Selection Process

The selection process to become an IBA student is two-tiered and is described below.

Students entering directly from High School will be invited to enroll in BIOL:1808 Ways of Knowing Science. At the end of the first semester, students will apply to become an IBA Candidate and be supported financially to perform undergraduate research in a laboratory on campus in the Spring semester.

Tier 1: IBA Candidate

  • High school seniors, transfer students, and current UI undergraduate students with a qualifying major can apply to become an IBA Candidate by submitting a free online application and one letter of recommendation from a science or math teacher or a research advisor. (See the Qualifications/Apply page for application details.)
  • If the application is approved, an interview between the applicant and the IBA Co-Directors is scheduled.
  • After the interview, the IBA Co-Directors and staff will meet to make a decision. If the student is admitted as a Candidate, he/she will then prepare for a laboratory rotation** and register for the appropriate IBA courses. (If a student is already doing research in a laboratory, he/she may remain in the same laboratory.)
  • After each Candidate has established good academic standing by having at least a 3.0 GPA on all UI coursework including all science and math courses and spent one summer conducting full-time research, he/she will re-evaluate his/her interest in a research career. At this time, the IBA Candidate will either submit his/her application to become an IBA Scholar (please see details below for Tier 2) or withdraw from the program.

Tier 2: IBA Scholar

  • IBA Candidates who wish to pursue research science and are committed to doctoral education can submit a proposal (previously said “submit an application”) to become an IBA Scholar.
  • The Candidate submits a two-page proposal detailing a research hypothesis, proposed methods for testing the hypothesis, and research goals.
  • The Candidate is then interviewed by the IBA Scholar selection committee. This committee includes both IBA Co-Directors, staff, and the student’s faculty mentor.
  • Students identified by the selection committee to show promise for a future in research science are selected to become IBA Scholars.
  • At the time of promotion to IBA Scholar status, each student must sign the IBA Scholar Contract, which specifies that if at any time the student realizes he/she does not wish to pursue a Ph.D., he/she must withdraw from the IBA program.