Research

Doing engineering research for credit can be used for BME depth or breadth elective credit, not both.  
  • Students must register research in the same lab for at least two semesters (does not have to be consecutive)
  • 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.
    The Academic Office has gone electronic for registering research.
  • The Academic Office has gone electronic for registering research. The new e-process is via DocuSign to help simplify the registration process for undergraduate research. Research will still be classified as either BME and Non-BME department research (similar to old paper forms).  To initiate a form for research conducted in a lab where the Principle Investigator/Research Mentor (Professor) has a primary BME appointment, click  here.  The list of primary BME faculty is found here, “Primary Faculty” under “Faculty Type”.  To initiate a form for any other Georgia Tech lab click here.
Research Credit In BME Labs
  • To do research with primary faculty members in the BME department, go to the Research overviews part of our website.  Lab areas of focus are listed here, click on each area which takes you to another page where each faculty member is listed.  Click on the faculty and go to their lab sites and read up on their research.
  • 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 persistent. Only faculty listed here are considered BME primary faculty members.
  • 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, apply for a permit.
  • The Academic Office is going electronic for registering research. The new e-process is via DocuSign to help simplify the registration process for undergraduate research. Research will still be classified as either BME and Non-BME department research (similar to old paper forms).  To initiate a form for research conducted in a lab where the Principle Investigator/Research Mentor (Professor) has a primary BME appointment, click  here.  The list of primary BME faculty is found here, “Primary Faculty” under “Faculty Type”.  To initiate a form for any other Georgia Tech lab click here.
  • Please note, we will not be accepting paper forms. This process must be done electronically.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your advisor.    For more detailed information regarding the approval process for both BME and Non-BME Research, see attached.
  • 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 research form instructions, and then turn it into your academic advisor at the end of the term.

Research Pay in BME Labs
  • Students receiving pay for their research work do not register for BMED 2699/4699 coursesand 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 their 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.  This will not add anything to your tuition payment.
  • 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.

VIP Research Credit Policies
  • Consider doing research through the VIP program, Vertically Integrated Projects.  There are several projects who include BME students.
  • VIP research can be used for depth elective credit, howeveryou 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.

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.
  • A total of six hours of research may be registered in one semester.
  • 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.

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.  Note, these do not have to be consecutive semesters.
  • This research must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Essy Behravesh).  To initiate a form for any other Georgia Tech lab click here.
  • 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 primary faculty, but their home schools are not BME, they are BME program faculty members.
  • 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 end of day 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.

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.  
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

BME research registration details