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
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 BIOL 1950/1960 project proposal form is here; more information about research projects 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.
• More information about the thesis at FAQs | Thesis.
A library of past sample Honors theses is located at the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education, Room 124, 91 Waterman Street, Arnold Lab. Students may browse the library resources when the office is open during business hours.
ORAL 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.
If the Oral (seminar) format is chosen, the student will make arrangements, with advisors' approval, for scheduling, room, and invitations. For the Poster option, Biology Undergraduate Research Poster Day is organized annually in mid/late-April by the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education. Honors candidates will be invited to participate.
QUALITY GRADES within the concentration and overall are required. The computed average is expected to be 3.4 or above. For cases where the average is 3.0- <3.4, candidacy may nonetheless be recommended by the Concentration Advisor and Thesis Advisor, subject to approval by the Associate Dean of Biological Scieinces (Undergraduate Education).
EVALUATION: Following review of the thesis and the oral, the Committee 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 the Committee advisors by the Office of Biology Undergraduate Education and must be submitted complete no later than May 1.
DATES & DEADLINES
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 30
Monday, December 1
Friday, December 19
- The Committee refers to the student's Thesis Advisor and Second Reader.
- Health and Human Biology concentrators: Honors application deadline is mid-September of the 7th semester.
- Extensions of final deadlines may be requested if there are extenuating circumstances, and only via appeal to the Interim Associate Dean of Biology.