BILD 99/BISP 199: Independent/Individual Research

BILD 99 and BISP 199 offer students the opportunity to participate in independent/individual research for academic credit with, and under the direction of, a UC San Diego faculty member. Projects are expected to involve primary, experimental/analytical approaches that augment training in basic biology and that echo the curricular focus of the Division of Biological Sciences. Thus, projects should involve analysis of biological processes or systems at a molecular, biochemical, cellular, organismal, or ecosystem level.

Eligibility

BILD 99: Independent Research

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative UC GPA prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum of 30 units completed (including units successfully transferred to UC San Diego, i.e. AP, transfer) and no more than 90 units completed prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum one quarter commitment.  Note: Some faculty sponsors/instructors may require a multiple quarter committment.
  • Students cannot receive credit for a course numbered 99 after receiving credit for a course numbered 199.

BISP 199: Individual Research for Undergraduates

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative UC GPA prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum of 90 units completed (including units successfully transferred to UC San Diego, i.e. AP, transfer) prior to quarter of participation.
  • Minimum one quarter commitment.  Note: Some faculty sponsors/instructors may require a multiple quarter committment.

Identification of an eligible faculty sponsor/instructor of record who has an active appointment with UC San Diego in an approved teaching title. The instructor of record is required to adhere to the Faculty Guidelines for Undergraduate Mentoring.

Complete application, including student and faculty sponsor/instructor portions, must be submitted by the stated deadline.  Application and subsequent enrollment are subject to approval of the Division of Biological Sciences.

Completion of mandatory safety training and any other training related to the research you are conducting, as determined by your faculty sponsor/instructor of record, is required.

Course Information/Major Applicability

BILD 99: Independent Research

  • Earn lower-division credit.
  • Does not satisfy a biology major requirement.
  • Academic credit can be earned a maximum of 3 times.
  • Variable unit course (1, 2, 3, or 4 units) graded on pass/no pass basis.

BISP 199: Individual Research for Undergraduates

  • Earn upper-division credit.
  • One quarter of BISP 199 (if taken for 4 units) may apply to biology major requirements as a biology laboratory (select majors). If not used to satisfy a lab requirement, one quarter of BISP 199 may satisfy major elective units.
  • Any additional quarters of special studies courses (196, 197, or 199) will result in upper-division university credit. 
  • A quarter of BISP 199 that is applied to biology undergraduate major requirements cannot be applied toward MS program requirements in the BS/MS program.
  • Academic credit can be earned a maximum of 5 times.
  • Variable unit course (2 or 4 units) graded on pass/no pass basis.

Deadlines

Deadlines are strictly enforced and no late applications will be accepted.
For participation in: Application Opens Application Closes/Deadline

Fall 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017 @ 4pm

Winter 2018

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017 @ 4pm

Spring 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4pm

Summer 2018
(any session)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018 @ 4pm


  • Applicants should review all criteria (including instructor eligibility) for enrollment in the applicable Special Studies course and ensure that the submitted application represents a complete and accurate submission.
  • Applications will be reviewed in relation to the catalog course description for the Special Studies course for which the application was submitted.  If the application is denied, the student has the opportunity to re-submit, only if the application for the requested term is still open.  Re-submission after the posted deadline will not be permitted, thus early submission is encouraged.
  • It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that the proposed instructor of record submits his/her portion of the application before the posted deadline.  Both the student and instructor portion of the application must be submitted by the posted deadline for the application to be considered.
  • Extensions or exceptions to the application deadlines will not be granted under any circumstances, including unavailability of the proposed instructor at the time the application is due.  Applicants are encouraged to plan accordingly.

How to Apply

  • Identify a UC San Diego faculty member with whom you would like to conduct research.
  • Contact the faculty member to inquire about availability and to explain your interest/qualifications. It is recommended that you include information about your eligibility, academic background, research experience (if any), and why you are interested in the work being conducted in that particular lab. You may want to include your resume.
  • Once an opportunity for placement is confirmed, work with the faculty member to solidify a proposed research project.  Projects are expected to involve primary, experimental/analytical approaches that augment training in basic biology and that echo the curricular focus of the Division of Biological Sciences. Thus, projects should involve analysis of biological processes or systems at a molecular, biochemical, cellular, organismal, or ecosystem level. For example, clinical projects focusing on patient interviews or assessment of patient symptoms (or analysis of data obtained from prior such interviews/assessments), human behavior, health management, or evaluation of medical devices or procedures will not be approved for BISP credit, though they may be suitable for independent study courses in other departments (e.g. MED 199, PSYC 199, etc.).
  • Complete the student portion of the required web-based application.
    • Submission of the student portion of the on-line application will generate an email to the applicant and the proposed instructor of record.
    • Proposed instructor of record will complete his/her portion of the application and submit it for Divisional review.
    • Students may track the status of their application by visiting their application portal.
    • In general, the application is open the first day of the quarter preceding the quarter in which the credit will be completed.
  • Both the student and instructor portion of the application must be submitted by the posted deadline.  Late applications will not be accepted; early submission is encouraged. 
  • Be sure to fill out the application completely, including all required fields.  This will help ensure a smooth application process. 
  • NOTE: Paper applications will not be accepted.

How to Enroll

The applicant will be notified of the outcome of the application review via their @ucsd.edu email address.  Notification time varies and is dependent upon the instructor's response time and Divisional review period.

If the application is approved, the student will be automatically enrolled during the first or second week of the quarter in which the research is to be conducted. In Summer terms, enrollment will occur prior to the Summer Session Fee Payment Deadlines. Applicants will be contacted via the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) if there are problems with the application and/or enrollment.

Enrollment Verification

If the student or another individual, organization, or institution requires enrollment verification, the following options are available:

  • If a lab requires the student provide proof of application approval, the student may print a copy of his/her approved application by visiting their application portal
  • If a lab requires the student to provide proof of enrollment, the following options are available:
    • Official - Request Enrollment Verification from the Registrar's Office.
    • Unofficial - Provide a print-out via TritonLink Courses & Waitlists screen, which lists the course, instructor, section ID, grading option, etc.

Grading

At the conclusion of the term, the instructor of record is responsible for assigning a final grade (pass or no pass) via the University eGrades System.


BILD 99/BISP 199 Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Contact Student & Instructional Services (Pacific Hall 1128) through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) or by phone at (858)534-0557.
Are you an instructor or potential instructor for a research for academic credit course?  Please review Information for Instructors