Preliminary Guidance & Options During COVID-19

Important Thesis Information

Health Sciences 4thyear senior project and thesis courses provide students with an opportunity to participate in the excitement that can occur in research activities.  Research is defined in its broadest terms and may include scholarship both within and outside the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Students will work under the guidance of faculty members and in collaboration with other research personnel to design, execute and analyze research questions on a problem of mutual interest.  In most circumstances this is a direct reflection of studies that have received peer reviewed funding at the time the student approaches potential supervisors.  Although the majority of Thesis and Senior Projects are Health Science related, students are not restricted to this area.

 

Thesis projects are highly individual with respect to technical requirements, conceptual difficulty and previous student experience and therefore a precise time commitment is difficult to define.  It is reasonable to expect that a student will devote the following hours per week (on average) based on number of units registered.

 

Course code Number of hours per week (on average)
4DE3 4
4B06, 4C06, 4D06 8
4A09, 4R09, 4C09, 4D09, 4G09 12
4A12, 4R12, 4C12, 4D12, 4G12 16
4A15, 4C15, 4G15 20

Some students may elect to complete more than one thesis/senior project, up to a maximum of 18 units in Level 4.

It is important that students understand the expectations for the Honours thesis – what they are, and what they are not.  Some theses and projects have been so experimentally complete, and so integral to the supervisor’s research programs, that the results have been published and the student(s) credited with authorship.  At the other extreme, there are projects in which technical difficulties prevent the completion of planned experiments, and the results are ambiguous. In the latter situation a student may still earn an A+ grade for his/her design and analysis, for suggesting and testing alternative approaches to the problem, and for an overall understanding of the project.  A high grade does not therefore necessarily depend upon collecting the hoped-for data, but comes from full and aggressive intellectual involvement in attacking the problem.  The final grade is determined by the supervisor’s assessment of the student’s performance in the research setting and evaluation of a written thesis which may include an oral defence (optional) by a faculty committee.

HTHSCI THESIS GUIDELINES

  1. Decide on the goals of the thesis.
  2. The thesis 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 thesis course is approved).
  3. The thesis must have specific learning objectives, defined by you and your supervisor.
  4. The thesis must have specific evaluation criteria. Please clearly indicate the name of the individual(s) providing evaluation next to EACH evaluation component (include percentages).
  5. You may not be remunerated, but you may accept funds related to airfare or room and board.
  6. STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form, you must complete this electronic form in order to obtain permission for thesis.
  7. You must complete all applicable training before you begin your project. Training details are recorded on the Safety Education Training Record section of the STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form
  8.  You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).
  9. You must indicate if external ethics approval has been/is being obtained for the thesis you are working on.
  10. If your thesis 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 Andrea Phair at phaira@mcmaster.ca

Top tips – finding a potential supervisor

Top tips – emailing a potential supervisor

  • Be concise
  • Attach your CV or resume
  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK – tailor the email to the supervisor specifically
  • Offer to meet in person
  • Ask for referrals as well
  • Don’t be discouraged

 

BHSc Student-Supervisor Thesis Communication GUIDELINES.pdf

It is the student’s responsibility to secure a Thesis or Senior Project supervisor to work with in their 4thyear.  The project supervisor is responsible for the immediate direction and instruction of the student and should commit a minimum of 30 minutes of contact time to each student per week, on average.  Contact should be such that the student is able to obtain continuous guidance, feedback and support from the supervisor.  Course expectations and time commitment should be discussed and agreed to by both parties before the project begins.  The BHSc office will help resolve any student-supervisor conflicts, which could arise.

*If you wish to work with someone who is not McMaster Faculty, you must first receive permission from the BHSc Program Office.

We recommend exploring the Faculty of Health Sciences Research and Graduate Studies websites. 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.  Check out Poster Day to see what current 4th years have been researching.

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; 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.

Students can elect to complete a thesis between 6 and 15 units.  A significant difference is the time commitment.  All require scholarship.  A 4B06 project could be viewed as a shorter thesis, but the course may also be used as self-study, under the supervision of a faculty member, with the primary component representing distillation and reconstruction (understanding) of an issue of particular interest to the student.  In some cases a faculty member may supervise a 4B06 when there is a mutual expression of interest, but not necessarily precise expertise in the area.

Some students may elect to complete more than one thesis/senior project, up to a maximum of 18 units in Level 4.

