Research Projects in Human Biology


A research project is supervised by a faculty member of the Faculty of Arts & Science or the Faculty of Medicine. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Deadline for HMB496Y1/HMB499Y1 in the Summer Term: May 1
Deadline for HMB496Y1/HMB499Y1 in the Academic Term: September 1

Please note – we have a policy of not allowing students to do a second research project course (HMB499Y) in the same lab.


Requirements for 3rd year students: 9 FCE complete, HMB200H1/HMB201H1/HMB202H1/ HMB203H1/HMB204H1, BCH210H1 /CHM247H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1, HMB265H1/BIO260H1, cGPA 3.5 or higher, and permission of the Human Biology Program

Requirements for 4th year students: 14 FCE complete, a 300+ level laboratory course, HMB200H1/ HMB201H1/ HMB202H1/HMB203H1/ HMB204H1, a HMB300‐level course, cGPA 2.5 or higher, and permission of the Human Biology Program



A research project course presents an opportunity for students to learn and demonstrate competence in scientific research skills. Supervisors have a special responsibility to ensure both academic standards and fair treatment of the student, by conforming to the University of Toronto regulations such as the grading practices policy and by having realistic and appropriate expectations for student performance. 


The project should allow for the student to play an active role in project design, experimentation, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting results and conclusions both orally and in writing; and have a good chance of producing results before the course ends. The project preferably should be novel or a novel part of a bigger project, and cannot be a repetition of existing results. Students cannot be paid for course credit work. Research can be remote or in person, depending on current guidance, please plan a remote or backup remote project. 

1. Students are expected to be at the bench, or its equivalent, for ~8 hours per week in both the fall and winter session and proportionately more in the summer session. While time may vary week to week, students are expected to be actively working on their projects throughout the academic year, which includes additional time outside of the lab, working on literature research, analysis, writing assignments, meetings, talks etc. Students are expected to attend HMB workshops, comply with the course evaluation scheme, and be proactive with their time management. Students are expected to adhere to the University’s Code on Academic Matters, and to all safety regulations and protocols. 

2. Supervisors are expected to play an active role in the training and evaluation of the student, and to encourage the student to interact with other researchers in the lab and join activities such as lab meetings. Supervisors are expected to provide laboratory space (if necessary), materials, and direction to their own student. Supervisors are responsible for all matters of safety and training for the student and the project. Supervisors are also responsible for obtaining Research Ethics Board (REB, human) and Animal Use Protocol approval, prior to the start of the course (if required). Supervisors are expected to mark their own student’s written assignments, and final presentation, and one other student’s progress report (to allow students to experience a simulated peer review), in a timely manner, to comply with course grade deadlines. Supervisors are asked to be aware of the University’s Code on Academic Matters, and if you suspect your student of plagiarizing and/or unethical conduct, to contact Human Biology. 


Evaluation Overview (Detailed instructions for each evaluation will be posted on the course web site) 

Assignment and Description 


Due Date of Assignment 

Evaluation Due 

Evaluator of Assignment 

Progress Report 

Literature review and summary of progress to date 


Summer: mid-June 

Fall/Winter: mid-November 

One week after due date 


Preliminary Skills Grade 

An assessment of student performance on the project 


Ongoing (First Half) 

Reported on Progress Report evaluation 


Preliminary Presentation 

A short presentation highlighting student progress 


Summer: July 

Fall/Winter: January 

At Presentation 

Human Biology 

Final Presentation 

A presentation of  student research project and results 


Summer: mid-August 

Fall/Winter: late-March 


At presentation 

Human Biology & your supervisor, averaged 

Final Report 

A written report in the form of a research manuscript 


Summer: mid-August 

Fall/Winter: late-March 

One week after due date 


Research Skills Grade 

A final assessment of student performance on the project 


Ongoing (Second Half) 

Reported on Final Report evaluation 


*Specific details and late penalties will be available on the course syllabus, and can change.