Application & Deadlines for 2018-2019

Deadline May 2019 Distinction December 2018 Distinction
Submit application for Graduation with Distinction Sept 21 Aug 31
Submit draft of introduction to Research Supervisor Jan 15 Oct 5
Communicate with BIO Faculty Reader & submit draft of introduction Feb 4 Oct 15
Submit preliminary list of figures/tables (progress report) to BIO Faculty Reader March 8 Oct 22
Submit first draft of whole thesis to Research Supervisor March 18 Oct 26
Submit first draft of whole thesis to BIO Faculty Reader March 25 Nov 9
Submit title and abstract April 12 n/a
Poster Symposium tentatively April 19, 3-5 pm present poster by Dec 7
Final thesis due April 22 Dec 4

1. Friday, Sept 21, 2018 - Online Application Due.

The online Application Form is due by Sept 21. 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 1st. 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 15, 2019 - 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 4, 2019 - 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 4 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 8, 2019 - 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 18, 2019 - 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 25 deadline. 

6. Monday, March 25, 2019 - 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 12, 2019 - Electronic Submission of Thesis Title & Abstract

Abstracts should be ~ 250 words, single paragraph, no references. Submit online.

8. Present research results and conclusions as a poster (tentatively Friday, April 19, 3:00-5:00pm)

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 22, 2018 - By 12:00 noon, final thesis (one hardcopy) due in Room 135 Bio Sci Bldg and a PDF copy due, uploaded to a Dropbox folder. 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. The Research Supervisor and Faculty Reader may nominate students for the award of high distinction.

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.