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Degree Thesis and Projects in Molecular Biology

Before you begin your project work, you must make sure that you are eligible to take the course, ie has passed the courses required. We strongly recommend doing the thesis project during the last term of the programme. The next step is to find a laboratory in which to do your project work. The Guidelines for Degree Thesis, including who qualifies as a supervisor for your project work, can be found below.

Eligibility requirements for our practical courses

  • What are the eligibility requirements for practise?

    20 ECTS from completed courses in Chemistry, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry, or alternatively, 20 ECTS from a combination of completed courses in Chemistry and Physics and/or Mathematics, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry; 45 ECTS from completed courses in Biology or Medicine, containing Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Physiology; practical experience of laboratory work corresponding to a minimum of 5 ECTS.

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  • What are the eligibility requirements for project at basic level?

    20 ECTS from completed courses in Chemistry, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry, or alternatively, 20 ECTS from a combination of completed courses in Chemistry and Physics and/or Mathematics, including at least 5 ECTS in Biochemistry; 45 ECTS from completed courses in Biology, including Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Physiology; practical experience of laboratory work corresponding to a minimum of 15 ECTS. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

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  • What are the eligibility requirements for project at the advanced level?

    180 ECTS from completed courses including at least 60 ECTS in the area of Life Science of which altogether at least 45 ECTS in Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology and Cell- and Molecular Biology; 30 ECTS from completed courses in Chemistry of which at least 7.5 ECTS in Biochemistry as well as 30 ECTS in Molecular Biology at the advanced level; documented practical experience of laboratory work comprising a minimum of 30 ECTS. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6.

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  • What are the eligibility requirements for bachelor's thesis?

    30 ECTS-credits in Chemistry, with a minimum of 7,5 ECTS-credits in Biochemistry and 60 ECTS in Molecular biology, including at least 7.5 ECTS-credits in Genetics, 7.5 ECTS-credits in Microbiology and in total 15 ECTS in the areas of Plant- and Animal Physiology, and Cell- and Molecular Biology.

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  • What are the eligibility requirements for master's thesis?

    180 ECTS is required, including: 60 ECTS in Life Sciences (including Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Zoo Physiology and Plant Biology) of which a minimum of 7.5 ECTS should be in each of Genetics and Microbiology; 30 ECTS in Chemistry of which a minimum should be 7.5 ECTS credits in Biochemistry; documented practical experience of laboratory work comprising a minimum of 30 ECTS; as well as compulsory courses at the advanced level of the Master Programme in Molecular Biology corresponding to a minimum of 30 ECTS; English skills equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6; or equivalent proficiencies.

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Find a supervisor

We strongly recommend you to search https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ and combine search terms of your main interest with affiliation. For example, combine "molecular biology" with "umea". The research group leader often is the last author on a primary research publication. You can also go into the individual department's web pages to read about ongoing research but these may not be updated regularly.

Once you have found a project or research topic that you are interested in, you should contact the supervisor to ask about the possibility to do a project in their lab (Note: It is a good idea to personally contact the supervisor, and to come prepared with questions and background information about research currently being done in their lab).

Review of your project plan

Once you have found a laboratory and a supervisor, you and the supervisor together must fill out the application form found below. The form should be sent to Viktoria Vedin at the Department of Molecular Biology. (IMPORTANT note: The application must have been reviewed and approved before you begin your project work!).

Examination

During your project work, you must be properly supervised and your performance will be continuously evaluated. Your grade is a summary of the oral and written examinations as well as the supervisor's assessment of your contribution within the research project. During the course, you are expected to spend 40 hours a week at work in the lab or with other tasks related to your project. A 30 hp project runs over a period of 18 weeks and a 15 hp project runs over a period of 9 weeks.

You can find a summary of what is examined during each course below, for more detailed information regarding the supervisor's evaluation, see "Guidelines for Degree Thesis" and the evaluation forms for each course at the bottom of the page. The final evaluation form will be sent to Ingela Nilsson and the written report will be sent to examiner Debra Milton or Matthew Francis as instructed in the evaluation forms or "Guidelines for Degree Thesis." Additional information on the content, format and criteria for the written report and the oral presentation (poster or seminar), as well as the final evaluation of the degree thesis project, can be found in the "Guidelines for Degree Thesis."

