BIOL 499

How to Apply:

  1. Fill out the downloadable application here.
  2. Email the completed application along with your supervisor's and co-supervisor's (if applicable) signature and lab contact information to, OR hand in a hard copy to CW 405 Bio Sci.
  3. The deadline to apply is September 9, 2019 for Fall 2019/Winter 2020.

Fall 2019 Deadlines:

  • September 9: Applications Due
  • September 16: Add/Drop Deadline
  • October 18: Contracts Due
  • December 20: Progress Report Deadline

Winter 2020 Deadlines:

  • January 10: Midterm Assessment
  • January 17: Course Withdrawal Deadline
  • April 9: Oral Presentation
  • April 25: Term Paper Submission Deadline



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 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 a registration form and submit it to Student Services in Biological Sciences CW 405. The form must be completed otherwise it will not be accepted. Title length is a maximum of 55 characters (spaces included).

A 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 be handed in to your supervisor on December 22 2017 and to be 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 formal commentary on their performance in the lab, and is accompanied with a letter grade. Midterm assessments are to be given to the students by their supervisors, and the supervisors should email a copy to to upload. The due date is January 12, 2018. The due date is January 12, 2018.

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 in discussing details of the report with their supervisor, such as formatting, style, length (of the report and of the various sections), and is responsible in 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 27, 2018, unless if 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 official 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 break 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