Finding a Mentor


The RISE experience is the capstone of your Biology major. It provides you with the opportunity to pursue a research project of interest to you in close collaboration with a faculty mentor from the Department of Biology, another scientist at Georgetown or other institution (such as the NIH or Smithsonian). In your RISE research project, you will experience firsthand the application of the scientific method in a contemporary research setting and will gain a greater appreciation of how science is done.

Your research project may involve work in a laboratory, in the field, on the computer, in the classroom or associated with an internship. These research projects will involve you in an active, experimentally based regimen designed to test an initial working hypothesis. This work is often time consuming and frustrating, but ultimately is very rewarding. The results from the laboratory projects (conducted under the previous format senior thesis) have been published in quality scientific journals. If your interests extend to teaching outreach, the teaching option entails developing and teaching a 20-session science curriculum module in a local middle or high school classroom. Extension of the RISE program to complement an internship is a new aspect of this program.

Selecting a Research Mentor and Project

Consider the areas of Biology that interest you. Read the descriptions of the research activities sponsored by the Biology faculty. During your sophomore or junior year, you should speak with several appropriate faculty members about their research and how your research interests might fit into their programs. Based on this information, determine the faculty member with whom you are interested in working with and obtain his/her approval to mentor your research.

It is important to pursue your options early, especially if you intend to conduct a laboratory project. Many faculty have space for only a limited number of research students and will accept students on a first-come basis.

Research Outside the Department

The Biology faculty will consider sponsoring research which is conducted under the direct supervision of scientists in our medical center or in other local research institutions (e.g., at the NIH, consortium universities, Smithsonian). Such a collaboration requires considerable interaction among the student, the Biology faculty mentor, and the external mentor to assure maximal benefits. It is your responsibility to obtain approval from both mentors.

Research in the Junior Year

You may start research in your junior year by selecting a faculty mentor and registering for Research Tutorial (BIOL-300) during either semester or during the summer before senior year. Credits for Research Tutorial II(BIOL-304) are not applied to the major, but do apply as a College Elective towards the course and credit requirement. See this link for additional information and below is the section number information.

Registration for RISE

For RISE, register for BIOL-341 in the fall for 3-credits and BIOL-342 in the spring for 3-credits. See below for Section # for the appropriate faculty mentor.

Section number

For students enrolling in courses BIOL-300, -304, -341, and -342, please use the following section numbers to designate the appropriate faculty member.


Faculty and Research

You can investigate the research of specific faculty members by linking to each name, above. Or, you may search via research areas.