Research Project in Biochemistry


BCH375 will not be offered in Winter 2017 or Winter 2018. Please refer to the BCH374 course page.

This course is held in the Winter term and provides real-world individual research opportunities in biochemistry, under the direct supervision of a Biochemistry Department faculty member. The course takes advantage of the resources and expertise of the over 50 faculty researchers within the department. It gives students an appreciation of the scientific method that comes from intensive experimentation. It enhances students’ understanding of theoretical concepts learned in other courses through a better understanding of the experimental approaches upon which those theories are based, and provides one on one contact with faculty members. The experience gained in this intermediate research project will enhance the student experience in our advanced level research project course, BCH473. BCH375H1 can be combined with BCH373H1.

To enroll

Students may approach any of the academic staff in the Department of Biochemistry about the possibility of doing a research project under his or her supervision. Faculty who have expressed an interest in supervising a BCH375 student are listed under ‘Instructors’, below. If accepted, the student must then request enrollment by sending an email with the name of the student, student number, current transcript, academic program, and name of the supervisor, to the course coordinator. The student is expected to spend at least one full day per week during the term on a project in the supervisor’s laboratory.

Course Next Offered

TBA (not offered in 2017 or 2018)


BCH242Y + BIO230H + CHM247H/CHM249H + cGPA of 3.0 + permission of the Department, for BCH Specialists

BCH210H + BIO230H + CHM247H/CHM249H + cGPA of 3.3 + permission of the Department, for BCH Majors

Enrollment Limit


Method of Student Evaluation

There are three components to the final grade for BCH375:

Thirty-five percent of the final grade is contributed by the student's research project supervisor, based on the student's performance in the lab. The supervisor will evaluate the student's progress at the end of February (10 marks out of 35) and at the end of the term (25 marks out of 35).

Fifteen percent of the final grade is contributed by the course coordinator, based on a 3 page research project proposal. The proposal should introduce the project, outline the hypothesis to be tested or the goals of the project, and present the methodology to be used, in 3 pages, double spaced, 1" margins, 12 point font, not including references and figures. The proposal must be submitted to Dr. Brown before the deadline, via email as a PDF file.

Fifty percent of the final grade is contributed by the student's exam committee, who will evaluate the final research report and the oral exam. The report, the presentation, and the student's handling of questions during the oral examination will be weighted equally.

Important dates, 2016

January 15: Mandatory information session (5 pm, CCBR 1206)
February 1: Research project proposal due before 5 pm
March 2 - 4: Schedule final exam in consultation with Dr. Brown
March 24: Mandatory exam prep session (5 pm, CCBR 1206)
April 8: Final report due before 5 pm
April 12 - 29: Oral exams

The Final Research Report

At the completion of the project, each student drafts a typewritten report (not more than 10 pages, double spaced, 1" margins, 12 point font, not including references and a maximum of FIVE figures) of their findings. The report should follow the organization scheme, and must include: a title, your name, a capsule, abstract, introduction, materials & methods, results, and discussion. Figures should follow the references, one per page, with the legend included on each figure. Sufficient detail should be given in the methods so that the experiments can be understood without reference to secondary sources. Standard techniques can be referenced. Students are encouraged to be selective in the data presented. It is not necessary or desirable to present every experiment that was performed. Choose those that best fit with the goals of the project. Future directions and alternative approaches can be included in the discussion.

The Oral Exam

The student describes the findings of her or his research, orally, before two members of the academic staff of the Biochemistry Department selected by the course co-ordinator. The use of PowerPoint slides is encouraged. The oral presentation should take no longer than 15 minutes and is followed by a question period of 20 to 30 minutes. The student's supervisor will be present during the exam, but will not be evaluating the student's exam or report.

Students must consult with Dr. Brown to determine a time and date for the Oral examination. The Oral examination will be held during the normal final exam period. The student's report should be submitted to Dr. Brown and the members of the examination committee by 5 pm on the last day of classes for the semester. Reports must be submitted as PDF files, via email, to all examiners, with Dr Brown cc'd.

Late reports (proposal and final report) will be penalized 10% per day.

Additional Notes and Resources

Organization Scheme for the Final Report
BCH375 Syllabus 2016


Grant W. Brown

Grant W. Brown

Donnelly Centre, Room 1206
160 College Street


Gregory D. Fairn

Gregory D. Fairn

416-864-6060, ext 77330

Warren L. Lee

Warren L. Lee


Vito Mennella

Vito Mennella

(416)-813-7654 ext. 309267

Last Updated 18 April 2016