What is a project course?
BHSc Project Courses provide students with opportunities to explore one or more specialized areas of interest in preparation for a Level IV Senior Project/Thesis. This page will be the main source of information for both students and supervisors to learn about BHSc project courses and to access required forms.
There are multiple course codes associated with Level III and Level IV inquiry projects (HTHSCI 3H03; 3H06; 4D03; 4F03; 4W03; 3BM3; 3BM6). The specific course code selected for your inquiry project will be determined based on your academic year, the number of units associated with the work to be done, your program specialty, and if the project course is a degree required or elective course. The most common project course is HTHSCI 3H03A/B and 3H06A/B.
Some students may elect to complete more than one project/thesis course, up to a maximum of 9 units in Level 3.
For the course HTH SCI 4F03 Interdisciplinary Health & Wellness, please see the 4F03 tab on the left for further details.
What documents are required?
All HTHSCI HTHSCI 3H03/3H06/4D03/4W03/3BM3/3BM6 project courses require the student and supervisor to complete the HTHSCI Project Course form. If taking HTHSCI 4F03 Interdisciplinary Health & Wellness, please complete the 4F03 Project form. These electronic forms request details about the student, the supervisor, and the proposed project. Forms must be completed in close collaboration with a supervisor.
Students will not receive permission to register in HTHSCI 3H06A/B or 4D03/4W03 until your supervisor has approved and submitted the completed HTHSCI Project Course form to the BHSc Office. This must be done AT LEAST 10 BUSINESS DAYS prior to the start of your project course work, or AT LEAST TWO BUSINESS DAYS prior to the Drop and Add deadline of the term in which you plan to register for the course. Please note, confirmation of project course approval/permission to register is not communicated to students. Students will only be contacted if revisions are required.
Students who want to complete 6 units of continuous work with the same supervisor on the same project must register for HTHSCI 3H06A/B. If you register in HTHSCI 3H03A/B, 3BM3, or 3BM6A/B, and have not submitted the required form by the end of September (for term 1 or term 3 courses) and the end of January (for term 2 courses), you may be removed from the course registration until all required documentation is received.
- This form is completed prior to beginning the project.
- The form asks for information about the student and supervisor(s), a list of Evaluation Criteria, a Project Outline and Learning Objectives, details of your Safety Education and Training, and an Ethics Screening. You can identify which Safety Training courses you are required to complete by reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).
- This form is submitted at the end of the term in which you have registered.
- ALL STUDENTS must have a Project Grade Submission form or 4F03 Project Grade Submission form submitted by their supervisor, even if the project is not yet complete — if we haven’t heard anything from you or your supervisor by the stated deadline, a grade of F will be recorded on the transcript until a grade form is received.
How to Complete the Required forms
- Step 1: Download the appropriate form(s) and save to your desktop as a pdf. You cannot use a browser – you must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form.
- Step 2: Complete appropriate information, then save and submit to your supervisor as an attached pdf via email. Please ensure you have reviewed the BHSc Placements Project Thesis Requirements Chart to determine what safety training/forms may be required for your specific project and location.
- Step 3: Ensure your supervisor saves the form to their desktop as a pdf, completes the remaining information, then submits it via the built-in email submission process to the BHSc Office. Instructions are on the forms.
At the End of the Term
Here are some helpful guidelines for you and your supervisor that will prevent technical issues while completing the grade form:
· You must first save the form to your desktop. Do not save it to any other location on your computer
· You cannot use Mac Preview to complete this form
· Do not enter any information on the form until after you have saved it on your desktop
· You MUST use Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or higher version
- If your project is NOT COMPLETE, your supervisor must still submit the Project Grade Submission or 4F03 Grade Submission form with an interim grade, by the stated deadline. This interim grade should be based on the work completed to date, and it must identify the expected date of completion. The interim grade will be entered either as an “INC” which will convert to the interim grade automatically after 60 days, or an “IP” which will remain until a grade change is processed. Which of these interim grades is used will depend on the information provided by the supervisor about the expected date of completion. In all cases, once the project is complete and a final grade is submitted, a grade change will be processed.
