Doing engineering research for credit can be used for BME depth or breadth elective credit, not both. Details are below. Students must register research in the same lab for at least two semesters (does not have to be consecutive) to be able to count that research for credit, with the rare exception that research for two semesters in the same lab is not possible (see #7 below). Students can satisfy the two semester requirement by doing research for pay for one of the semesters. Note: Volunteer research, meaning you are not registering the research, does not count as one of the two semesters.
(1) RESEARCH CREDIT IN BME LABS
If you want to do research with primary faculty members in the BME department, you need to go to https://bme.gatech.edu/bme/research, the Research overviews part of our website. Here all of our lab areas of focus are listed. Click on each area which takes you to another page where each faculty member is listed. Then click on the faculty and go to their lab sites (some don't have them, but most do) and read up on their research. After that, contact a few faculty members by email, then by going and seeing them if they don't respond to the email in a few days. Be very persistent to try to get something arranged. Only faculty listed here are considered BME primary faculty members: https://bme.gatech.edu/bme/faculty. Faculty not on this list are non-BME faculty, they may work with the department, but their home departments are in another major. You will have to register your research through that department.
Once you have that contact established, and you and the professor have come to an agreement on what you will do, fill out the attached undergraduate research form, have your faculty advisor sign it (professor or grad student), include a short write up explaining the nature of your research, and bring the form to your academic advisor. The forms are online at http://bme.gatech.edu/bme/undergrad-forms and also located in the red folders in our advising offices. Once you have turned in the form, a permit will be put in the system for you, which kicks out an email with the CRN number that allows you to register for the research. Associate Chair Dr. Joe Le Doux does not need to sign the form. Students register research for credit with either BMED 2699 (freshmen/sophomores) or BMED 4699 (juniors/seniors), based on your current hours.
Consult with your research advisor to determine the appropriate number of credit hours desired for the experience. It is expected that you should spend approximately three hours per week on research for every hour of credit for fall and spring semesters, while you should spend approximately four hours per week on research for every credit hour in summer.
**IMPORTANT**. When registering research, you will need to manually change the number of credit hours after you have registered for the course. Research credit defaults to one hour. If you and your research advisor have agreed upon more than one hour of credit, you will need to find the research course in OSCAR and click on the "1" credit hour, and manually change it to the number of credit hours you are seeking, so change from "1" to "3", for example.
A final report is required. Your research advisor assigns a final course grade. The assumption is that your research advisor will require a report. If so, just turn in a copy of the same report to your academic advisor. You can send it the form electronically or deliver a hard copy. If your research advisor does not require a report, then create one yourself, based on the criteria on the front page of the instructions, and then turn it into your academic advisor.
(2) RESEARCH PAY IN BME LABS
Students receiving pay for their research work do not register for BMED 2699/4699 courses, and they do not need to fill out a research form. Rather they should register for BMED 2698 (1st and 2nd year students) or BMED 4698 (3rd and 4th year students). Students contact their academic advisor and let their advisor know whose lab they are working in that semester. The academic advisor will then put a permit in the system to allow the student to register. Once again, faculty not on this list are non-BME faculty, they may work with the department, but there home departments are in another major. You will have to register your research through that department.
It is important to register paid research to have it recorded on your transcript, you may need this to satisfy the two semester requirement to use research for credit towards depth elective credit (see #4 below). This will not add anything to your tuition payment.
Note that a final report is required for paid research. The assumption is that your research advisor will require a report. If so, just turn in a copy of the same report to your academic advisor. You can send it the form electronically or deliver a hard copy. If your research advisor does not require a report, then create one yourself, based on the criteria on the front page of the research form instructions, and then turn it into your academic advisor.
To apply for research for pay, go to http://www.undergradresearch.gatech.edu/ for PURA and other opportunities, and http://petitinstitute.gatech.edu/petit-scholars for the Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars program. Some students may also be paid directly through the lab in which they are working, talk to your research advisor.
(3) VIP RESEARCH CREDIT POLICIES
Consider doing research through the VIP program. VIP stands for Vertically Integrated Projects, here is the website: http://www.vip.gatech.edu/. There are several projects who include BME students, you will find them here: http://www.vip.gatech.edu/teams?field-fields-id=508.
VIP research can be used for depth elective credit, however, as of Spring 2016, you must do at least six hours in order for it to be counted as depth. If you do five hours or less, it will just count as free elective credit, unless you started VIP research prior to the Spring 2016 semester. While VIP projects are a lot of fun to work on, know that VIP research is better for students who might be interested in industry, or the entrepreneurial life. Students who want to pursue engineering graduate programs should do research in traditional labs, where they will have the opportunity to present research at conferences and/or get their names on publications.
