REQUIREMENTS and DEADLINES for HONORS in the Biological Sciences
THE HONORS in the Biological Sciences Programs includes • Biology | Health & Human Biology | Biophysics | Marine Biology (thru the Class of '16) •
NOTE: Concentrators in Biochemistry apply via Biochemistry advisors; Applied Math-Biology students apply via Applied Mathematics; Computational Biology students
should apply via CCMB; Biomedical Engineering (BME) concentrators proceed via Engineering.
THE HONORS REQUIREMENTS for BIOLOGY | HEALTH & HUMAN BIOLOGY |BIOPHYSICS | MARINE BIOLOGY thru the Class of 2016
The path to Honors in the Biological Sciences begins with a faculty-mentored research project. The project is typically carried out for credit for at least two semesters
via (BIOL 1950/1960 or the equivalent) plus a summer, winter break, or elective semester. This time commitment will be necessary to complete work of the caliber
expected for a thesis. Typically, this work will encompass the senior year. For projects being used as the Health and Human Biology capstone, the project MUST encompass
the senior year. More information about Honors in Health and Human Biology, here.
• The Honors registration form and proposal application is here.
THE ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE | Thesis Advisor & Second Reader
• The Thesis Advisor is the primary investigator who will mentor the project, and who will be available to the student in guiding, discussing results and interpreting outcomes.
The Thesis Advisor is expected to be a Brown faculty member, usually but not always, from the Division of Biology and Medicine. The student should confer with the Thesis Advisor to formulate the project plan. This plan will be the basis for BIOL 1950/1960 credit and can be embellished for the Honors application.
• The Second Reader will be a faculty member or associated scientist who is identified by the student and Thesis Advisor as an appropriate to review the work. The Reader
will evaluate the thesis, and provide an evaluation of the work. Second Readers should be acquainted with the field of research described by the project, and be willing and
able to provide input and critique that will challenge and strengthen the thesis. The Second Reader should be at the doctoral level, from Brown (but there are exceptions),
and not from the same laboratory or research group where the project originates.
THE HONORS PROCESS
THESIS: A thesis is a substantial paper, usually ranging from 65-85 pages, that reflects the final analysis of the proposed research project, in standard science reporting format, from historical background through methods, results and conclusions. An abstract should be included.
- Candidate will periodically distribute DRAFT copies of the thesis to the Thesis Advisor and Second Reader for discussion, analysis, and feedback during the writing process.
- Candidate will submit the FINAL copy of the thesis to both the Thesis Advisor and Second Reader by Friday, April 24. The candidate may provide (optional) an electronic copy of the thesis as a contribution to our library.
• More information about the thesis at FAQs | Thesis.
A library of past sample Honors theses is located at the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education, Suite 124, 91 Waterman Street, Arnold Lab. Students may browse the library resources when the office is open during business hours.
ORAL SEMINAR | POSTER PRESENTATION: To be fulfilled by either one of these two options near the conclusion of the thesis project.
• More information about the presentation at FAQs | Oral -or- Poster.
• More information about poster design and layout at Poster Landscape.
If the Oral seminar format is chosen, the student will make arrangements, with advisors' approval, for scheduling a seminar room, and invitations. For the Poster presentation format, Biology Undergraduate Research Poster Day is organized annually in mid/late-April by the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education.
QUALITY GRADES: Honors recipients typically maintain a Grade Point Average of 3.4 or higher. However, in the case of outstanding independent research contributions demonstrated in a thesis, candidates with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.4 will also be considered, subject to review and approval by Dean Katherine Smith, Office of Biology Undergraduate Education.
EVALUATION: Following review of the thesis and the oral, the Thesis Advisor and Second Reader will complete an Honors evaluation. Honors is expected to be recommended if the work is assessed as Satisfactory or better, with all stipulations, deadlines and grade requirements met. The electronic Honors evaluation form will be provided directly to both advisors by the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education and must be submitted complete no later than May 1.
DATES & DEADLINES
Graduation Senior Year
Second Reader Selection Deadline
Thesis Submitted to the Committee
Oral Seminar | Poster Day
Honors Evaluation Forms Due from the Committee
Friday, January 30
Friday, February 15
Friday, April 24
Friday, May 1
Friday, September 26
Monday, December 1
Friday, December 19
Questions and inquiries:
Katherine_Smith@brown.edu, Interim Associate Dean of Biology