Promoting exploration and innovation across campus

Our Department of Infectious Diseases offers research opportunities for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at the University of Georgia. Several faculty members within the department mentor undergraduates in their labs through IDIS-prefix undergraduate research courses. Undergraduates may also register for these courses and conduct their research project with a faculty mentor outside the department if the project focuses on a pathogen or infectious disease. These courses may fulfill one or more laboratory or elective course requirements for various undergraduate life science majors.

Additionally, students who obtain a research fellowship through CURO or another organization may be able to conduct their research project with a mentor within infectious diseases. With the exception of students on research fellowships, students may not receive credit for IDIS courses for the same hours for which they are paid.

How to apply

Find a mentor

Many faculty associated with the Department of Infectious Diseases have mentored undergraduate researchers in their laboratories. Students should check the faculty section of the website to learn about faculty research interests. The availability of undergraduate research slots varies in each lab, so students should email faculty individually to inquire about openings.

Choose a course

The Department of Infectious Diseases does not grant an undergraduate degree, but it does offer courses in faculty-mentored undergraduate research at both the CURO level and at the departmental level. Research in IDIS research courses may qualify toward a student’s undergraduate major-specific course requirements or as an upper-level elective. If you are seeking credit toward a major-specific course requirement, you should register for one of the CURO courses listed below.

CURO Courses
At the CURO level, four courses are offered: IDIS 4960RIDIS 4970RIDIS 4980R, and IDIS 4990R.  Each of these courses has been approved as an experiential learning course, and the first three courses are research courses. For the first semester of research, a student registers for IDIS 4960R. If continuing with research in a subsequent semester with the same mentor, the student registers for the next in the series. These courses are variable-level courses (1-6 credit hours) and require a minimum of three hours of effort per week per credit for spring or fall semester, or six hours of effort per week per credit during the summer session. This time commitment includes all efforts related to your research experience: time conducting experiments, documenting experiments in a research notebook, reading relevant scientific literature, preparing and presenting your research project, attending laboratory group meetings if required by your mentor, and writing a research paper.

IDIS 4990R is a research thesis course open only to students who have completed 15 credit hours at UGA and previously taken one or more semesters of research. IDIS 4990R provides an opportunity for students to complete their research experience by writing a thesis based on accumulated research data.

To qualify to register for courses at the CURO level, a student must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Completed 15 UGA in-residence credit hours and have faculty mentor approval
  • Currently enrolled in HONS 1000H and have faculty mentor approval

Departmental Courses
At the departmental level, students register for IDIS 4900. This approved experiential learning course can be taken for 1-4 credit hours per semester and may be repeated for additional semesters up to a maximum of 16 credit hours. This course requires a minimum of three hours of effort per week per credit hour for spring or fall semesters or six hours of effort per week per credit hour during summer session. Students learn to conduct and document scientific research experiments. To register, a student must have faculty mentor approval. If you are seeking credit toward a major-specific course requirement, you should register for one of the CURO courses listed above.

Complete the necessary forms

Departmental Level

CURO Level

IDIS 4960R, 4970R, 4980R

IDIS 4990R

Biology Majors

  • Biology majors seeking to meet their Biology laboratory requirement should:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Majors

  • Biochemistry majors seeking credit towards their major should:
    • Receive pre-approval the prior semester from the BCMB undergraduate committee by submitting to Dr. Adams ([email protected]) a one-page abstract of the proposed research along with the name and email address of the proposed mentor
    • Register for IDIS 4960R at 4 credit hours
      • If continuing for a second semester, register for IDIS 4970R at 4 credit hours
    • For BCMB 4960R or BCMB 4970R, follow the BCMB paper guidelines, timeline, and grading rubric to have this course count towards major credit

Microbiology Majors

Genetics Majors

Cell Biology Majors

  • Cell Biology majors seeking credit toward their major should register for IDIS 4980R

Please bring all forms to Ms. Jennifer Leyting’s office, room 3550 in the College of Veterinary Medicine, for approval and permission to register.  Forms signed electronically can be emailed to [email protected].

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