By Randy Fiedler
The second cohort of Baylor students selected for the College of Arts & Sciences’s prestigious Science Research Fellows program received their white lab coats Aug. 23, taking part in a tradition of the young program that marks the beginning of scholarly study for the group of 10 Baylor freshmen.
An interdisciplinary degree plan introduced by the College in the fall of 2017, the Science Research Fellows (SRF) major allows students to earn a bachelor of science degree with increased opportunities for research. The major is designed to attract high achieving students interested in scientific research in the areas of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, neuroscience, environmental science, anthropology, geosciences and physics.
The SRF major provides a research-rich curriculum that prepares students for the rigors of research in multiple aspects of scientific inquiry. Students are placed in research labs by the fall of their sophomore year, where they will continue to conduct research until they finish their degree. The program now accepts 10 new students each year, and strives to foster a mutually beneficial mentor relationship between students and Arts & Sciences faculty.
“Undergraduate research is an important engaged learning experience that is preparing our students for lifelong careers,” said Dr. Lee C. Nordt, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “Science Research Fellows is a valuable tool that helps us recruit and retain outstanding students who have a passion for research. That desire is honed during their time in the program as they work closely with faculty mentors in their chosen fields of study.”
During their freshman year, SRF majors are required to take a class on research methods covering a range of scientific disciplines. Students applying for the Science Research Fellows program must have SAT scores of 1,400 or above (critical reading and math) and/or ACT scores of 32 or above. They must complete an application, answer a questionnaire and provide two letters of recommendation from high school teachers, at least one of whom must be a science teacher.