Interim Grades: To calculate an interim grade, your supervisor should review your original evaluation criteria from your HTHSCI Project Course Form, and calculate the grade based on work completed to date; elements not yet complete should be calculated as 0% of your overall grade. For example, if your evaluation criteria were as follows:
|Weight / 100|
|Final paper draft||
In this example, if the final paper is not complete, the maximum possible interim grade is 80% (A-). This will appear on your transcript as INC (Incomplete) or IP depending on the anticipated timeline for completion.
Additional forms can be found via the BHSc Placement Project Thesis chart. These may be required, depending on your specific project course work and location.
The topic for an inquiry project is developed by the student in partnership with their supervisor(s). It is an opportunity to explore one or more specialized areas of Health Sciences, Sciences, or an unrelated field. Students are NOT restricted to just Health Science topics. Here are several examples of BHSc Project courses that have been done in the past:
- Working in a research environment in Hamilton (library investigations, lab work, attending group research meetings)
- Placements at other health care centres in Canada, or with groups concerned with health issues
- Research or placement in an area unrelated to Health Sciences
- Working in another country with an NGO or health group
- Prepare a systematic review on a specific research topic
- Development of practical research skills in preparation for a later thesis project
Please note, project courses will not be approved for volunteer positions, job shadowing, or any kind of paid work. Also, students may not administer any form of health care or health care advice to anyone during their project.
HTHSCI 3H03/3H06/4D03/4W03 INQUIRY PROJECT GUIDELINES
- Decide on the goals of the project.
- The project may be completed at a location of your choice (e.g. some students have chosen to complete the requirements of this course in other countries). This may require 2-4 months of planning ahead before approval is given. No travel should be booked until project course is approved).
- The project must have specific learning objectives, defined by you and your supervisor.
- The project must have specific evaluation criteria. Please clearly indicate the name of the individual(s) providing evaluation next to EACH evaluation component (include percentages). NOTE: A self evaluation MUST be included in the evaluation criteria (a 1-page written reflection). The supervisor MUST review this with the student upon final evaluation and SIGN the page. This component is mandatory but does not contribute to the final course grade.
- You may not be remunerated, but you may accept funds related to airfare or room and board.
- You must complete all applicable training before you begin your project. Training details are recorded on the Safety Education Training Record section of the HTHSCI Project Course form. You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).
- You must indicate if external ethics approval has been/is being obtained for the project you are working on.
- If your project course work requires Immunization or Unpaid Work Placement forms, you can access these via the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart. These forms must be submitted via email to Ghazaleh Ferdowsi at email@example.com.
- At the end of your project, you must submit a pdf copy of your work by email to the Project Course Work Submission folder on Box: Project.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please ensure that your file is named using the following pattern: CourseCodeWork_Lastname_Firstname (e.g. 3H03Work_Ritz_Stacey)
Some students may elect to complete more than one project/thesis course, up to a maximum of 9 units in Level 3.
BHSc (Honours) Program Presents POSTER DAY 2020
POSTER FORMATTING INSTRUCTIONS
- Posters must submitted as a pdf file.
- Poster dimensions must be 42 inches by 36 inches.
- Ensure a half inch border on each edge.
Poster pdf files must be labeled as postercoursecode_lastname_firstname(e.g. POSTER4A09_RITZ_STACEY).
Submitting an abstract with your poster is mandatory.
Abstracts must be submitted as a pdf and include each of the following:
Abstract Description (maximum 250 words):
a) The first author should be the student whose project it is
b) The primary supervisor(s) should be listed last
c) Other people who made important contributions to the work should be listed in between, usually in order from largest to smallest contribution.
Affiliations (at least for the primary supervisor, as well as any other collaborators who have other affiliations):
Abstract pdf files must be labeled as abstractcoursecode_lastname_firstname (e.g. ABSTRACT4A09_RITZ_STACEY).
Poster and abstract pdf files should be sent in *one* email addressed to Poster_.email@example.com.
