In keeping with the vision of the university, our students are encouraged to pursue mentored research as part of their undergraduate education. Mentored research allows students to enhance critical thinking, while applying theory, concepts, and techniques learned in the classroom.  These opportunities work to clarify professional goals, prospective career paths, and application to graduate programs. 

Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research in a variety of ways. Positions may be paid or eligible for course credit.  

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

Research grants are available through University of Colorado Denver's Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). Projects are designed around the activities of a faculty member OR designed independently by a student or team of students and sponsored by a faculty member.

Participation in UROP is an intense educational experience that introduces students to the process of research, including writing a proposal, preparing a budget, conducting research, analyzing data, and docmenting the work in a written abstract and presentation. Grant funds can be used to purchase supplies and equipment, travel to field sites, cover lab costs, and pay students a small stipend for the hours invested. Up to 30 awards are available through UROP each year. Details on the application process can be found on the UROP website .

Independent Study

Independent Study (BIOL 3840 or 4840) is a course option designed to allow students to work directly with a faculty member. Undergraduates may obtain up to 6 credit hours of Independent Study, over 2-3 semesters.  These credits can be applied as electives in the biology major.

Biology Research Scholars

Students who excel in coursework and research may be recognized as Biology Research Scholars or Associates.  For program eligibility, students should plan to contact the Research Scholars Advisor no later than their junior year.  

To qualify for the Research Scholars Program:

  • achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in all courses taken from CU Denver faculty and in all CU Denver biology courses
  • participate in a research project, consisting of a minimum of six credit hours of independent study (BIOL 2840, 3840, or 4840), taken over a minimum of two semesters
  • write a scientific paper describing the research
  • present an oral or poster presentation summarizing your research at a conference and/or UC Denver's Annual Research and Creative Activities Program (RaCAS) 

To qualify for the Research Associates Program:

  • achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in all courses taken from CU Denver faculty and in all CU Denver biology courses
  • participate in a research project, consisting of a minimum of three credit hours of independent study (BIOL 2840, 3840, or 4840), taken over a minimum of two semesters
  • write a scientific paper describing the research or present an oral or poster presentation summarizing your research at a conference and/or CU Denver's Annual Research and Creative Activities Program (RaCAS) 

Biology Research Scholars Advisor

Dr. Chris Phiel 

Biology Internship Advisor

Dr. Laurel Beck