Application & Deadlines for 2020-2021

Deadline May 2021 Distinction December 2020 Distinction
Submit application for Graduation with Distinction Sept 18 Aug 28
Submit draft of introduction to Research Supervisor Jan 22 Oct 2
Communicate with BIO Faculty Reader & submit draft of introduction Feb 9: Submit to your Reader via email AND upload as a PDF to Dropbox for the DUS office. Please use your name in the file name! Oct 12: Submit to your Reader via email, and for the DUS office
Submit preliminary list of figures/tables (progress report) to BIO Faculty Reader March 5 Oct 19
Submit first draft of whole thesis to Research Supervisor March 19 Oct 30
Submit first draft of whole thesis to BIO Faculty Reader April 2 Nov 16
Submit title and abstract April 9: link to submission form Nov 20
Submit Poster & Presentation Upload poster (put full name in file name!) by April 16; present remotely to reader no later than April 21: Upload poster (put full name in file name!) by Dec 4; present remotely to reader no later than Dec 7
Final thesis due April 21; submit PDF (put last name in file name!) by uploading here AND send a copy to your reader: Dec 7; submit PDF (put last name in file name!) AND send a copy to your reader

1. Friday, Sept 18, 2020 - Online Application Due.

The online Application Form is due by Sept 18. 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, Sept 28th. 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. Friday, January 22, 2021 - 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. Tuesday, Feb 9, 2021 - Last date to meet/communciate with Biology Faculty Reader and submit draft of introduction to them

Students will be notified about their Biology Faculty Reader assignment in the weeks after returning from winter break.  By Tuesday, Feb 9 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 them and solicit feedback. You should also upload it to Dropbox for the DUS Office as a PDF. Please put your full name in the file name.  We may have your text evaluated by iThenticate, a tool used by Duke faculty and graduate students to ensure that their writing isn’t 'too close to the text. We’d send you the iThenticate report if there are any areas of concern.

4.  Friday, March 5, 2021 - 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. Friday, March 19, 2021 - 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 19 deadline. 

6. Friday, April 2, 2021 - 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 9, 2021 - Electronic Submission of Thesis Title & Abstract

Abstracts should be ~ 250 words, single paragraph, no references.  Submit through this webform.

8. Friday, April 16, 2021 - Upload a copy of your poster to dropbox.  Present research results and conclusions as a poster no later than April 21.

A poster summarizing the results and conclusions of your project should be uploaded by the April 16 deadline. All candidates for distinction must present a poster to their reader remotely or in person by April 21, but presentation does not guarantee the award of distinction. More info at "Guidelines for the Preparation of an Honors Poster."

9. Wednesday, April 21, 2021 -  Final thesis PDF copy due to dropbox AND send a copy to your reader.

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. Ideally they'd provide their electronic signature on the cover page of the thesis uploaded to Dropbox, but they can email approval to Dr. Grunwald in lieu of that if needed. The thesis should be submitted in the format described here. Your reader's signature is not needed at the time of submission.

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.