What is HTHSCI 4F03?
Promoting and maintaining the health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities involves the support and coordination of people/providers/organizations from many disciplines. Effective collaboration and coordination within and between members of an interdisciplinary team is required in order to deliver exceptional care, service and maximize health outcomes. Through experiential learning and engagement with peers, students will enhance their understanding of interdisciplinary care and the skill set required to work collaboratively. This course will help prepare students for careers in health, in an increasingly integrated health system.
This course will include one or more placements in an interdisciplinary health and wellness environment. In conjunction with these placements, students will be required to engage with the literature, community, and peers to understand and apply principles of interdisciplinary collaboration to current challenges in health and wellness; this may occur both online and in-person.
Evaluation will include individual and group work which is evaluated by the course instructor and a “community contribution” which is evaluated by the experiential placement supervisor. The community contribution will be developed by the student, in collaboration with the supervisor and will be evaluated by the supervisor. The intention is that this piece of work is something that will provide a learning opportunity for the student as well as a valuable piece of work that can be used by the organization in future.
What types of experiential learning placements are available?
Part of the process of your 4F03 Interdisciplinary Health and Wellness course involves securing a supervisor to work with. It is up to student to identify their own experiential learning placement, however support may be provided by the course instructor. Keep in mind the placement must be an interdisciplinary environment which includes people from different disciplines and in different roles, working together.
When approaching potential supervisors, please keep in mind that they should have expertise in the area that you are interested in and if they are a health professional, they must be registered and in good standing with the appropriate regulatory body. They should also be able to adequately evaluate your progress based on the Learning Objectives and Evaluation Criteria agreed upon by both parties.
Course expectations and time commitment should be discussed and agreed to by both parties before the project begins. A 3-unit course is equivalent to a minimum of 100 hours of work; this includes class time, experiential placement and work completed outside of class time. Contact should be such that the student is able to obtain continuous guidance, feedback and support from the supervisor.
Some possibilities may include (but are not limited to):
- Placements with interdisciplinary research teams
- Placements with community based organizations
- Placements in interdisciplinary clinical settings
- Placements with organizations focused on public health
- Placements with organizations focused on administration, policy, leadership and innovation in health.
Please note, students cannot receive course credit for ongoing volunteer work, job shadowing or any kind of paid work. Also, students may not administer any form of health care or health care advice to anyone during their project.
HTHSCI 4F03 Inquiry Project Guidelines
- HTHSCI 4F03 includes mandatory in-class sessions, individual and group work and one or more experiential learning placement(s). In class sessions will be held on Monday’s 2:30-4:20pm on the McMaster University main campus, 4 times throughout the term in which the student is enrolled.
- Decide on the goals of the project. Based on your goals, identify an organization and/or supervisor for your experiential learning component. Have a discussion.
- Complete the HTHSCI 4F03 Project Course Form; all students must complete the form and have their supervisor approve in order to receive permission to register in this course. The project must have specific learning objectives that are clearly outlined.
- The evaluation must include a specific community contribution (i.e. final paper, poster, educational material etc.) with evaluation criteria, agreed upon and clearly understood between you and your supervisor. Please clearly indicate the name of the individual(s) providing evaluation of the community contribution component on the project form. Details about what this is and how it will be evaluated should also be provided with in project outline and learning objectives section of the form. NOTE: A self evaluation MUST be included in the evaluation criteria (a 1-page written reflection). The supervisor MUST review this with the student upon final evaluation and SIGN the page. This component is mandatory but does not contribute to the final course grade.
- You must complete all applicable training before you begin your project. Training details are recorded on the Safety Education Training Record section of the HTHSCI 4F03 Interdisciplinary Health & Wellness form. You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).
- If your project course work requires RMM #801, Immunization or Unpaid Work Placement forms, you can access these via the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart. These forms must be submitted via email to Jennifer Nash, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The project may be completed in the location of your choice (e.g. some students have chosen to complete the requirements of this course in other countries). This may require 2-4 months of planning ahead before approval is given. No travel should be booked until project course is approved).