  • Examination Practise in Molecular Biology

    Individual oral presentation, in the form of a research seminar.

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  • Examination Project in Molecular Biology

    1) 100% study tempo, motivation and application of knowledge - as assessed by the project supervisor 

    2) Oral presentation examination - as assessed by the project supervisor, and an independent principal investigator/group leader with an academic position (i.e.: at researcher, lecturer or professor level)

    This is envisioned to occur as an integrated event within the structure of the research group meetings. It should take the form of a scientific research presentation that assesses the student's ability to convey knowledge and understanding of the research question(s) and investigative methodological approaches. However, the exact format is at the discretion of the project supervisor. Any variations can be discussed with the course leader (currently Matthew Francis)

    3) Written report examination - as assessed by the course examiner (currently Matthew Francis)

    The report should be in the format of a written lab journal (experimental notebook). This is not a scientific report. It does not need a red thread running through it. In this report, the student will be examine for their comprehension of the day-to-day understanding of the scientific process associated with addressing a given research question.

    This means that the expectation is for multiple entries in the "experimental notebook", and the number is commensurate with course length (i.e.: one example for every 2 weeks of activity performed in the project).

    7.5 ECTS project - the examiner expects a report with 2 to 3 entries
    15 ECTS project - the examiner expects a report with 3 to 6 entries
    30 ECTS project - the examiner expects a report with 6 to 9 entries

    Each separate entry should include:
    a) a date that the experiment was conducted
    b) an experimental hypothesis
    c) starting material/consumables/strains/cell lines that are available/required to test the hypothesis
    d) a statement of the controls - what they are? what they control for/why they are needed?
    e) methodology of the experiment  
    f) short summary of the result  
    g) concluding statement (hypothesis proven or not proven? why/why not? what would be the next hypothesis/follow-up experiment?)

    This sequence should be repeated for each reported entry. It is not a requirement to physically show the raw data of the result. Again, what is being examined is the student understanding of the scientific process and experimental design in a snap-shot.

    Individual entries do not need to be long, but they should be complete (considering all the relevant points - a to g - listed above). Moreover, every entry can be a stand-alone, completely independent from any other entry (i.e.: your report does not need to have a connecting 'read-thread' running through it).

    The finished "experimental notebook" should be prepared as one single document, and submitted electronically to matthew.francis@umu.se.

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  • Examination Advanced Project in Molecular Biology

    Individual oral presentation in English, in the form of a research seminar.
    Individual written report in English, in the form of a scientific research article.

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  • Examination Degree Thesis in Molecular Biologi (regardless of level)

    Individual oral presentation in English, in the form of a scientific poster or research seminar.
    Individual written report in English, in the form of a scientific research article.

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Forms

Below you can find registration forms for the Degree Theses in Molecular Biology, Project in Molecular Biology, Advanced project in Molecular Biology as well as Practise in Molecular Biology.

Degree Thesis in Bachelor's, Magister's and Master's programmes

Registration Form 5MO092 Bachelors Degree Thesis Project in Molecular Biology

Registration Form 5MO117 Magister Degree Thesis in Molecular Biology (15 hp)

Registration Form 5MO118 and 5MO119 Masters Degree Thesis Project in Molecular Biology (15 and 30 ECTS)

Guidelines for Degree Thesis

Cover template degree thesis report

Evaluation Form for Degree Thesis in Molecular Biology

Project in Molecular Biology, 7.5, 15 and 30 hp
(basic level course)

Registration Form 5MO124 and 5MO126 Project in Molecular Biology

Evaluation Form for Project in Molecular Biology

Advanced Project in Molecular Biology, 15 and 30 hp
(advanced level course)

Registration Form 5MO121 and 5MO123 Advanced Project in Molecular Biology

Evaluation Form for Advanced Project in Molecular Biology

Practise in Molecular Biology 7,5 and 15 hp
(summer courses)

Registration Form Practise in Molecular Biology 7,5, 15 hp

Evaluation Form for Practise in Molecular Biology