Supervisor & Faculty Reader

Role of the Research Supervisor

The Research Supervisor's primary responsibility is to provide feedback and guidance to the student in the preparation of the thesis. The Research Supervisor is best able to determine the following:

  • that the student's review of pertinent literature is a comprehensive and accurate assessment of prior work in the field;
  • that the general aims of the student's project are indeed significant questions in the field;
  • that the specific aims of the project constitute appropriate experimental approaches;
  • that the interpretation and discussion of the results are meaningful.

The Research Supervisor should carefully review the initial draft(s) of the thesis before they are submitted to the faculty reader and before approving the final draft. Approval indicates that the student has successfully addressed the guidelines given above and that the work presented is indeed the result of the independent effort of the student. The Research Supervisor *must* approve the final draft, by signature or e-mail, before the final copy is submitted to the DUS office.

Role of the Faculty Reader

The Faculty Reader will determine whether the thesis clearly demonstrates the student's understanding of the general aims of the study and intellectual ownership of the project. The Reader will evaluate whether the student's presentation:

  • is free of jargon and comprehensible by the non-specialist;
  • includes a useful background and introduction to the general aim of the study;
  • contains a clear statement of general aim (hypothesis) and the rationale for the specific aims;
  • includes a clear presentation of meaningful results;
  • concludes with a thoughtful discussion of the significance of the project and possible future directions.

Expanded guidelines and evaluation rubric can be found as part of the Biology Thesis Assessment Protocol: Thesis Evaluation Rubric (PDF). The Faculty Reader should provide feedback on an initial draft of the thesis submitted by the first draft deadline. A Faculty Evaluation Form  (BioTAP Worksheet A) is available for your convenience.

The Reader should include the student's oral presentation as a component of their evaluation. The final draft must be reviewed as is. No revisions are allowed after the submission date. If a Reader does not approve the thesis, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will review the thesis.