How to Apply:
  1. Contact potential supervisors.
  2. Submit the Online Registration Form for BIOL 499.
  3. Deadline to submit the form: September 11.


  • September 11- Applications Due
  • September 18- Add/DropDeadline 
  • October 2- Contracts Due
  • December 22- Midterm Progress Report
  • January 11 -Midterm Assessment Due
  • January 19-Course Withdrawal Date
  • March 24-28- BIOL 499 talks
  • April 26- Final Paper Submission


Contracts (Note, The Following is a sample and should be edited by the supervisor for dates, course titles, and mark breakdowns as they see fit).

Contract Sample / Contract Outline 1



BIOL 499 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 main project supervisor in any instance for BIOL 499.

To register for BIOL 499, students must complete and submit the online registration form by September 11. 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 499 requires a midterm progress report, a midterm assessment to be completed by the main supervisor, an oral presentation, and a final written report.

The midterm progress report is due to be handed to your supervisor on December 22 and uploaded on the eClass site. The midterm progress report is to update your supervisor as to what you have done so far in BIOL 499, though individual supervisors may request more for your progress 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 and is accompanied by a letter 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 oral presentation is to be prepared for a yet-to-be-announced date in April (near the end of the semester, before exams, and after classes). The presentation will be performed by the student to a group consisting of their peer group, their supervisors, and other guests. The oral presentation will be evaluated and marked by the student's supervisors and will be 15 minutes long with a 5-minute question and answer period to immediately follow.

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 both supervisors and also uploaded to the eClass site. The due date is April 26, unless the student's supervisors have 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. 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 499. Work completed outside the term in which a student is enrolled in BIOL 499 should be identified in the written report.

Grade breaks down for BIOL 499 guidelines is as follows unless otherwise stated by the supervisor via course contract:

40% Lab Performance

40% Written Paper

20% Oral Presentation