Topic Selection (Experimental and Grant proposal theses)

Senior Exercise Contract

Students by the end of their junior year submit to Dr. Negritto a signed contract, a one page abstract, and a list of 3 references that they have read. There must be a clear hypothesis to be tested in the senior thesis project. Contracts and topic selection must be turned in at the latest by the first week of the fall semester of Senior year.

First Semester fall 2018

Thursday September 13. Workshop 1: How to do an Oral Presentation

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses) 

An introduction to talking about your science. We will also go over the program’s Information Literacy Rubric, so that students can begin working on the literature review portion of their theses.  Prof Negritto, 11 am, SC 103.

Thursday September 20. Workshop 2: How to write a grant proposal

Mandatory for Library-Grant proposal thesis students everyone else is more than welcome and encouraged to attend. Thinking of applying to an NSF graduate fellowship?  This could be useful! Prof Negritto, 11 am, SC 103.

Thursday September 27. Workshop 3: Citation Management Workshop.

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses) 

11 AM in Seaver Biology computer room. Kirsten Hansen (librarian specialists).

Friday October 5. Annotated Bibliography

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
Submit an annotated bibliography of at least 10 references on your senior thesis topic. Turn in the bibliographies by 5 PM to your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site.

See an example of an annotated bibliography.                                             

Thursday October 11, 18, and 25. First Oral Presentation (schedule to be determined in class)

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)

In this first presentation, you will talk about the single most relevant research paper in the area of your research project. Begin with a brief description of your thesis, and describe how the chosen paper relates to it.  Then cover a main experiment from the article, making sure to describe the procedure and/or approach used, and to analyze the data critically and in depth.  You may present more than one experiment, depending on time. End by relating the paper back to your project. You only have 8 to 10 minutes, so plan carefully and practice extensively. 11 am, SC 103.

Friday October 18. Mid-Semester Evaluation

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)

On or before October 18 you are to meet with your thesis advisor to receive feedback on your thesis progress. If you are not meeting the requirements for the molecular biology thesis you have until the end of the semester to remedy the concerns outlined in the evaluation.

Experimental: If you decide to withdraw from MOBI194A (by October 25) you will receive no credit (NC) for the fall semester, and will sign up for a Senior Library Thesis-Grant Proposal in Molecular Biology, MOBI191, in the spring semester (0.5 credit).

Thursday October 25 and November 1. Workshop 4: Writing workshop

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)

Tips on Scientific writing, and guidelines for writing your senior thesis. Prof. Negritto, 11 am, SC 103.

Thursday November 29. Workshop 5: Peer review on thesis draft.

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses) 

Students will do a peer review on a classmate’s thesis introduction draft document. Students read ahead of time document with guidelines on peer evaluations (word file on Sakai: Writing peer evaluation guidelines) and bring a hard copy of a draft of their Introduction. Prof. Negritto 11 am, SC 103.

Monday December 10. -Research Progress Report I: Full Introduction and Outline of remaining sections (Experimental); Full Introduction and Specific Aims (Grant proposal).

Experimental: You need to submit an introduction of your senior thesis. This introduction should consist of a careful analysis of the state of knowledge in your area of research (make sure by now you have done an exhaustive literature search on your topic of interest). The introduction should clearly state why the problem you have chosen is scientifically interesting and worthy of study and consist of a review of the relevant literature. You should clearly describe the question you are investigating and place it in context of previous research that has been done in the field.

Results you have obtained up to date should be included in an outline format (bullet points with one or two sentences at the most) with analyzed data presented as a figure with figure legends (figure legends should be detailed, following the format used in molecular biology lab class), or tables with appropriate footnotes. The other sections of the report such as materials and methods, results you are working on, and discussion are to be written in an outline format.

Grant proposal: A comprehensive introduction in which you clearly state why the problem you have chosen is scientifically interesting and worthy of study.  You should summarize the research performed in the field, citing specific experimental studies, and define unanswered questions (by now you should have done an exhaustive literature search on your topic of interest).  Finally, you should clearly and succinctly define a couple of Specific Aims you are thinking of proposing. 