- You may not be remunerated, but you may accept funds related to airfare or room and board.
How to complete the HTHSCI 4F03 Interdisciplinary Health & Wellness Forms
Step 1: Download the HTHSCI 4F03 form or 4F03 Grade Submission form and save to your desktop as a pdf. You cannot use a browser – you must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form.
Step 2: Complete appropriate information, then save and submit to your Experiential Learning Supervisor as an attached pdf via email. Please ensure you have reviewed the BHSc Placements Project Thesis Requirements Chart to determine what safety training/forms may be required for your specific project and location.
Step 3: Ensure your supervisor saves the form to their desktop as a pdf, completes the appropriate information, then submits it via the built-in email submission process to the BHSc Office. Instructions are on the forms.
Important Forms for 4F03
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below for the most Frequently Asked Questions about Project Courses.
Where do I start?
Start by reviewing all the information available here on the BHSc Project Course Hub.
I am required to complete a course called 3H03. What is it?
HTH SCI 3H03 is a mandatory inquiry-style project course for all 3rd year students in BHSc. It allows students to explore a specialized area of Health Sciences, or another field of their interest under the supervision of a faculty or community member. Students have explored projects in cellular biology, chemistry, health policy, wet-lab research, theatre and more. Some students use 3H03 as a stepping stone to their thesis project, while others continue in completely different fields in light of their academic interests. In this course you may work independently or collaborate with others. A 3-unit project course typically involves approximately 100 hours of work.
What are the deadlines?
All approved project course forms must be received electronically from your supervisor at least 10 business days prior to the start of your project course work, or at least 2 business days prior to the end of the Drop and Add deadline of the term in which you plan to register for the course.
When/how do I register for a project course?
Registration for a project course is typically done in the term in which the course will be completed. Registration for all project courses is performed using Mosaic. However, registration can only be completed by the student for HTH SCI 3H03/3BM3/3BM6. For all other project courses, permission is given after the required form is received and the project course work is approved. You can check for permission 3-5 business days after submitting your forms by attempting to register on Mosaic. Students will only be contacted if further information is required. Approval emails will not be sent.
How do I find a supervisor?
We recommend exploring the Faculty of Health Sciences Research and Graduate Studies websites (below). They offer insight to the diverse areas of research conducted here and are organized by research area. Other options include talking with professors, TAs, and upper year students to identify potential areas for a project. You can also reach out to community members, ensuring they are the lead in their team/field of expertise. Review the list of previous supervisors and project topics or check out Poster Day to see what current 3rd and 4th years have been researching (look especially at the names of supervisors on the posters!).
After you have determined your area of interest and have someone in mind that you would like to work with, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the research of the potential supervisor. You can then contact them by email to explain your academic interests and inquire as to what opportunities are available and the possibility of joining a current project or creating a new one, for credit towards a project/thesis course. You may also want to call their office to see if you can schedule an in-person meeting to discuss possible opportunities.
When do I need to start approaching supervisors?
It is recommended that you start approaching potential supervisors well before the end of your 2nd year, as students from other faculties are also beginning to approach potential supervisors. You will not be able to register for a project course until your HTHSCI Project Course form has been received, reviewed, and approved by the BHSc office (with the exception of HTHSCI 3H03/3BM3/3BM6).
How do I fill out the HTHSCI Project Course Form?
Students should download the HTHSCI Project Course form and complete all the required sections. This should be done in close collaboration with your supervisor. Please read the Project Course Guidelines (above) for further details. Once you have filled in your sections of this form, you should submit it electronically to your supervisor. Once the supervisor has approved the project, they will submit the form to the BHSc office electronically.
Please note that approval emails will not be sent – the student and supervisor will receive communication from the BHSc office only if additional information is required, usually within 5 business days.
What are the different project course codes?
- 3H03/3H06 (Inquiry Project)
- 4D03/4W03 (Special Topics in Health Sciences I/II)
- 3BM3/3BM6 (Inquiry Project in Biomedical Sciences/Research Project in Biomedical Sciences)
Please refer to the University Undergraduate Calendar for course descriptions and prerequisites.
