands-on" laboratory exposure is an essential component of this course.

A written progress report is required. The progress report should include an Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results (data should be presented in figures and/or tabular form), Discussion, and References. A minimum of ten pages is required (Guidelines for writing the progress report). The graded paper must be submitted to the CBN Coordinator of Research before the start of the final exam period for that semester.

The application form for Research in CBN must be completed and approved prior to the start of the project: junior level (146:307-308) or senior level (146:406-407) forms.

Registration will only be approved by the CBN Coordinator of Research.

Honors in CBN 01:146:408-409 (3-6 credits)

Pre- or Co- Requisites: Open to senior CBN majors who have previous research experience. Overall GPA of 3.4; CBN major GPA of 3.4.

Honors in CBN is intended to provide highly motivated students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a scientific research project. Students engage in laboratory research under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Each student is expected to complete their own original research project. Direct laboratory exposure is an essential component of this course. Honors in CBN projects are expected to be more sophisticated than Research in CBN projects.

Students must complete a minimum of 6 credits to qualify for Departmental Honors. Students must submit a written thesis and make an oral presentation at a thesis-defense. The thesis committee must be composed of at least three faculty members, including the research advisor and at least one member of the CBN faculty.

The application form for Honors in CBN must be completed and approved prior to the start of the project. 

For students enrolled in the SAS honors programs, the CBN honors thesis will be credited also as the SAS Honors capstone project.  All applications for senior honors research must be submitted to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than the end of the first week of the fall semester of the senior year. Other requirements of the CBN Honors track include registration for the spring term senior CBN Honors student seminar course.