Neuroscience 190 Introduction to Research Guidelines
The broad objective of NSC 190 is for the student to become familiar with the current projects, techniques, and publications of a neuroscience research laboratory. In order to do this, the student will need to become familiar with the most important current literature that is significant for the work in the laboratory and take part in a research project in the laboratory. The emphasis will be on scientific reading and writing, and on obtaining sufficient practical experience to comprehend the process of development of scientific ideas as well as the problems and difficulties involved in research.
The first step in registering for NSC 190 is to identify a faculty sponsor. Look at the research opportunities available on the NSC web page under Research where you will find a short research description of the faculty involved in the neuroscience program. It is left to your initiative to determine what area of research you wish to pursue. Contact the faculty whose research description you like and ask whether you could visit and work in her/his lab. We suggest that you contact more than one lab. Some researchers will tell you that they already have several students and cannot take any more. After you have found a mentor, download the NSC 190 Contract. Complete the application form and email it as an attachment to your faculty. Your faculty sponsor should then forward the entire email, including the attachment, to the Program Director, Terry Page. Paper contracts will not be accepted. This process assures the Program Office that that the sponsor has seen and approved the contract. Assuming you meet all the requirements and have taken the appropriate prerequisites, you will be registered. An email will be sent to both the student and faculty sponsor for confirmation of registration.*
**In order to be registered on time, contracts MUST be emailed to the Program Director, Terry Page no later than 24 hours before the end of the DROP/ADD period. ***
Students that are considering taking NSC 190 are urged to make contact with potential faculty sponsors early in the pre-registration period for the semester they plan to enroll. If you have questions, contact the Program Office.
Once a student has been admitted to NSC 190, his or her primary interactions during the semester will be with the faculty sponsor and members of the sponsor’s laboratory. The goal of the research component of this course is not research achievement. That would be impractical in the time available. Rather, the student will use the time spent on a research project to become familiar with the research process. Reading and understanding the relevant research literature and discussions with the mentor and other members of the laboratory are important components of the course.
This is an 7 to 10 page report. It should contain background information, a description of the research project(s) on which the student worked, a section in which future directions of research are discussed, and a short reference list. For the final report, the mentor is encouraged to comment on a first draft of this report. A final copy is due to the faculty mentor and Program Office by date specified by Program Office.
The final report is to be graded by the faculty sponsor. The final grade for the course will be assigned by the faculty sponsor. The grade will be based on the final paper along with a strong emphasis on the faculty sponsor’s evaluation of the student’s performance. Please contact the Program Office if you have questions about the organization and style of the paper.