Application & Deadlines for 2016-2017

Deadline May Distinction December Distinction
Submit application for Graduation with Distinction Sept 23 Sept 2
Submit draft of introduction to Research Supervisor Jan 17 Oct 7
Communicate with BIO Faculty Reader & submit draft of introduction Feb 6 Oct 17
Submit list of figures/tables to BIO Faculty Reader March 10 Oct 24
Submit first draft of whole thesis to Research Supervisor March 20 Oct 28
Submit first draft of whole thesis to BIO Faculty Reader March 27 Nov 11
Submit title and abstract April 14 n/a
Poster Symposium April 21 (3-5 pm, FFSC) present poster by Dec 9
Final thesis due April 24 Dec 6

1. Friday, Sept 23, 2016 - Online Application Due.

The online Application Form is due by Sept 23. The project abstract must be written by the student and clearly articulate the research question and proposed methodologies. Your Research Supervisor will receive an emailed copy of the application with a request for an endorsement, and his/her email reply will serve as an electronic signature of approval for the application. This research supervisor approval is due by Monday, October 3rd. The Principal Investigator or faculty member most closely associated with your project should be listed as the research supervisor, not the post-doc or graduate student with whom you might work more closely. Any Duke faculty member in a biological sciences department (including the Duke University Medical Center) may be a Research Supervisor. 

Approval of the application by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) indicates that the student may proceed with the completion of the written thesis, and each student will be matched with a Reader from the Biology Faculty (called the Biology Faculty Reader) shortly following the start of Spring Term.

Students accepted as candidates for Distinction will be eligible to register for a special 1.0 cc course, Writing in Biology, BIO 495, in the spring. This course will be an intensive training in the principles of scientific writing, with a focus on the preparation of the honors thesis. This class is recommended, but not required and carries a W designation.

2. Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Submit first draft of your Introduction to your Research Supervisor

Even if you are still collecting and analyzing data, you should prepare an introduction as described in the Thesis Guidelines and submit to your research supervisor for feedback. Be sure to include a clear statement of hypothesis, a review of the relevant literature, and an explanation of the rationale for your specific experimental approach. Feedback from your research supervisor should be incorporated into the Introduction before you submit the draft to your reader. 

3. Monday, Feb 6, 2017 - Last date to meet with and submit draft of introduction to Biology Faculty Reader

Students will be notified about their Biology Faculty Reader assignment shortly after returning from winter break.  By Friday, Feb 6 you should be in contact with your assigned Biology Faculty Reader to discuss the criteria, format, and general expectations for the writing of the thesis and to submit your introduction draft to him/her and solicit feedback. 

4.  Friday, March 10, 2017 - Submit list of figures/tables/legends to your Biology Faculty Reader

Your faculty reader will want to know what will be included in your thesis at this time. You should draft a preliminary list of the figures and tables. It is okay if these will change in the final draft - the intent is to gauge your progress towards completing the thesis.

5. Monday March 20, 2017 - Submit first draft of the entire thesis to your Research Supervisor

The Research Supervisor must review and approve the thesis draft before submission of the first draft to your Biology Faculty Reader (deadline #6). Feedback from the Research Supervisor is crucial and it is wise to anticipate one or two rounds of revision before the March 27 deadline. 

6. Monday, March 27, 2017 - Submit first draft of the entire thesis to your Biology Faculty Reader

 Submit your draft of the entire thesis to your Faculty Reader, and make plans with him/her to discuss the thesis draft and receive feedback.

7. Friday, April 14, 2017 - Electronic Submission of Thesis Title & Abstract

Abstracts should be ~ 250 words, single paragraph, no references. A link to a web form for submission will be sent out prior to the deadline.

8. Friday, April 21, 2017- Present research results and conclusions as a poster (3:00-5:00pm; Frech Family Science Center lower level)

A poster summarizing the results and conclusions of your project will be presented at the Poster Symposium as an oral defense of your thesis. Students should be available to answer questions from 3:00-5:00 PM. It is important to meet with your Faculty Reader at the Poster Symposium to discuss your poster- you may want to contact your reader in advance in order to arrange a time. All candidates for distinction must present a poster, but presentation does not guarantee the award of distinction. More info at "Guidelines for the Preparation of an Honors Poster."

9. Monday, April 24, 2017 - Final thesis (one hardcopy) due in Room 135 Bio Sci Bldg by 12:00 pm. Also, you will be asked to submit a PDF copy. Instructions for PDF submission will be given closer to the due date.

The approval of the Research Supervisor is required for consideration of your final thesis and indicates that the work is complete and is nominated for distinction. The thesis should be submitted in the format described here.  An honors committee consisting of the DUS and the Faculty Reader appointed by the DUS will evaluate the thesis for distinction.  The committee will evaluate the thesis in its final form and revisions will not be considered.

It is the responsibility of the student to meet all requirements and deadlines. Students will be notified about their distinction status after a review of final grades, prior to graduation.  Awards of Distinction will appear on the final transcript.