BCB430Y – Advanced Special Project in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

What is it?
BCB430 is an opportunity for advanced specialized individual research in bioinformatics and computational biology by arrangement with the BCB program director and a supervisor. This opportunity for students to actively participate in the research process – in the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge – is a continuation from BCB330 (Special Project). Students frame the questions that will guide their research, design and conduct the research to find answers, and communicate the results of their work, drawing on skills and experience that they have previously acquired. Significant background in both life science and computer science courses is required. To encourage breadth and ensure exposure to a diverse range of topics and techniques, students will not normally conduct both BCB project courses in the same laboratory or on highly similar topics. The final decision whether a BCB430 project proposal fulfills this academic objective is up to the program director. The original research project requires the prior consent of a faculty member to supervise the project. The topic is to be one mutually agreed upon by the student and supervisor and accepted by the program director. The expectation is that the student, aided and advised by the supervisor, will read the literature, and plan, execute, analyse, and report on experimental or descriptive investigations on an appropriate topic. A literature review alone is not sufficient.

Click here to see where former and current students have done their research.

Who is it for?
This course is only open to Fourth-Year Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Undergraduate Specialist Program students with adequate background, who have successfully completed BCB330Y1.

What is the time commitment?
Faculty members estimate that students spend 10-12 hours per week on their independent research project. Some students spend more time as they become immersed in their project.

When is offered?
BCB430Y projects are taken during the normal academic year. BCB430Y projects may also be carried out in the summer semester, with the aggregate time spent on the project equivalent to that for projects running during the academic year.

How to enrol?
The BCB430Y Registration Form must be submitted to the program administrator no later than the last weekday to add a course (i.e., if the last day to add a course is a Sunday, forms must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. the Friday before). This is a signed agreement (note: the deadline to register for an academic session may be earlier than this deadline). Once received and approved by the program director, the program administrator will enrol the student in the course on ACORN. (Students cannot enrol themselves on ACORN in BCB430Y1.) A resumé and complete ACORN transcript must be submitted along with the registration form to the program administrator by the date specified on the form. Prior to beginning the project, the student and supervisor agree upon the time when the lab work is performed, place, and the provision of any materials. Once the details are agreed upon, the registration form must be completed.

Important dates and course requirements
Contact potential supervisor – do this well in advance of the start of the academic session (like in February-March for the September session). A list of potential supervisors is available above. This list is not exhaustive. Consider contacting a potential supervisor in person. Click here for tips on finding a supervisor. BCB430Y Registration Form due to the course administrator no later than the last weekday to add a course. Meet with supervisor no later than the last date to drop a course to discuss the progress to date and assess the expectations for successful completion. Presentation will take place during the Study Week (or an equivalent week in summer session). Written report is due by the last day of classes. Supervisor submits grade and written critique to the course administrator no later than 10 days after the last day of classes.