BIOL 399

How to Apply:

  1. Contact potential supervisors.
  2. Submit the Online Registration Form for BIOL 399.
  3. Deadline to submit the form: September 11.


  • September 11- Applications Due
  • September 18- Add/DropDeadline 
  • October 2- Contracts Due
  • January 11 -Midterm Assessment
  • January 19-Course Withdrawal Date
  • April 26- Final Paper Submission


Contracts (Note, these are samples and should be edited by the supervisor for dates, course titles, and mark breakdowns as they see fit).

Contract Sample / Contract Outline 1

Contract Sample / Contract Outline 2

Contract Sample / Contract Outline 3

Contract Sample / Contract Outline 4


BIOL 399 is a two-term, non-repeatable, *6 course that allows students to conduct research with a willing supervisor from the Department of Biological Sciences. In certain circumstances a post-doctoral fellow, an adjunct professor, or a sessional supervisor within the Department of Biological Sciences. Supervisors from outside the Department of Biological Science will NOT be accepted as the project supervisor in any instance for BIOL 399.

To register for BIOL 399, students must complete an online registration form. The form must be completed otherwise it will not be accepted. The title length is a maximum of 50 characters (spaces included).

Successful completion of BIOL 399 requires a midterm assessment to be completed by the main supervisor and a final written report.

The midterm assessment is a written document from the project supervisor that provides their student with formal commentary on their performance in the lab, which represents at least 20% of the total grade. Midterm assessments are to be given to the students by their supervisors, and the supervisors should email a copy to The due date is January 11.

The final written report is to follow a similar format to that of a peer-reviewed journal article. Such papers include the background introducing the study, results, supporting figures/tables/images, discussion, and references. The full report ranges from 15-20 pages. The student is responsible for discussing details of the report with their supervisor, such as formatting, style, and length (of the report and of the various sections), and is responsible for following their supervisor's directions regarding the report in the same way that authors follow a journal's editorial board's directions. Final reports are to be sent to the supervisor and also uploaded to the eClass site. The due date is April 26, unless the student's supervisor has decided on an earlier deadline.

Depending on the supervisor, some of the weight of the report may be applied to other written exercises, such as a research proposal. The deadlines and assessments for these additional activities will be set by individual supervisors.

With respect to the evaluation of research performed and skills gained during summer employment, our current model emphasizes the quality of the research rather than when it was done. The basic guidelines are as follows:

  1. Work done and skills gained during the summer may be used for a project course, but
  2. Significant work, beyond writing up, must be carried out during the term in which the student is officially enrolled in BIOL 399. Work completed outside the term in which a student is enrolled in BIOL 399 should be identified in the written report.

Grade breaks down for BIOL 399 guidelines are as follows unless otherwise stated by the supervisor via course contract:

70% Lab Performance

30% Written Paper