Undergraduate Research

student working with microscope

Welcome to the undergraduate research web page for the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (CMMB) at the University of South Florida. The information on these pages will guide you through the application process, display current research topics undergraduates can be involved in, explain to you your registration options with the college and much more. Many of this information is made accessible by using the side menu bar on the left side of your screen. This information includes a list of qualifications needed to apply, information about fellowship and scholarship opportunities. Also found there is contact information for members of the undergraduate research committee and information about current news and events related to undergraduate research.

Applicants should read the information on this page carefully.

The CMMB department concentrates its research in 3 specialized research focus areas. Individual faculty performs more specified research within one of these areas. If you have not already approached a faculty member about his or her research, look through the various Research Focus Areas to familiarize yourself with some of what the department has to offer. To find out about lab or mentor availability contact the faculty member directly. Please e-mail any additional questions you may have, to:

Please note that this is a very limited program and we can not accommodate all applicants. Because we receive such a large interest in this program it is important that the applicant reads all instructions carefully, is diligent in regards to completing all required steps and in the correct order, and is patient with this process. Apply early and allow the department and your academic advisors in BioAdvise sufficient time to respond to your queries. 

To be eligible for this program you must meet the following criteria: You must have this information verified by your advisor. Contact BioAdvise to receive a letter of approval. Bring the letter from the advisor to your prospective mentor when you are contacting them. If the mentor agrees to let you perform Undergrad Research in his or her lab, you should then contact Mildred Cummings for registration information. Bring your letter from BioAdvise to Mildred as well.

  • The student must have a USF GPA > 3.0
  • The student must be declared a Biology or Microbiology major and have a current Major GPA > 3.0
  • On the date the Undergraduate Research Application is submitted to BioAdvise, the student must have completed 60 hours or more of undergraduate coursework.   

Registration Information

If you are intending to perform undergraduate research for course credit that will apply to your biology or microbiology major - BSC 4910 or MCB 4905 is the course you will take. Tuition applies to registration for this course.

If you wish to obtain credit towards your degree at USF, but not have the credit hours contribute to your major, enroll in BSC 4905 (independent Study). Tuition applies to registration for this course. If you do NOT want to receive academic credit, however you would like for your transcript to reflect your involvement with Undergraduate Research, enroll in IDS 4910.

  • BSC 4910 (Credit towards Biology major)
  • MCB 4905 (Credit towards Microbiology major)
    • Microbiology majors may receive up to 4 credit hours for carrying out undergraduate research in Microbiology faculty research labs.
  • BSC 4905 (Independent Study)
    • This registration option will provide you with USF credit but not towards the degree. This registration course is available for both Biology or Microbiology majors.
    • Note the following which is taken from The USF College of Arts and Sciences Catalog:
      Students may receive a permit to register for BSC 4905 Independent Study after completing a written contract with a CMMB or IB faculty member. These hours will not count towards any of the biology or microbiology major requirements. BSC 4905 cannot take the place of any regular biology course. However, the credit hours can be used towards the University requirement referred to as the 48 hour rule.
    • To be eligible for BSC 4905, a student must be participating in a biologically related activity which a CMMB or IB faculty member is willing to support as your Independent Study Advisor. You would not be eligible for BSC 4905 credit if:
      • You are receiving payment for the project
      • You are receiving another type of academic credit for the project
      • You already completed the project
  • IDS 4910
    • Once the students has completed the CMMB Undergraduate Research application process and has been assigned to a mentor, the student has the option to register for IDH4910. This registration entails 0 credit hours, and there is no tuition or fees charged. In order to meet USF requirements for registration into this course, the student will need to do the following and after completion of the CMMB Undergraduate Research application process.
      Research on your Transcript
  • Co-Curricular Transcript
    • The Co-Curricular Transcript can also be utilized to obtain a non-credit listing that documents your involvement in CMMB Undergraduate Research. Your co-curricular transcript will be an official document that records verifiable student involvement that occurs outside of the classroom. Please see the following USF web page for information on how to access the co-curricular transcript system in blackboard: 
      Co-curricular Transcript. IMPORTANT! Students that choose this registration option of Co-curricular transcript, must complete the CMMB Undergraduate research application process and also become a USF volunteer. Both of these requirements are necessary to be able to work in any CMMB research lab.

Volunteer Opportunites

Candidates seeking volunteer opportunities in research within the CMMB department are encorouged to apply to the program. Once the candidate has been accepted by a faculty member, the faculty and student will complete A UGR Contract and the required volunteer forms:

Please bring your forms with the appropriate signatures to the CMMB Departmental office (ISA2015) to the attention of: Tiffany Ferrer.

Regarding: Volunteer for Undergraduate Research; Attention Tiffany Ferrer. Note: All USF volunteers are required to track their volunteer hours on a time sheet and submit those time sheets to their supervisor every 14 days.