 

Course code Number of hours per week (on average)
4DE3 4
4B06, 4C06, 4D06 8
4A09, 4R09, 4C09, 4D09, 4G09 12
4A12, 4R12, 4C12, 4D12, 4G12 16
4A15, 4C15, 4G15 20

   

Abstract Archive

The topic for thesis is developed by the student in partnership with an individual or group of their choosing. It is an opportunity to explore one or more specialized areas of Health Sciences, Sciences or an un-related field and is sometimes a continuation of project work started in an inquiry course (3H03/6, 4D03, 4W03). The intent of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to explore different areas in health sciences (e.g. speech language pathology, economics, alternative medicine, and many others) or to develop a more focused knowledge in an area of their choice. Students are NOT restricted to just Health Science topics.

Here are several examples of BHSc thesis courses:

  • Examining serum miRNA in endometriosis
  • The effect of prenatal maternal stress on offspring’s school readiness at 4 and 5 years of age
  • The role of adjuvant therapy for high risk patients with localized kidney cancer
  • Examining the effect of female sex hormones on susceptibility to
  • HSV-2 using a novel air-liquid interface culture
  • Meeting the current and future healthcare needs of the senior population in LHIN4
  • Infant feeding practices and food sensitization in Canadian birth cohort
  • Health-related attitudes and behaviours of survivors of childhood cancer
  • Mucosal delivery of IL-10 secreting lactic acid bacteria as a novel food allergy immunotherapy
  • Palliative care in international humanitarian aid settings
  • Testing the efficacy of augmented reality in anatomical education

Please note, thesis 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.

 

  • HTH SCI 4B06 A/B, 4A09A/B, 4A12 A/B, 4A15 A/B: Registration in B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program and permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program, or supervision by a Faculty of Health Sciences supervisor and permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program
    Antirequisite(s): BIOLOGY 4F06 A/B, 4C12 A/B, HTHSCI 4B06 A/B, 4A12 A/B, 4A15 A/B, MOLBIOL 4G12 A/B, PHARMAC 4F09, PSYCH 4E09
    Not open to students with credit or registration in BIOCHEM 4P03
  • HTH SCI 4C06 A/B, 4C09A/B, 4C12 A/B, 4C15 A/B: Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) – Child Health Specialization (B.H.Sc.) and permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program
    Antirequisite(s): HTHSCI 4C06 A/B4C12 A/B S4C15 A/B

 

  • HTH SCI 4G06 A/B, 4G09A/B, 4G12 A/B, 4G15 A/B: Prerequisite(s): HTHSCI 2DS3, 3H03, and permission of BHSc (Honours) Program.
    Antirequisite(s): HTHSCI 4G06 A/B, 4G12 A/B, 4G15 A/B

 

  • HTH SCI 4D06 A/B, 4D09A/B, 4D12 A/B, 4D15 A/B: Prerequisite(s): Permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program
    Antirequisite(s): HTHSCI 4B06 A/B S, 4A09 A/B, 4A12 A/B, 4A15 A/B S

 

Please find course descriptions in the Undergraduate Calendar.

In March of the student’s 3rd Year they should begin thinking about their thesis and consult one or more potential supervisors to make arrangements around supervision and the general nature of the research.

STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form must be submitted to the BHSc office before the student can register for the course on MOSAIC.  It may be feasible for students to do some preliminary reading and planning in the project area through summer months if the project can be generally defined at this time.

Students will not receive permission to register in a HTH SCI Thesis course until their supervisor has approved and submitted the  electronic forms specified below.  YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REGISTER FOR THESIS UNTIL YOUR STEP 1 FORMS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED/APPROVED BY OUR OFFICE.  If you register in a HTH SCI Thesis course, and have not submitted the required STEP 2 forms by the end of September, you may be removed from the course until all required documentation for your thesis course is received.

*Please be advised that we do not send confirmation of permission.  If you know that your supervisor has submitted your forms and received confirmation, you should be able to register within a few days of that submission.  Please try to register before contacting the office and ensure that you are attempting to register for the appropriate term. “A” for multi-term and “S” for single term.

 

Required forms

Safety Education Training Record

Identify the Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).

To understand additional health & safety training courses you are required to complete, speak with your supervisor, and review the EOHSS Training Matrices, available at: RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.