Can I take project courses when I am in first or second year?
Requests from Level I or II students to complete a project/thesis course will be assessed on an individual basis. Please contact Ghazaleh Ferdowsi to inquire further.
Can I do my project course internationally?
If you are thinking about completing course work outside of Ontario, you are required to contact the BHSc office to discuss options and requirements. Do not book accommodations or transportation until after you receive approval from the BHSc office. Review the Travel guidelines for further details.
Do I need to complete safety training for my project course?
All project/thesis courses require you to complete the required safety training, as pertaining to the specific tasks and location of work. Please refer to the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart.
The following health & safety training courses are mandatory for all individuals working at McMaster University (additional training may be required by some individuals depending on worksite hazards):
- Asbestos Awareness
- Health & Safety Orientation
- Violence & Harassment Prevention in the Workplace
- Slips, Trips and Falls
- WHMIS (Office or Core)
- Fire Safety
- If you work in Hospital-hosted locations, please visit http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/safetyoffice/ to complete the fire training appropriate for you
To understand additional health & safety training courses you are required to complete, speak with your supervisor, and review the EOHSS Training Matrices, available at: http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/eohss/training/matrix and outlined in RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.
How do I get evaluated?
All HTHSCI project courses require you and the supervisor to create evaluation criteria for the project. This information is submitted to the BHSc office as part of the HTHSCI Project Course form prior to the project start date.
What is this required "self evaluation"?
The self evaluation is a required component of the evaluation criteria for all project courses. This component is mandatory but does not contribute to the final course grade. You must complete the self evaluation, usually in the form of a 1-page written reflection, and paste it into the Project Grade Submission form prior to sending the form to your supervisor. Without the self evaluation, the final grade will not be submitted to MOSAIC.
How do the credits get distributed between terms?
The units for A/B courses are distributed evenly between the Fall and Winter term (i.e. HTHSCI 4A15A/B is split 7.5 units in the Fall term and 7.5 units in the Winter term).
HTHSCI 3H03/4D03/4F03 can be taken in either term. HTHSCI 4W03 is only available in the Winter term.
If you have an uneven term balance (i.e. 13.5 units in the Fall and 16.5 units in the Winter) there is no need for concern, provided that you have a minimum of 30 units over both the Fall and Winter terms.
Can I take more than one project course?
Requests to complete more than one project/thesis (maximum 9 units in Level 3) will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact Ghazaleh Ferdowsi to discuss this option further.
Do I need to complete ethics screening for my project?
All project courses require you to complete the BHSc Ethics Screening section on the HTHSCI Project Course form prior to starting the work. This must be submitted to the BHSc office no later than 10 business days from the project start date. For external ethics application/approval (e.g. HiREB, AREB, Biosafety, etc.), please discuss this with your supervisor.
Do I need to get immunized for my project/thesis?
If you are required to work with patients or have any contact with patients, students MUST complete and submit an HTHSCI Project Course form. Please refer to the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart for further details.
How do I get permission to register for 3H06?
To get permission to register in Mosaic for a 3H06 project, you must first complete the HTHSCI Project Course form with your supervisor. Once this form has been received and reviewed by the BHSc program, permission will be activated in Mosaic to allow you to register.
What do I do at the end of my project?
To finish off your project, you will need to download and complete the Project Grade Submission Form and send it to your supervisor with your self reflection pasted into the appropriate section. Once the grade form is completed and submitted by your supervisor, you must submit a pdf copy of your work by email to the Project Course Work Submission folder on Box: Project.email@example.com. Please ensure that your file is named using the following pattern: CourseCodeWork_Lastname_Firstname (e.g. 3H03Work_Ritz_Stacey)
What forms are required?
