Oklahoma Christian University Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate research is an important component in the education of today's college students, particularly those in the fields of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science, and physics. Oklahoma Christian University (OC) excels in offering students the opportunity to do original research under the direction of professors at OC or at other institutions such as Oklahoma University, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
Although there are a variety of ways for undergraduate students to find biomedical research opportunities, OC facilitates this process through two formal academic offerings. The first is a one-hour course called Introduction to Research (BIOL-4411), which introduces students to the research environment. Our faculty meets with students initially to find their research interests and then we match the student with the mentor that is bested suited for them. These mentors may be departmental faculty or faculty at other area-wide institutions. Students spend one morning or afternoon per week in their assigned laboratory learning about the project, reading primary journal articles, and getting hands-on experience with the tools and techniques of that particular laboratory. Students wishing to work in a laboratory at OUHSC or OMRF conducting bio-medical research must have completed a year of general chemistry (CHEM-1115 and CHEM-1215), one semester of organic chemistry (CHEM-3115) and one semester of cellular biology (BIOL-2114).
The second academic offering is a three hour course called Undergraduate Research (BIOL-4412/4414) or Research Methods (CHEM-4611) or Independent Study in Chemistry (CHEM-4900). In this course, students actually work on an original research project under the supervision of the mentor. Many students remain in the same laboratory in which they completed the Introduction to Research course. This course can be taken during the fall or spring semester, but most students do this over an 8-10 week period in the summer when they can work full-time on the project. Most mentors provide a salary for summer students. There are other opportunities for students to conduct summer undergraduate research as well, such as competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) stipends at in- and out of state institutions. We have also included their post-graduate plans as well.
Most of the students who conduct undergraduate research present their findings at the annual fall technical meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Sciences (OAS) or at other similar meetings. OAS is a meeting that brings together undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the state and provides a forum for student research presentations.
One of most important objectives in biomedical research is the publication of research data. A number of our students have made significant contributions in their laboratories to warrant co-authorship on publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. A co-authorship on a peer-reviewed scientific journal is a major accomplishment for an undergraduate student!
The faculty at OC encourages every student to participate on an undergraduate research project. However, it's best if you hear this first hand from our students. Read on as you will find our current and former students share how undergraduate research has helped shape and influence their career decisions.