The Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research 199 Program is designed to provide students the opportunity to pursue independent research. Students work under the direct supervision of a professor in the School of Biological Sciences or the School of Medicine as an apprentice scientist. The Bio Sci 199 Research Program provides training in the biological and biomedical sciences. Research training is provided in experimental laboratories, clinical research, as well as field research.



Students participating in biomedical research at UCI School of Medicine affiliated hospitals and clinics must go through the institutions’ requirements and procedures, safety training and department orientations for conducting research at the clinical site. It is the Bio Sci 199 faculty sponsor’s responsibility to assure that the required training has been completed prior to beginning the Bio Sci 199 research course.

Enrollment procedures for research at hospital/clinical locations, and human subject research at other sites, must be completed once an academic year and renewed each academic year.  Deadline is the 2nd Friday by NOON of the quarter of Bio Sci 199 research and updated appropriately (check with Bio Sci Student Affairs Office, Bio Sci III, 1st floor).


Student Projects


  • Students should be engaged in an academically oriented research project in which they are learning the fundamentals of scientific investigation. Students should be involved in a specific, individual research project in which they are working under close supervision.
  • Students should not be brought into a laboratory to do the general laboratory work such as cutting tissue sections, cleaning the lab, digging holes, entering data, filing folders, or caring for animals. While some of these repetitive tasks may be done as part of a larger project, the students should not solely be engaged in such tasks. In the clinical setting students should not be brought into the project only to prepare patients for exams/procedures, distribute surveys, and/or collect patient information. Students must be engaged in the analysis of findings and outcomes. Students should participate in the laboratory meetings with the faculty sponsors and research team.
  • Students should be involved in a review of the research literature regarding the area of investigation.
  • Students cannot participate in research involving human blood, body fluids, or tissue unless special approval is granted (example, student is a certified phlebotomist). The faculty sponsor must submit request for exception by emailing
  • At no time should a student drive a patient in a car, nor should they ever be working with patients with contagious diseases.
  • Students must adhere to all enrollment policies and procedures, and meet all established deadlines.
  • Students may not:
    • Perform any duties for Industry supported Clinical Trials where prohibited by contract
    • Perform clinical practice or answer/discuss clinical or medical questions
    • Perform high-level/high-risk duties (e.g. operating certain equipment, exposure to radiation, exposure to CDC high risk agents, etc.)


Expectation of Student Participants


  • Students are expected to be working on the project for 3-4 hours a week for each course unit in which they register during Fall, Winter, Spring, and 10 week Summer session. For Summer sessions 1 and 2, the required hours increase to 6-8 hours per week for each course unit registered for.
  • Students must register for the course within the first two weeks of the quarter, the university add deadline, by submitting the Bio 199 Packets to Bio Sci Student Affairs, within this time frame. The School does not receive any teaching credit for those students who do not register by the deadline.
  • Students are expected to read relevant research literature during each quarter.
  • Students must not register for more than five (5) units of independent study courses in the School of Biological Sciences (i.e. BioSci 197, 198, and 199) in any given quarter.
  • Students cannot receive both monetary compensation in the form of a salary, hourly wage or work study monies and Bio Sci 199 research units (for the same hours).


Faculty Eligibility

Bio Sci 199 faculty sponsors must be members of the UCI Academic Senate. To participate as a Bio Sci 199 faculty sponsor, the person must be full time and have a professorship appointment, associate, assistant, professor in residence or full time adjunct professor with the Bio Sci Department or School of Medicine.


Grading System

Grading policies are set by the Academic Senate and can be found in the UCI Catalogue under “Academic Regulations and Procedures.”

For Bio Sci 199 the grade of A+ should only be awarded when the research is beyond excellent and includes such achievements as publications and research presentations or awards at scientific meetings.

A – Excellent (4.0 grade points awarded per unit)
B – Good (3.0 grade points per unit)
C – Average (2.0 grade points per unit)
D – Lowest passing grade (1.0 grade point per unit)
F – Not passing
I – Incomplete
P – Pass (equal to grade C or better)
NP – Not Pass (equal to grade C- or below)
IP – In Progress (restricted to certain sequential courses, so designated by the Committee on Courses or Graduate Council, for which the final quarter grade of a multi-quarter course is assigned to the previous quarter (s) of the sequence)

Plus and minus suffixes may be attached to the grades A, B, C, D. This will modify the above by plus or minus 0.3 grade point per unit, with the exception of the A+ grade which is assigned 4 points per unit.

