M.Sc. Proposal

Research proposal presentation

Masters students must present a research proposal to the Biology Graduate Academic Unit within 5-6 months of their start date. (MSc students hoping for completion in less than 2 yrs must present their research proposal in the term in which they begin the programme.)  The purpose of this presentation is to assist students in the development of their proposed research by providing constructive criticism.

The supervisory committee is expected to provide assistance to the student in preparing for the presentation, to attend the presentation and to provide guidance in revising the research plan according to the issues raised by the presentation.

The presentation will be open to the entire university committee and public. This presentation does not relieve the student, supervisor, or supervisory committee of their respective responsibilities with respect to the research. It is expected that this presentation will be of assistance to the student in developing his/her research program, and will result in an improved end product.

Presentation structure

The proposal process will include (1) a written summary, (2) a 20 minute oral presentation, followed by (3) an open question period of 40 minutes. Timing of the presentation will be strictly enforced.

Both written and oral components of the Research Proposal will include:

•     Background - Literature review
•     Statement of problem - Objectives, hypothesis, & their significance
•     Methods - Experimental design
•     Anticipated results & their analysis

The written summary should constitute a maximum of five pages of text plus references, all typed, single spaced, with margins no less than 3/4 inch and font no less than 12 point. Summaries not meeting this criteria will be returned for revision.

The summary (in digital format) should be presented to the Director of Graduate Studies (Kate Frego), not less than two weeks before the first presentation slot for the block. It will be posted on website for the Biology GAU and other interested persons not less than one week before the presentation.


Students beginning the M.Sc. program in May will present in September or October; those beginning in September will present in January or February. The DoGS (Kate Frego) will set the time, and assign a rapporteur for each presentation.

A minimum of four faculty members of the Biology GAU who are not on the supervisory committee must be in attendance (including the rapporteur). The DoGS will chair the research proposal presentation and question period.

The rapporteur, in consultation with the supervisory committee, will provide the student and Director of Graduate Studies with a written summary of the suggestions and comments following the presentation.