Course Description

The Department of Cell and Systems Biology, in collaboration with the Centre for International Experience (CIE) and U of T’s partner institutions abroad, offer an independent research course for CSB students. This course is intended for students who will have completed their 3rd year of study by the time they take the course. CSB397Y0 allows you to gain international research experience at a partner institution while you complete a U of T credit towards your degree.

The research project is conducted in molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, physiology or systems biology. Whole organism, cell culture, in vitro or in silico studies are acceptable. The laboratory research is conducted by the student and supervised by a faculty member at an approved partner university. An information session is held each fall, and an application and interview process is required. The research is typically conducted from May to August. This course is not eligible for CR/NCR option.


Minimum grade of 73% in BIO230H1 / BIO255H1 / BIO271H1,
Permission of the CSB397Y0 coordinator

Course Coordinator

Prof. T. Harris

Course Administrator

Melissa Casco

Additional Information


You must be a registered U of T student with a minimum cGPA of 2.5. Priority will be given to students in a Major or Specialist program that is sponsored by the Department of Cell and Systems Biology (Animal Physiology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Biology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Genome Biology). It is recommended that students have completed CSB325H1 or CSB349H1 and have had an extensive lab experience (e.g., ROP299Y1, CSB 300-level lab course, work-study project). However, if you do not have this experience, you are still welcome to apply.


Depending on the host university and your interests, you will either be assisted by CIE in finding a supervisor or you may be finding a supervisor on your own at one of our partner universities.


As with other exchange programs, you pay U of T tuition (1.0 credit) and maintain your U of T registration while you are abroad.


If you are selected for this course, you may be eligible for an international experience award. Details and conditions will be confirmed in Fall 2023. You remain eligible to receive many of the loans, scholarships and bursaries open to regular U of T students, including those available through your faculty or college as well as government assistance such as OSAP and other provincial or territorial loan programs.


In the summer, research projects can last approximately 8-12 weeks depending on the program. While you are at the host university, you will complete between 30-40 hours per week of lab work; more time may be required and will be assigned to you by your supervisor. You may also be required to take a course at the host institution, give a conference paper, and/or a presentation.


Information about the application procedure is available on the Learning Abroad website or by contacting

Current CSB Compatible Partners are:

The deadline to apply through CIE for CSB397Y0 for Summer 2024 is December 4, 2023.

Please check the Learning Abroad website for details about the opportunities at the partner institutions by clicking on Experiences, then Summer, then View Opportunities under Research. If you are interested, please be sure to contact us in the Fall for more information.

If your application for CSB397Y0 is approved through CIE, it will then be forwarded to CSB for a second approval process. Students will be selected based on their Subject POSt, academic record and a personal interview.

Last updated on October 17th, 2023