For a description of the grades S, U, NR, UR , and W refer to the UCI catalogue. Also available on the web at:


UC Learning Center (UCLC) Health & Safety Modules


  • All Bio Sci students must pass Bio Sci 94: Organisms to Ecosystems AND complete the required UCLC modules prior to enrollment in the first Bio Sci 199 course.
  • In addition, those students conducting Bio Sci 199 research at the UCI Medical Center, UCIMC Building 200, SOM Building 55, City Tower, Gottschalk Medical Plaza, Joslin Diabetes Center, Santa Ana Family Health Center, Anaheim Clinic, Centerpoint Child Development Center & School, Hewitt Hall (also known as Institution for Clinical Translational Science = only do packet if work is with human subjects), Long Beach Veterans Administration Medical Center, Fairview Developmental Center, FOR OC KIDS Neurodevelopmental Center and any other research site involved with human subjects, must undergo additional safety training that will allow them to receive a badge identifying them as a student researcher in the facility. Further information on the additional training required is in the Enrollment Procedures Section, under item #4.
  • Students must adhere to the department policy (where the research is located) for conducting Bio Sci 199 research evenings and weekends. For example, at UCIMC, Research Bldg. #55 Bio Sci 199 students can only conduct research from 6am – 6pm, Mon-Fri, unless a staff member is present to supervise.
  • In accordance with UC policy, all Bio Sci 199 students must have health insurance.
  • In addition to students completing the UCLC health & safety modules, students must receive the appropriate safety training needed to work with equipment, chemicals, animals, and application of procedures based on the research conducted in the lab. It is the faculty sponsors’ responsibility to assure that Bio Sci 199 students receive the appropriate training.


Reporting Policies


  • Students are expected to submit the Biological Sciences 199 Packet A or B, which includes the proposal form describing their project. It needs to be signed by the faculty sponsor and submitted online to the Research Dashboard by Friday of Week 2 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). The packet is due the quarter that the Bio Sci 199 is initiated. The packet is valid for one academic year. All required documents must be submitted by deadline. No exceptions. Failure to submit the packet will result in being dropped from the research course for the quarter.
  • GRADES: It is the student’s responsibility to check grades when they are available at the end of each quarter. NR (no report) grade assignment: should the grade of NR be assigned for the quarter, it is the students’ responsibility to contact the faculty sponsor to resolve the problem. The NR will change to the grade of F at the end of the following quarter or at the end of quarter immediately preceding award of the degree, whichever comes first.
  • Enrollment through UCI Division of Continuing Education: students must comply with all Bio Sci 199 Program requirements. Bio Sci 94: Organisms to Ecosystems AND UCLC health & safety modules are the prerequisites and it is mandatory unless an equivalent safety course has been completed elsewhere. The transcript and course syllabus for the safety course must be submitted to Bio Sci Student Affairs Office for approval.
  • All Bio Sci 199 students must sign a Waiver and Release of Liability and Acknowledgement of the Assumption of Risk form at the time the research is initiated. This Waiver must be submitted with the student Proposal. Forms are available in Packet A or Packet B on the Research Dashboard.


Legal Issues


  • Students should be aware of the University’s sexual harassment policy:
  • “Sexual harassment is unacceptable to the University. It subverts the mission of the University and threatens the careers, educational experience, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. Sexual harassment is especially serious when it involves relationships of unequal power such as those between teacher and student, senior and junior faculty, or supervisor and subordinate.
  • Through grades, recommendations for graduate study, promotion, wage increases and the like, a teacher or supervisor can have a decisive influence on the career and the future of a student, faculty or staff member. Instructors, supervisors, and others should be aware that there are substantial risks in an apparently consenting relationship where a power differential exists. Even if there are no obvious conflicts of interest, and both parties have consented or appear to have consented to the relationship, it may result in favoritism or perceptions of favoritism that adversely affect the learning or work environment.”
  • The UCI Health Compliance & Privacy Office may perform routine or for-cause audits to ensure compliance with federal, state, sponsor, university and Joint Commission research standards, as warranted. This includes audits of adherence to Bio Sci 199 requirements.