SC/BCHM 4000 8.0
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An independent research project, supervised by a faculty member specializing in Biochemistry. Evaluation is based on practical performance, an oral presentation and a written thesis. May be carried out in one term or two consecutive terms. At least 288 hours of work on the project are required. Eight credits. Only open to Honours Biochemistry students in the final year of study, or by permission of the program.

Course-credit exclusions: SC/BIOL 4000 8.0, SC/CHEM 4000 8.0.

Course Director: Prof. Gerald Audette (456 CB, audette­@­ All students contemplating enrolment in this course must first obtain approval from the Course Director after submitting an Approval Request Form. Enrolment in the course cannot occur without this approval.

Other Information: The course is intended as a capstone course for students in Specialized Honours Biochemistry, many of whom will be interested in graduate studies subsequently. This course will provide a means of whetting their appetite for research, as well as consolidating their undergraduate studies.

The components of the course are as follows:

  1. Proposal: At the beginning of the project, a proposal giving the title, and a brief outline of the thesis topic (approximately one page in length) must be submitted jointly by the student and supervisor to the Course Director for approval. Also, an adviser will be identified at the outset. The adviser is another faculty member who is willing to be consulted during the course of the research (for example, if the supervisor is away for a period of time) and who is willing to be an examiner.
  2. Written Report on Thesis: Towards the end of the research period, the work should be written up as a small thesis (20-25 double-space typed pages is suggested) which should delineate clearly, and concentrate heavily on, the student's own contribution. Lengthy introductions, descriptions of existing methods etc. should be avoided, but there should be a brief discussion of the scientific motivation and importance of the project. The student should prepare at least four copies of the thesis, and submit three copies to the Course Director at least one week before the scheduled examination (see below). One copy of the thesis will be retained by each of the student, the supervisor and the Program.
  3. Examination: The thesis will be examined by the supervisor, the adviser, and the Course Director. The examination (30-minute oral exam) will take place at a mutually convenient time during the regular examination period. The student will give an oral report on the research during a "mini-conference" day near the end of term, before the final thesis is submitted.
  4. Grading: A final letter grade for each student in the course will be determined by the Course Director. The final grade will be based on the performance in the oral presentation and examination, on the quality of the thesis, on an evaluation of the student's overall performance in conducting the research project. All three evaluators – the supervisor, the adviser and the Course Director – will contribute equally to the final grade.

To assist in the identification of potential supervisors, students may consult the list of Biochemistry Faculty members (PDF document), and visit the websites listed there.