Please submit two hard copies by 5 PM to Dr. Negritto and deposit an electronic version to your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site. You will receive a grade for this fall semester that will take into consideration your progress report, your presentation, the feedback you provided to other students, information literacy skills and your work in lab. A passing grade is required in order to register for experimental senior thesis (2nd half), MOBI194B. If a passing grade is not accomplished you will sign up for a Library thesis in Molecular Biology, MOBI191, in the spring semester.

Second Semester Spring 2018

Friday February 8, 15 and 22.  Oral Presentation

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
This is where you will introduce in depth your thesis project, what is the major question you are addressing? Why is it important to address this and how are you planning on addressing it? You should present the nature and significance of the problem you are addressing and give extensive background information on what is already known in this area of research. Present the experimental approaches you plan on using and include results that you have up to date. All students are expected to contribute to each seminar discussion and also provide written critiques of each talk. A summary of these critiques will then be provided to each speaker so that he or she will become aware of his/her strong points and also know what they need to improve on. Your presentation will consist of 8 - 10 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions. 

February 22. Research Progress Report II

Experimental: Add Materials and Methods section to the Research Progress Report I and revise Introduction, figures and figure legends with comments received.

Grant proposal: Define Specific Aims and in outline format propose experiments to address Specific Aims.
Identify the experiments and appropriate controls you will propose to do in order to address the specific Aims, (describe using outline format). Clearly outline what are the possible results and how these will refute or confirm your hypothesis. Please submit two hard copies by 5 PM to Dr. Negritto and deposit an electronic version to your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site.

Friday March 8 –Grant proposals

Grant proposal: Work on defining in detail the experimental approach you will be taking to address your specific aims. You must include an explicit description of the materials and methods used in each of the experiments you propose.  This need not be as detailed as the Materials and Methods section of most published papers.  Rather, you should clearly describe what you will be doing, what is the theoretical basis for major experimental procedures, what specifically is required to undertake each procedure. In addition you need to clearly describe how you will obtain or make whatever specialized reagents, probes, antibodies, etc., that are required for the procedures you propose.

Please deposit an electronic version to your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site.

Friday March 29.  Submission of Thesis

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
On or before this date submit two hard copies of a complete Thesis, experimental or Grant Proposal, to Dr. Negritto by Noon and deposit an electronic version to your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site. Guidelines for what should be included in your thesis can be found in the Senior Exercise syllabus. The thesis will be handed to your readers so that their input can be taken into account in the final draft. Note that this first version must be a finished piece of work and not a "rough draft."  A graded copy with the comments and suggestions of your advisers will be returned to you no later than ten days after submission (April 8).  You are highly encouraged to incorporate the suggestions you have been receiving up to date from your advisers into the final version. The grade received on the first version will be taken into consideration when determining your final grade.

Monday April 8

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
Return of thesis with comments and suggestions. Each of the two readers will comment extensively; it is up to you to obtain this input from them.

Thursday April 25 and Friday April 26 - Final Thesis Presentation (an extra presentation date may be added)

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
Final oral presentation of your Thesis work in the Senior Molecular Biology Symposium.

Monday May 6: Final Thesis due

(Experimental and Grant proposal theses)
Submit to Dr. Negritto by NOON

  • 3 hard copies of the final, revised version of your Research Report (senior thesis) (binding is optional but highly encouraged, the molecular biology program will cover the binding of your thesis).
  • Fill out exit survey, having on hand a current Curriculum vitae will help you be able to answer questions more quickly. A sample exit survey is available for you to look at in the resources folder of the Sakai MOBI194AB site. The exit survey will be taken online thru Qualtrics. At the end of your senior year you will receive a link to the survey.
  • Electronic version of your final Oral Presentation and Research Report (Senior Thesis) or Grant Proposal uploaded onto your drop box on the Sakai Molecular Biology Senior Thesis master site.