Here you can find almost everything you need to know about your degree project and the practicalities around it. You will also find the instructions about how to present science and how to avoid plagiarism in two handbooks further down on the page. You are supposed to follow these instructions.
WHERE DO I START?
The first thing you should do is to read all the instructions found on this website carefully, especially the SOP. Note that the degree project, as all other courses, has prerequisite demands. Contact your coordinator at IBG for help with respect to the requirements or if you are not sure which course to choose. Contact the coordinator well in advance of your intended start date for the course - at least a month in advance or preferably even longer than that.
Here is a check list (tick-off list) that you are welcome to use, in order to keep track of all the things you need to remember before, during and after the degree project. Some points are not strictly requirements but recommendations and are pointed out as such in the document ("rec.").
HOW TO FIND A DEGREE PROJECT AND A SUPERVISOR
In principle it is your own task to find a suitable project! Choose a field in which you are interested. Contact departments with projects in your area of interest and talk to potential supervisors (senior researchers). Web pages are a good source of information. Do not hesitate to contact several departments and people. If you are offered more than one project, remember to decline those you don't want. There are plenty of projects, and people who wish to take on degree project students – look around!
If you have no ideas, talk to teachers, senior students and people working at companies and administrations. You can also always talk to your coordinator, who can offer suggestions. You can also look at concluded degree projects to see what other students have done or explore the IBG project offer database.
Please read the general instructions below carefully! It contains most of what you need to know in practical terms. When you have found a supervisor for your degree project, make sure that he/she is also familiar with the rules and guidelines - for instance by reading both the "SOP" and the specific Instructions for supervisors.
Your supervisor and you should write a brief project plan describing your proposed project. It should be kept brief but should still contain a short theoretical background and methods, the specific aims of your intended work and a tentative time plan for the project as a whole. Fill out the application form together with your supervisor, and sign it. You can use a computer to fill it in, but of course signatures must be by hand. Hand in the application form, the project plan and your study documentation (showing that you meet the prerequisites) to your coordinator. Download your transcript from Ladok.
When all papers are in order your coordinator will register you, and you can start. Please note that you may not start your degree project before you are registered and all formalities are completed! The application has to be approved by your coordinator before starting.
Doing a 60 credit thesis in Biology also involves some more preparations for the coming work. When you are admitted (following the procedure described above) you shall write a longer research plan, in cooperation with your supervisor. This is supposed to, above all, include a through theoretical background to your research question. There may be differences between supervisors how they handle this. If you are unsure, please contact your coordinator or your programme head. Before this plan is accepted, the coordinator shall have had the opportunity to give comments. Once apporved, you will have 5 credits.
If the period of your degree project extends over more than one semester, or over the summer, you may need to get re-registered when the second semester starts. You must take care of this yourself, by talking to administrative personnel at IBG.
Application form degree project in Biology
Application form degree project in Applied Biotechnology
Application form degree project in Bioinformatics
Application form degree project in Molecular Biotechnology
If you do a 20-week project (or longer) you should report on your progress when you are about halfway through the work. Your coordinator will give you instructions for how to proceed with this. In most cases, a midterm report is also done for 10-week projects.
A midterm report involves a short written report and a 15 min oral presentation of the theoretical background and specific problem, the methods used to solve it and possible results already obtained. The written report should be 1-2 pages and it should in addition to the above also contain your plans for the remainder of the project period, including a timetable for finishing the work and writing it up. These instruction differ between programmes, always check with your coordinator.
FINAL written REPORT
At the end of your project, you must present a written report. The final written report should have a title page, an abstract and a popular science summary, plus the report itself. All these parts are, after all corrections and revisions have been made and the report has gained final approval by the examiner/coordinator, printed in double sided format and bound together as a final account of your finished work.
You can find general guidelines for scientific reports in the document “Presenting science”. Your coordinator will also provide further guidelines for how to prepare the report properly. A piece of very good advice is to start writing early; for one thing, writing often takes longer than anticipated, but structuring and writing the report may in itself often be useful for how you think about and plan the project as a whole.
Your supervisor must approve the scientific content of your report before you hand it on to your opponent (and later after possible further revisions to the coordinator/examiner). Approval from the supervisor is also a prerequisite before you are allowed to give the final oral presentation in front of the student opponent and examiner.
FINAL oral PRESENTATION
After approval of the final report by the supervisor, you thus present your work in an oral presentation (about 30 minutes). Another student from your programme acts as an opponent at your final presentation. You obtain feedback and opposition both for the oral part and get additional comments about the written report. You must also yourself at some point during the course act as opponent for at least one other student. After having reworked the report, taking note of additional feedback from your opponent, you hand the report in to the coordinator/examiner for final evaluation and examination.
Writing the report
The document "Presenting science" gives you an overview of how to write papers and prepare oral presentations. Make sure that you also are familiar with the content of "How to avoid plagiarism". You may also look at finished and published reports, both from other master programmes and from the Engineering programme in molecular biotechnology to get inspiration for how to structure and compile your own report.
popular science summary
Template and instruction for the popular science summary.
All degree projects that are produced at the Biology Education Centre shall have a title page in line with the graphic profile of Uppsala University. The title page is created via the form linked below. Enter the details of your project and download the pdf. You can chose if you want your title page to have an image.
Instructions for creating title page - Bioinformatics
Instructions for creating title page - Biology
Instructions for creating title page - Molecular biotechnology
Instructions for creating title page - Applied biotechnology
Supervisors certificate and opinions
When the student is about to finish the Degree project, the supervisor fills out and signs the below certificate and in it also supplies detailed opinions about the students' performance. The filled out certificate is sent to the coordinator/examiner and contributes as a basis for the final assessment. NB! The signed certificate is also a prerequisite for the student to be permitted to give the final oral presentation!
Supervisor certificate for passed degree project in Biology
Supervisor certificate for passed degree project in Applied Biotechnology
Supervisor certificate for passed degree project in Bioinformatics or Molecular Biotechnology
Plagiarism is a growing problem within higher education. To counteract this we require that possible written reports from most courses be analysed by the service Urkund. This also applies to the Degree project. In practical terms this is done by sending the final report (as a pdf or possibly word file) as an attachment to an e-mail. The specific Urkund mail address you will obtain from the coordinator. The document will thus pass the Urkund database and possible copied pieces of text will be found by comparison to the extensive Urkund text database.
So, please do not send the document directly to the coordinators regular e-mail address but to the alternative Urkund address provided towards the end of your project.
Note! Important exception: If your supervisor considers the report confidential you should not send it via Urkund!
If anything is unclear, please read the additional information provided below or contact the coordinator. A few resolute examples that may serve as a guide if you are in doubt are provided in "How to avoid plagiarism". Please also consult your supervisor when hesitant.
When your degree project is finished the coordinator will publish your report on the IBG web, but you yourself should also upload it to DiVA. For more information about DiVA and a detailed instructions on how to upload your report, click on the links below. When you are prompted to choose department you should write Biology Education Centre.
When writing scientific texts, it is always important to write where you have taken the information from. This will give your arguments and claims merit from scientifically presented facts. It is important to always cite your sources. This also avoids any plagiarism suspicions. To make it easier to manage your references there are specifically designed software. IBG has published a style format for Zotero, Mendeley and Papers, according to the format presented in the folder Presenting Science. Please also read the information on referencing literature and avoiding plagiarism in our handbook Avoiding plagiarism.