Here you can find almost everything you need to know about your degree project and the practicalities around it. You will also find the instructions about how to present science and how to avoid plagiarism in two handbooks further down on the page. You are supposed to follow these instructions.
WHERE DO I START?
The first thing you should do is to read all the instructions found on this website carefully, especially the SOP. Note that the degree project, as all other courses, has prerequisite demands. Contact your coordinator at IBG for help with respect to the requirements or if you are not sure which course to choose. Contact the coordinator well in advance of your intended start date for the course - at least a month in advance or preferably even longer than that.
Here is a check list (tick-off list) that you are welcome to use, in order to keep track of all the things you need to remember before, during and after the degree project. Some points are not strictly requirements but recommendations.
HOW TO FIND A DEGREE PROJECT AND A SUPERVISOR
In principle it is your own task to find a suitable project! Choose a field in which you are interested. Contact departments with projects in your area of interest and talk to potential supervisors (senior researchers). Web pages are a good source of information. Do not hesitate to contact several departments and people. If you are offered more than one project, remember to decline those you don't want.
If you have no ideas, talk to teachers, senior students and people working at companies and administrations. You can also always talk to your coordinator, who can offer suggestions. You can also look at concluded degree projects to see what other students have done or explore the IBG project offer database.
When you have found a supervisor for your degree project, make sure that he/she is also familiar with the rules and guidelines - for instance by reading both the "SOP" and the specific Instructions for supervisors.
General instructions - "SOP" for Biology and Applied Biotechnology
Background information for supervisors in Biology and Applied Biotechnology
Instructions for supervisors in Biology and Applied Biotechnology
You and your supervisor should write a brief project plan describing your proposed project. It should be kept brief but should still contain a short theoretical background and methods, the specific aims of your intended work and a tentative time plan for the project as a whole. Note that the coordinator is the one who approves the project plan. It might take a few rounds of review between you, the supervisor and the coordinator before everyone is happy! The plan will be an important document for you in your work, and you can start from it when you write your report later.
Fill out the application form together with your supervisor, and sign it. You can use a computer to fill it in, but of course signatures must be made by hand. Hand in the application form, the project plan and your study documentation (showing that you meet the prerequisites) to your coordinator. Download your transcript from Ladok.
When all papers are in order, your coordinator will register you, and you can start. Please note that you may not start your degree project before you are registered and all formalities are completed!
Doing a 60 credit thesis in Biology also involves one more step in preparations for the coming work. When you are admitted (following the procedure described above) you shall write a more comprehensive research plan, in cooperation with your supervisor. This is supposed to, above all, include a more through theoretical background to your work. There may also be different demands from supervisors and coordinators. When the plan is ready and approved by the supervisor and the coordinator, you will receive 5 credits for the module "Planning".
If you do a 20-week project (or longer) you should report on your progress when you are about halfway through the work. Your coordinator will give you instructions for how to proceed with this.
A midterm report involves a short written report and/or a short oral presentation of the theoretical background and specific problem, the methods used to solve it and possible results already obtained. The written report should be 1-2 pages and it should in addition to the above also contain your plans for the remainder of the project period, including a timetable for finishing the work and writing it up. The report should also include a short description of how the work has proceeded so far. Thise instruction may differ between coordinators, so double check with your coordinator and read the SOP. When the coordinator has approved your midterm report, you will receive 10, 15 or 25 credits depending on the total credits of the degree project (30, 45 or 60 credits).
FINAL written REPORT
At the end of your project, you must present a written report. The final written report should have a title page, an abstract and the report itself. You should also write a popular science summary in a separate document.
You can find general guidelines for scientific reports and refrence management by scrolling down on this page. A piece of very good advice is to start writing early; for one thing, writing often takes longer than anticipated. Another good advice is to go back to your project plan, maybe there is text and scientifc references you can use there?
When you are on your way to finishing your degree project, the supervisor will fill out and sign the certificate below. This also approves the scientific content of you report. The supervisor will also write their opinion of your performance in this document. The supervisor will send the filled out form directly to the coordinator as a contribution to the final examnination of your degree project. Note that the certificate also is a prerequisite for you to do the final oral presentation!
FINAL oral PRESENTATION
After approval of the final report by the supervisor, you will present your work in an oral presentation. Another student from your programme acts as an opponent. If you are a master's student, you will have one additional opponen, either a senior scientist or a PhD student. You obtain feedback and opposition both for the oral part and the written part. You must also yourself at some point during the course act as opponent for at least one other student. After having revised the report based on feedback from the opponents and the public, you hand the report in to the coordinator for eventual additional feedback, final evaluation and examination. Here, there might also be differences between coordinators, and you will be given precise instructions by your coordinator.
Writing the report
The document "Presenting science" gives you an overview of how to write papers and prepare oral presentations. This is done by using references in a correct way. Read more about references and reference managament software by scrolling down on this page. Make sure you are also familiar with "How to aviod plagiarism in science."
popular science summary
Template and instruction for the popular science summary.
All degree projects that are produced at the Biology Education Centre shall have a title page in line with the correct template. Instructions for creating the title page are found below.
Plagiarism is a growing problem within higher education. To counteract this we require that possible written reports from most courses be analysed by the service Urkund. This also applies to the degree project. You will receive more instructions about this from your coordinator. The document will pass trough the Urkund database and eventual copied segments in the text will be found by a comparison with the comprehensive Urkund databse.
Important exception! If the coordinator considers the report to be confidential, it should not be sent by Urkund!
If anything is unclear regarding Urkund, please read the additional information provided below or contact the coordinator. A few resolute examples that may serve as a guide if you are in doubt are provided in "How to avoid plagiarism". Please also consult your supervisor when hesitant.
When your degree project is finished, you will publish your popular science summary on the IBG web. You sould upload the scientific report to DiVA yourself, and your coordinator will report your credits to Ladok when you have made the upload. For more information about DiVA and a detailed instructions on how to upload your report, click on the links below. When you are prompted to choose department you should write Biology Education Centre.
When writing scientific texts, it is always important to write where you have taken the information from. This will give your arguments and claims merit from scientifically presented facts. It is important to always cite your sources. This also avoids any plagiarism suspicions. To make it easier to manage your references there are specifically designed software. IBG has published a style format for Zotero, Mendeley and Papers, according to the format presented in the folder Presenting Science. Please also read the information on referencing literature and avoiding plagiarism in our handbook Avoiding plagiarism.
When the degree project and all courses which are included in your degree are finished, it is time to apply for a degree certificate. More information is available at the Uppsala University website for students.