Dr. Aardra Kachroo
215 Plant Science Building
OFFICE HOURS: Arranged as needed.


ABT 395: Independent study in biotechnology under the supervision of a faculty member. 1 to 4 credits hours/semester. Prerequisite: Agricultural Biotechnology major and consent of advisor before registration.

Normally, students enroll for 3 credits when the course will be completed in an academic semester and 4 credits when the project extends over the summer or more than one semester. The course may be repeated such that a maximum of 6 credits, but enrollment up to 6 credits requires completion of the required 3 or 4 credit course: i.e., a student cannot enroll in addtional credit hours until they receive a grade that meets the program requirement. 

ABT 399: An internship in biotechnology under the supervision of a faculty member. Course may be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits, as described above. 
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and chairperson for the Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology degree program, and completion of a learning contract before registration. 

For the Spring 2018 semester, Dr. Aardra Kachroo or the student's academic advisor can sign the learning contract as the faculty sponsor, and Dr. Luke Moe will sign as the Department Chair.  The completed learning contract should be submitted to the CAFE Office of Student Success, N-24C Agriculture Science Center.


Please note that there are 4 essential elements required to successfully complete your independent course of study:

  1. Verification of an Agricultural Biotechnology program-approved Research Project Proposal (or learning contract if ABT 399)
  2. Completion of the approved research activities under the supervision of a faculty mentor
  3. & 4. Submission of a Written Report and presentation of an Oral Report (see below) approved by the research mentor.  It is imperative that you discuss your report and presentation with your mentor to allow them the opportunity to comment/edit/approve.  This is more than just a courtesy since the data are "owned" by the lab (ie., the faculty member or company where you did your project.


ALL currently enrolled ABT 395/399, or previously* enrolled students who have earned an "Incomplete" as a course grade, must indicate on the Student Information Sheet when your ABT 395/399 proposal was approved and by whom. If your proposal is the proposal that you completed in ABT 301, please provide the semester you completed ABT 301 and the instructor's name.
*If you have already filed a Student Information Sheet (from a previous semester), and the contact and project information has not changed, then just state this fact on the Spring 2018 student information sheet and submit via Canvas.

Please Note:

  1. Student Information sheets are due on Friday, January 12, 2018 and must be submitted via Canvas.
  2. Informational meeting will be held at 5:00 PM on Friday, January 19, in the foyer of the Plant Science Building.  This meeting in MANDATORY and intended to answer any questions you may have.


Grades will be composed of the following components:
50%   (a) Faculty mentor’s evaluation of the student’s research performance in all aspects of the project (effort, engagement, data production and analyses, quality of writing and presentation, etc.)
20%   (b) Written Report
20%   (b) Oral Presentation 
10%   (b) Student’s compliance with course instructions (e.g., turn in the Student Information Sheet and class materials on time, etc.)

(a) - This portion of the course will be determined after consultation of the research mentor/faculty member by the course instructor.
(b) - This portion of the course grade will be determined by the course instructor.


  1. All students must submit via Canvas by 5 PM, April 16:  the title of their presentation and the full name, departmental affiliation, e-mail address of their mentor and any class conflicts with the presentation date/time.
  2. The final presentation schedule will be posted on the ABT website and on Canvas April 20, 2018, and disseminated to research mentors and the university community at large
  3. Students MUST submit powerpoint files for their presentations by 5:00 PM April 23, via Canvas.
  4. Oral ABT 395/399 research presentations are scheduled to begin as early as 10:00am, on Wednesday, April 25, in the ground floor auditorium (Cameron Williams Lecture Hall) of the Plant Science Building. However, this schedule may change depending on the number of students presenting this semester.
  5. Dr. Kachroo will try to schedule a student's seminar time to accommodate their class schedule, etc.   However, those students who turn in the required information about their seminar (see #1 above) early, will be given preference in terms of which time they will be scheduled to present.
  6. Presentations (a PowerPoint slideshow) should be about 12 minutes in length. A 2-3 minute question session with the audience will follow each presentation. Although priority of questions will be given to ABT students in the audience, presenters should expect additional questions from faculty members.
  7. Individual student practice sessions (PowerPoint slideshow) can be arranged with Dr. Kachroo up through April 17. Alternatively, Dr. Kachroo may be able to review your presentation and make suggestions through e-mail, if you share her your Powerpoint file by April 17.


  1. One copy of your written report - signed by your mentor is due by 5:00pm, April 27, 2018 (submit via Canvas).  Alternatively, you may submit an unsigned report and have your mentor send an e-mail to Dr. Kachroo ( saying that they have approved the report.
  2. The ABT 395/399 written reports must be in the form of a scientific journal of your mentor's choosing.
  3. However, the written reports MUST CONTAIN the following components:
    1. This section should state the experimental hypothesis being tested (e.g.,"The goal of this experiment was to test the effect of X treatment on Y parameter.") or the purpose of the research (e.g., "The purpose of the experimentation was to develop an X assay to measure Y parameter.")
    2. This section should be less than 900 words.
    3. Note:  This section must contain a statement indicating that conductance of the experimentation complied with the specific applicable Chemical Hygiene, Radiation Safety, Institutional Biological Safety, and Institutional Animal Care and Use protocols required for you to conduct your project. 
    4. The experimental design and methods used to statistically analyze your data needs to be presented, including a description of all relevant "control" observations for your assays and the number of observations ("n") for each data group.
    5. Cover Page - Title and list of authors and their affiliations, and signature of the sponsoring research mentor.
    6. Abstract - An abbreviated summary of the report's elements (below).
    7. Introduction - A brief presentation/introduction of topical concepts required by the uninformed reader to understand the background and rational for your study.
    8. Materials and Methods - a description of critical reagents, procedures, and assays used to generate experimental data.
    9. Discussion - A written discussion of your data in terms of what your data revealed, how your data compare to what others have seen in analogous experiments in identical or comparable experimental models, and the physiological/practical relevance of your observations to a given experimental/biological model and/or field of research.
      Note:  sometimes it is useful to combine the Results and Discussion sections into a single manuscript component (i.e., a Results and Discussion section).
    10. Conclusions - A formal statement about the conclusion(s) drawn from your data as it applies to the goal/hypothesis tested in the experiment. That is, did you accept or reject the experimental hypothesis? Was an assay successfully developed? Or, was the data inconclusive for whatever reasons?
    11. References - A listing of the sources for the citations used in your report.


  1. January 12--Your completed Student Information Sheet is due and must be submitted via Canvas.
  2. January 19--Mandatory Informational meeting at 5:00pm, in the foyer of the Plant Science Building.
  3. April 16 by 5:00 PM-- All students must submit via Canvas:  the title of their presentation; the full name, departmental affiliation, email address of their mentor; and any class conflicts presentation date/time.
  4. April 20 by 5:00 PM--The announcement/speaker schedules for the oral presentations will be posted around campus and on the ABT website.
  5. April 23 by 5:00 PM Submission of the presentation powerpoint files (.pptx) via Canvas.    
  6. April 25--Oral presentations will begin at 10:00 AM, in the Cameron Williams Lecture Hall of the Plant Science Building. Depending on the number of students presenting, the starting time of the presentations may be adjusted.
  7. April 27 by 12:00 PM The written report, signed by your faculty research mentor is due in Dr. Kachroo's office (submit via Canvas).  Alternatively, you may submit an unsigned report and have your mentor send an e-mail to Dr. Kachroo ( saying that they have approved the submitted report.

*If you have already filed a Student Information Sheet from a previous semester and the contact and project information has not changed, then just state this fact on the Spring 2018 sheet and submit it via Canvas.