Full details regarding training requirements for your specific project course work and project location, as well as forms required for travel off-campus, can be found at: BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements

Helpful Information for completing the electronic forms

  • You must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form. You cannot use a browser to complete and submit the form. You must save the form to your desktop/laptop to complete and submit it.
  • If the submit button does not appear or work for you, email the form as an attachment to your supervisor, and cc to the appropriate email address listed on the bottom of the form. *Old versions of the project course form will not be accepted. You must ensure you are completing and submitting the most recent version, available on the BHSc Thesis Course Hub.
  • If the submit button does not appear or work for your supervisor, they can email the form as an attachment to the appropriate email address listed on the form.
  • Further details relating to required training can be found on the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

An update with respect to BHSc Poster Day.  As you already know, the in-person Poster Day itself has been cancelled as part of the effort to reduce the probability of any community spread of COVID-19 by cancelling large gatherings.  However, the presentation of the poster is an important element of the thesis projects, and many of you in project courses have been planning to do them as well; indeed, in many cases the poster is a part of your evaluation scheme and forms part of your mark.

One key aspect of Poster Day is to provide an opportunity to showcase your work, and share with the community, and we still want to achieve that objective in another form.  As it happens, we were already planning to prepare an electronic booklet of your poster abstracts as a way of capturing that work in an accessible form. Given these circumstances, we will compile your posters in an electronic book form instead.

For those of you who are required to participate in poster day, please submit your posters electronically following the instructions already provided to you; however, since we don’t have to print them we have extended the deadline for submission to March 31, 2020. *this deadline is flexible to late April.

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we adapt to these dynamic and evolving circumstances!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

An update with respect to BHSc Poster Day.  As you already know, the in-person Poster Day itself has been cancelled as part of the effort to reduce the probability of any community spread of COVID-19 by cancelling large gatherings.  However, the presentation of the poster is an important element of the thesis projects, and many of you in project courses have been planning to do them as well; indeed, in many cases the poster is a part of your evaluation scheme and forms part of your mark.

One key aspect of Poster Day is to provide an opportunity to showcase your work, and share with the community, and we still want to achieve that objective in another form.  As it happens, we were already planning to prepare an electronic booklet of your poster abstracts as a way of capturing that work in an accessible form. Given these circumstances, we will compile your posters in an electronic book form instead.

For those of you who are required to participate in poster day, please submit your posters electronically following the instructions already provided to you; however, since we don’t have to print them we have extended the deadline for submission to March 31, 2020. *this deadline is flexible to late April

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we adapt to these dynamic and evolving circumstances!

______________________________________________________________________________________

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).

 

ABSTRACT INSTRUCTIONS (REVISED) 

Submitting an abstract with your poster is mandatory.

Abstracts must be submitted as a pdf and include each of the following:

  • Abstract Title:
  • Author List (names written as surname, first name):
    • The first author should be the student whose project it is
    • The primary supervisor(s) should be listed last
    • Other people who made important contributions to the work should be listed in between, usually in order from largest to smallest contribution.
  • Abstract Description (250 words maximum):
  • Course Code:
  • Abstract pdf files must be labeled as abstractcoursecode_lastname_firstname(e.g. ABSTRACT4A09_RITZ_STACEY).

 

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Poster and abstract pdf files should be sent in *one* email addressed to Poster_.jo24b1jrctpzw932@u.box.com.

The student has the option to defend their thesis before the supervisory committee.  In the defence, the student presents a short (10-15 minutes) verbal summary of their project, highlighting difficulties encountered and resolved, interpretations of results, and significance of the project findings. Questions are asked by the committee and a general discussion of the problem may ensue.

Attention!

PLEASE REFER TO UPDATES REGARDING THESIS COMPLETION/SUBMISSION POSTED IN THE COURSE ON AVENUE TO LEARN.

 

Every project is unique, and research can be unpredictable; thus the BHSc (Hons) Program does not impose any specific framework for assessment of project and thesis courses, and leaves it to the discretion of the supervisor and student to establish what an appropriate evaluation scheme should be for the project.

Evaluation criteria will be established at the beginning of the project so that both the student and supervisor understand the expectations and can adapt as necessary as the project unfolds.  This will be included in

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

    • please submit a .pdf copy (one file) of your thesis paper/work to Thesis_.hp3pil239d5c3qfs@u.box.com
    • If you would like a copy of your Thesis Grade Submission form, please obtain it from your supervisor.

New!

