Course Description

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 BCB 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. 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, analyze, and report on experimental or descriptive investigations on an appropriate topic. A literature review alone is not sufficient.


Permission of the course coordinator

Recommended Preparation


Balloted Course

Students are expected to contact and confirm a research supervisor well in advance of the start of an academic session (for example, February – March for the September session). Once a supervisor is confirmed, students will need to fill out the registration form and submit it to the course administrator. For more information about this course and for the registration form, please refer to the course website or contact the course administrator.

Course Coordinator

Prof. Nicholas Provart,
BCB Program Director

Course Administrator

Melissa Casco

Contact Hours

Students can expect to spend 10-12 hours per week on their independent research project and meet with their supervisor on a weekly basis.

Evaluation (Subject to change)

Proposal and Literature Review : 15%
Presentation to lab: 20%
Final Written Report: 30-50%
Other components: TBD

Last updated on June 17th, 2021