To begin a project course, the HTHSCI Project Course form and any other applicable forms are required to be submitted to the BHSc office. Your student should download the forms and begin completing the required sections in consultation with you. Once the form are completed, the student should submit to you for approval. Once you are satisfied with the information on the forms, you will submit them to the BHSc office using the labelled button. Please note that approval emails will not be sent – the student and supervisor will receive communication from the BHSc office only if additional information is required.
At the end of the term, the Project Grade Submission form is required to be submitted. This form must be submitted mid-December for the fall term or mid-April for the winter term, even if the project is not yet complete. The process is similar to the above form – the student completes their sections (including the required self evaluation), sends the form to you, you add the evaluations, and finally you submit the form electronically to the BHSc office.
What time commitments can I expect?
Each project will require different time commitments by the student and the supervisor. A 3-unit project course (e.g. 3H03) usually requires several meetings with a student while preparing the forms and seeking appropriate approvals for the project. Once underway, periodic meetings should be scheduled for updates and further planning. Meetings every other week are typical for many projects, with any increases in the meeting frequency being negotiated between the student and the supervisor. Additional time at the end of the project may be required if you have asked that the student presents the material, and some time may be required for grading/evaluation of any submitted documents and the overall project.
What are the deadlines?
As project courses are unique to each student and they may be completed at any time during the year (and over more than one term), there are no specific deadlines for all students. Typically, the deadline to submit the HTHSCI Project Course form is March 31st of the year prior to the student entering their Level III or IV year, depending on which course is planned.
At the end of the project, the supervisor is required to complete the Project Grade Submission form. This form is required even if the project is not yet completed, typically in mid-December for the fall term or mid-April for the winter term. If the project is not completed by the deadline date, that’s OK! However, as a supervisor, you must submit an interim grade based on the work that has been done so far and identify the expected date of completion. This is so that we can keep track of incomplete projects, and enter an appropriate ‘placeholder’ on the student’s transcript.
What are my responsibilities?
As a supervisor, your main responsibility is to guide the student as they begin to explore academic research. The format of the research will be different in each case, thus the type of guidance provided will also be different.
Many students will have no research experience and will rely on the expertise of a supervisor to guide them in learning basic research skills appropriate to the new field in which they are working. It is expected that the students will be active participants in the planning, development, execution, and presentation of the research project. It is not a requirement that the project culminates in a publishable research study. Project courses are designed primarily to serve as learning experiences that will allow students to develop skills that they may apply in future courses or thesis projects.
As a supervisor, you and the student are mutually responsible for ensuring that the appropriate forms and documents are completed in a timely manner. You will periodically meet with the student for updates and to provide guidance as to the next steps in the project. At the end of the project, you are required to evaluate the student on their completion of the project based on the criteria set in the HTHSCI Project Course form previously submitted. Please download and complete the Project Grade Submission Form. Full instructions for submission of this document are on the form.
Why does the submission button on the Project Course form not work?
The most common reason for the submit button on the HTHSCI Project Course form to not work is that software other than Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has been used. You cannot use a browser or any other pdf viewing software to complete and submit the form.
The second most common reason for the submit button not working is that you do not have valid email addresses entered into the required boxes either for the student or yourself. If entering these email addresses does not correct the problem, please save the form then attach to an email to the email address as listed on the form.
Should I require that the student prepare a poster?
The BHSc Poster day is usually held in late March each year. Although initially required only for thesis projects, this event is now open to students completing project courses. If you and the student determine that a poster would be appropriate as a component of their project, you may encourage the student to submit an entry for the Poster day event.
What if the project isn't finished at the end of the term?
If the project is NOT COMPLETE, you must still submit the Project Grade Submission form with an interim grade. This interim grade should be based on the work completed to date, and it must identify the expected date of completion. For further details, see the Required Forms tab above.
What is this "self evaluation" section on the forms?
The self evaluation is a required component of the evaluation criteria list for all project courses. This component is mandatory but does not contribute to the final course grade. The student must complete the self evaluation, usually in the form of a 1-page written reflection, and paste it into the Project Grade Submission form prior to sending the form to you. Without the self evaluation, the final grade will not be submitted to MOSAIC.