(4) RESEARCH CREDIT POLICIES
Up to six hours of research for credit (BMED 2699/4699) are allowed to count as BMED depth elective credit, provided the research was conducted in the same lab over a period of at least two semesters. These do not have to be consecutive semesters. One of your two semesters can be for pay, and satisfy the two semester requirement, although the semester for pay does not count as credit. So, for example, you do three credits of research in the fall, then in the spring you receive PURA in the same lab, in which you receive a stipend, you will have satisfied the two semester requirement, and will be able to use the three hours of credit from the fall semester for depth elective credit. Note: Although you can only use up to six hours for depth elective credit, there is no limit to the number of research hours you can do while at Georgia Tech. Also note that this is retroactive, so if you have done 2699/4699 research in a Biomedical Engineering lab in the past, you can use this credit as long as it adheres to the specifications above.
(5) RESEARCH CREDIT IN NON-BME LABS
Undergraduate research credit (2699/4699 courses) performed in research labs outside the BME Department may also be used to satisfy up to a total of six credit hours of BME depth elective requirements, provided that the research: (1) was conducted in the same lab over a period of at least two semesters (2698/4698 courses can also be used to satisfy the two-semester requirement), and (2) has a significant engineering component that relates to the student's studies in the BME curriculum. Otherwise, the credit can be used to satisfy only BME free-elective requirements. This research must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Essy Behravesh). The form is located here: http://bme.gatech.edu/bme/undergrad-forms the form must be filled out and turned into your academic advisor. The advisor will give it to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for his approval consideration. He will return it to the advisor, the advisor will contact the student to inform her/him that the research was approved/not approved. NOTE: You register for this credit through the other department where you are doing research. For example, if you are doing research in an MSE lab, you register through that department, not BME.
The non-BME form you fill out is only to see if your research can be approved for BME depth elective credit.
Note: Some faculty may appear to be BME faculty, but their home schools are not BME, they are BME program faculty members. For research with these professors, you will have to register with their home department. At present, just some of the faculty this applies to are Dr. Todd Sulchek, Dr. Susan Thomas, Dr. Bob Guldberg, all who are Mechanical Engineering professors, and Dr. Young-Hui Chang in APPH. There are others. Only faculty listed here are considered BME primary faculty members: https://bme.gatech.edu/bme/faculty.
ME or NRE Research - Research for an ME or NRE professor must be requested via the on-line database. All ME and NRE research requests must be submitted by noon (12:00 PM) on Thursday of the first week of school. Submissions after this time will not be processed and students will not be allowed to register for the research class for that particular semester.
(6) RESEARCH WITH THE RESEARCH OPTION
If you are using the Research Option to fulfill your breadth electives, you can do research anywhere in anything at Georgia Tech. Specifically for the breadth elective requirements, the research does not have to be engineering related research. It only has to be engineering related research if you are doing the Research Option and using at least six of those credits for depth elective credits.
You do at least nine hours of research for the Research Option, credit or pay. You will also take two thesis writing courses, LMC 4701 and LMC 4702. You need 15 hours of breadth elective credit. If you complete the Research Option by doing less than 15 hours, you can use any elective credit hours to substitute towards the 15 hours. So, for example, you do six hours of research for credit, get PURA one semester and do three hours for pay, take the two LMC courses and write your thesis. In this scenario, you have a total of eight hours of credit. You can use any other credit that you have for the other seven hours you need to satisfy the fifteen hours of breadth elective requirements.
Here is the information on the Research Option: http://undergradresearch.gatech.edu/research-option. Note: You cannot use research to both satisfy the Research Option requirement for the breadth electives, and also to satisfy depth elective credit. If you are using the RO to satisfy breadth elective credit, you will need to fulfill your 12 hours of depth electives by taking classes.
(7) RESEARCH CREDIT IN NON-BME LABS NOT AT GEORGIA TECH
Sometimes students make arrangements to do research with someone not associated with Georgia Tech. In the case of someone local, such as a lab at Emory, the expectation is still that the student would do two semesters of research to be able to count it as depth credit. In the case where a student does the research abroad, or out of state, and the research can only be done one semester, the student can speak with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to see if the research can used as depth with only one semester in the lab. Note that in these cases, the student needs to have this research registered, either through the other institution, or through their advisor in the BME department. See your advisor for more details on the procedures.