Projects in biology and molecular biology
Kurskoder BIOF09, BIOT05, BIOT03, BIOT04, MOBT05, MOBT03 and MOBT04
In these courses you learn how to plan and carry out a project, like a research project or some other kind of project.
You can choose to do a 7.5, 15, or 30 credits project. The project can be carried out either in full time or part-time, during the semester or in the summer.
Before the start
- Check with the study advisor to ensure you fulfil the requirements to start a project. Contact Lotta Persmark if you will do a project in biology. If you will do a project in molecular biology you contact Christina Ledje.
- Contact a supervisor or workplace and discuss the general outline of the project. Note that you may conduct the project outside the university, at a company or other university.
- Write a project plan together with your supervisor. The plan should be brief but give a clear description of your specific project (1-2 A4 pages). It should contain:
- Project title
- Name and e-mail addresses to you and the supervisor
- Research area, credits, department or another place where you will work
- Introduction, with a theoretical background to the project and key references (3-5)
- Aim(s) of the project
- Material and methods, including for example planned statistical analyses
- A budget
- Time plan: rough planning of the project. Remember to include enough time to write the report.
- Fill in the registration form (pdf; 555 kB; new tab). Lotta Persmark or Christina Ledje will confirm that you are eligible to start the project by adding a signature on the registration form. You and your supervisor should also sign the form and finally also the examiner for the course who also approves the project plan. Hand in the registration form around two weeks before the start of the project to Lotta Persmark (biology) or Christina Ledje (molecular biology). Note that if you will do your project during the summer you must register before the 15th of June.
- Insurance. You need an insurance if you are going to work outside Sweden. Your study advisor at the Education office will help you.
- During the project work you will write a project logbook either electronically or in a notebook. Make careful, daily notes about experimental design, technical details of experiments, raw data and calculations which will be of great help when you start to write your report. In the logbook you also register if you take time off (because of vacation, illness, malfunctioning machines, or other significant events). Please note that in order to have the possibility of obtaining the highest grade (pass with distinction – väl godkänt) a degree project cannot exceed the stipulated time with more than 20% (for example 23 weeks for a 30 credits project). Remember to bring the logbook to the examination.
- It is advisable to start to write as soon as possible. Parts of the introduction and methods can be written in parallel with your empirical/theoretical work. As results are starting to be analysed, construct figures and tables that can be included in the report. Attend seminars and group meetings arranged by your research group and section of which you are a member.
- If something is not working the way you would like it to, for example problems with your supervisor, contact your study advisor as soon as possible. The earlier we address a problem the sooner it can be solved.
Towards the end
- The degree project should be written as a scientific report. It is preferred the report follows the format described in “Instructions for project reports” (pdf; 76 kB; new window). Follow the format of the instructions throughout the report; how to handle references, report statistical results and so on. Write in a stringent scientific style and avoid excessive length. However, you are allowed to be slightly more explicit with background, explanations and such, than what one would be in a real paper. You are also allowed to include description and discussion of preliminary or incomplete results and to introduce and show that you understand the chosen methodology and strategies by explaining them and providing necessary details. The report should include a scientific abstract in English. In total a 30 credits project report should be around 5000-7000 words and a 15 credits project report around 3000-5000 words. Detail instructions on how to write a project report (pdf; 198 kB; new tab).
- Plagiarism. You are not allowed to present someone else’s work, such as text, figures, or results, without giving proper reference. This also applies to material you find on the Internet. Therefore, make sure that you use citations in a correct way. You may of course refer to the work of others, but you need to re-write it in your own words and refer to the source of information in a correct way. Read more about plagiarism at the University Library's website and discuss with your supervisor if you are unsure.
- Time for the examination. When you and your supervisor decide that the report is ready your supervisor will notify the examiner who will arrange the examination. The supervisor will give input too but will not take part in the decision or grading of the thesis. If the supervisor cannot attend the examination, he/she should provide a written evaluation of the project and/or discuss it directly with the examiner.
- Send the report to Urkund. To avoid and prevent cheating and plagiarism, all reports written at the Department of Biology are checked in ”Urkund”, a program that uses internet/databases to scan a report for copied text. At least ten days before the examination you should send your report to urkund via your examiners address: N [dot] N [dot] lu [at] analys [dot] urkund [dot] se.
- During the examination you make an oral presentation of your project. This means a summary of your project in approximately 10-15 minutes, preferentially with the aid of Powerpoint or another presentation software. Then a discussion follows during which you answer questions about your work.
- Grades: If the degree project does not fulfil the requirements for the grade Pass, you will be given instructions about how to improve the work to reach the grade Pass. To reach the grade Pass with distinction (Väl Godkänt) two criteria must be fulfilled: You must have demonstrated high ability to work independently, including creative problem posing, problem solving and deduction, and to put the results into a general context, for example. a scientific area of research or relevant biological applications. The timeframe for the project should not have been exceeded with more than 20 %. The written and oral presentations of the exam project should be of high quality. Here you can see the evaluation form for the project examination and what aspects that are graded Examination Criteria (pdf; 25 kB; new tab).
- After the examination you make the recommended corrections in the report and send the final version to the examiner and your supervisor.