HHMI Authentic Research Labs

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Conduct authentic research in biology and chemistry as a freshman with University of Miami faculty!

Program Overview

This series of laboratory courses is reserved for highly motivated and dedicated entering first-year University of Miami students who are planning to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) major and have an interest in gaining early scientific research experience.

In these authentic research labs, student teams design and conduct their own original investigations and experiments integrating a broad range of fundamental concepts at the interface between biology and chemistry.  The goal of these courses is to have all students participate in original scientific discovery during their first year of college, as well as to see the interdisciplinary connections between biology and chemistry.  Student groups will work under the close guidance of a faculty member, a graduate student, and an undergraduate peer facilitator, who will guide the student teams through their original investigations.  In these labs students learn all aspects of research design, data collection and analyses, technical skills which may be used in subsequent courses or research experiences, as well as scientific communication and presentation skills.

Students will receive credit for both BIL 153 (Introductory Biology Laboratory I) and CHM 113 (Principles of Chemistry Lab) in the fall and for both BIL 163 (Introductory Biology Laboratory II) and CHM 205 (Organic Chemistry Lab I) in the spring. The course meets twice a week:


  • Interest in pursuing research experience
  • Enrollment in BIL 150 and CHM 121 in fall, and BIL 160 and CHM 221 in spring
  • Majoring or intending to major in a STEM field


Admission to this course is made on a rolling basis, so please submit your application as soon as possible. You will receive a confirmation email to confirm that your application was received. Applications for the Fall 2020 semester are now closed.

For additional information please contact Dr. Jane Indorf, HHMI Lab course coordinator, at 305-284-9557 or hhmi@miami.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What exactly is this course?

    The HHMI Integrated Biology and Chemistry authentic research laboratory course series is a sequence of two laboratory courses that are taken in place of the regular introductory biology and chemistry labs.  This course series is for first-year students with a strong interest in gaining scientific research experience and is geared towards students who will be pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) major.  In these labs, students work in teams to design and conduct their own investigations and experiments integrating a broad range of fundamental concepts at the interface between biology and chemistry.  The goal of these courses is to have all students participate in original scientific discovery during their first year of college, as well as to experience the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research.

  • Which majors would benefit from taking this laboratory course sequence?

    These research lab courses benefit any student pursuing or intending to pursue a STEM major, such as biology, chemistry, marine science, biochemistry, neuroscience, microbiology and immunology.  For students who are unsure about pursuing a STEM major, these courses could help you decide whether or not a STEM major is right for you.

  • Do the HHMI integrated labs take the place of the biology and chemistry lab courses students usually take?

    Yes, the HHMI integrated labs are taken in place of the regular biology and chemistry labs.  Students receive credit for BIL 153 (Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory I) instead of BIL 151 (General Biology Laboratory) and BIL 163 (Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory II) instead of BIL 161 (Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory). For chemistry, students receive credit for CHM 113 (Principles of Chemistry Lab) and CHM 205 (Organic Chemistry I Lab), which are the same course numbers as the regular chemistry labs, but integrated lab students enroll in sections beginning with the code “INT”.

  • Can I apply for the laboratory course sequence before committing to attending the University of Miami?

    Yes. If you decide not to attend the University of Miami and have submitted an application to this course, please let us know.

  • When will I hear whether or not I have been accepted?

    Notification about whether or not you have been accepted will be sent via email from hhmi@miami.edu on or before May 15th.  Additionally, if you do not receive a confirmation email that your application has been received within one week of emailing it, please send an email to hhmi@miami.edu to confirm that your application was received.

  • When does this class meet?

    The course meets twice a week: Mondays and Wednesdays 2 – 4:50 pm (sections INT1 and INT2), or Tuesdays and Thursdays, either 8 am – 10:50 am (sections INT7 and INT8), 11 am – 1:50 pm (sections INT5 and INT6) or 2:00 – 4:50 pm (sections INT3 and INT4).

  • When I am accepted into the course, how do I enroll?

    When you are accepted into the course, you will be asked for your top three preferred lab meeting times.  We will then email you PINs that will allow you to enroll in the lab during the course enrollment period using the CaneLink system, which is where you enroll for your other classes as well.

  • What exactly do I enroll in when I am creating my course schedule in CaneLink?

    You will enroll in one section of BIL 153 (sections INT1, INT2, INT3, INT4, INT5, INT6, INT 7 or INT8) and the corresponding section of CHM 113 (e.g. if you enroll in BIL 153 INT5, you will enroll in CHM 113 INT5). You will receive one PIN for BIL 153 and one PIN for CHM 113.  The process will be the same for the spring semester (BIL 163 and CHM 205).  You must also enroll in the biology and chemistry lecture courses (i.e. BIL 150/160 and CHM 121/221).  See number 10 below.

  • What if I need help arranging my schedule to accommodate this course?

    If you need help with scheduling the HHMI integrated lab, you can meet with your advisor once you get to campus in August.  Do the best you can setting up your course schedule during the course enrollment period; if you are not able to enroll in the integrated lab during that time, don’t worry, your spot in the lab will be held for you until you can work out your course schedule.

  • Are there any co-requisites or pre-requisites for the integrated research lab courses?

    Yes, you must co-enroll in the biology and chemistry lecture courses.  Students take BIL 150 General Biology and CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry in the fall.  In the spring, students co-enroll in BIL 160 Evolution and Biodiversity and CHM 221 Organic Chemistry I.  Please refer to CaneLink for the pre/co-requisites for these lecture courses.

  • I have AP/IB/Dual enrollment/Cambridge credit for BIL 150/160/151/161 and/or CHM 121/221/113/205. Am I still eligible to take the HHMI integrated lab course series?

    If you have credit for any of the above mentioned course numbers, you cannot take the HHMI integrated lab course series because you already have credit for one or more of the courses and/or co-requisites.  However, if you would like to explore the possibility of retaking these courses, please email us at HHMI@miami.edu for more details.  Students who come into UM with credit for the intro biology and chemistry labs are encouraged to enroll in 200 level lab courses.

  • What are the benefits of taking the integrated research lab courses?

    Some of the benefits of taking this course are having a scientific research experience and learning research skills early on in your undergraduate career, which could put you in a good position to do independent research in a UM faculty member’s lab later on during your undergraduate career.  Students in this course gain valuable research and analytical skills, and learn about the scientific research process.  If you are interested in pursuing scientific research while an undergraduate at UM and/or considering research as part of your future career, this course is a good place to start.  It is a great way to experience what research is all about and help you decide on your career trajectory.

  • If I am joining the Advanced Program for Integrated Science and Math (PRISM) and/or the Health Professions Mentoring program (HPM), am I eligible to apply?

    If you are joining PRISM and/or HPM, you will automatically be placed in the HHMI integrated labs.  You do not need to apply separately for admission to these courses.

  • Do the HHMI integrated lab courses better prepare students for the MCAT?

    The courses do not directly prepare students for the MCAT.  However, analytical skills learned as part of this course may indirectly help students with the MCAT.

  • If I switch schools within UM (e.g. I am no longer in the College of Arts and Sciences), am I still eligible to take the HHMI integrated lab courses?

    Yes, as long as your new school/program allows you to enroll in the labs.  However, only students admitted to the College of Arts and Science are invited to apply for the HHMI integrated lab courses.