As of Winter 2020, the Thesis Grade Submission form is to be submitted electronically. Paper copies will no longer be accepted.

 

At the End of the Term

  • If your thesis is COMPLETE, your supervisor must submit the Thesis Grade form
  • please submit a .pdf copy (one file) of your thesis paper/work to Thesis_.hp3pil239d5c3qfs@u.box.com
  • If your thesis is NOT COMPLETE, your supervisor must still submit the Thesis Grade 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.  If you are a graduating student, you require a passing grade in order to graduate, this grade can be changed at a later date, if warranted.  If you are not a graduating student, 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 thesis 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 STEP 2: Thesis Required Components 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:

Evaluation Criteria Weight / 100
Lab notes 20%
Meetings 20%
Literature Review 20%
Final paper draft 20%
Final paper 20%

In this example, if the final paper is not complete, the maximum possible interim grade is 80% (A-).

MARCH – MAY

(student’s 3rd year)

STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form

 

SEPTEMBER

(or earlier)

INITIAL MEETING 

A meeting should be organized by the student involving the student and supervisor to discuss the course format, timetable, requirements and the expectations of the supervisors.

BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form

  • This form includes a Project Outline, Learning Objectives, Evaluation Criteria, Ethics Screening, and Safety Education and Training. You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).
MID-DECEMBER

 

STEP 3: HTHSCI Thesis Interim Report form

Students will submit a copy of a progress report (to their supervisor), which may include a literature review, and should be about 5-10 pages in length.  If all is well, the supervisor will simply record satisfactory on the mid-year assessment form (Interim Report) which is submitted electronically the BHSc office.  Should there be an unsatisfactory report, the supervisor will make specific recommendations, state their view of the problem in writing on the form.  Students will then meet privately with the Assistant Dean of the BHSc Program to discuss possible solutions.

LATE MARCH/EARLY APRIL POSTER DAY Participation is MANDATORY.
MARCH

(once the tentative exam schedule becomes available)

DEFENCE SCHEDULING (if applicable)

Defences are scheduled during the final examination period at times convenient to the student and supervisory committee.  It is recommended that a student hold their defence as early as possible in the defence period early to mid April in order to allow for submission of the final mark to the Registrar for graduation purposes.

MID-MARCH

or before (recommended)

ROUGH DRAFT SUBMISSION

A rough draft of the thesis should be given to the supervisor by the student at least two weeks prior to the final thesis deadline to allow for correction time and defence preparation (if elected).

LATE-MARCH   

*note this is a suggested deadline not a formal one

 

FINAL THESIS SUBMISSION (to supervisor)

The thesis should show to what extent the student has achieved the aims of the course and should consist of an Introduction (incorporating a literature review), Material and Methods, Results, Discussion and Summary section.  The supervisor will be responsible for advising the student regarding detailed thesis format.  Other formats may be acceptable.  The method of reference citation will be left to the supervisor’s discretion.  On the due date the student will submit a copy of the final thesis directly to their supervisor and any co-examiner.  These copies may be bound in whatever manner the student desires.  An additional copy MUST be submitted to the BHSc office in pdf format (make sure you remove your student number before submission as these will be posted) Please submit your Thesis/Senior Project to BHSc THESIS SUBMISSION assignment in BHSc Community on Avenue. (format file: COURSECODE_LAST NAME_FIRST NAME i.e. 4A15_RITZ_STACEY)

MID-APRIL

 

  • STEP 4: HTHSCI Thesis Grade form
    • This form is submitted at the end of the project.
    • ALL STUDENTS must submit an electronic Thesis Grade Form, even if the thesis is not yet complete.
    • please submit a .pdf copy of your thesis paper/work to Thesis_.hp3pil239d5c3qfs@u.box.com
    • If you would like a copy of your Thesis Grade Form, please obtain it from your supervisor.

 

Learning Modules

This section is currently under development…

If you have further questions relating to the HTHSCI Thesis Courses please contact,

Andrea Phair, Academic Program Advisor/Curriculum Coordinator phaira@mcmaster.ca

Eric Seidlitz, Faculty Thesis Course Advisor seidlit@mcmaster.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I start?

Start by reviewing the information available here on the BHSc Thesis Hub.

I am required to complete a thesis course, what is it?

HTH SCI Thesis is a mandatory for all 4th year students in BHSc. It provides students with an opportunity to participate in the excitement that can occur in research activities.  Research is defined in its broadest terms and may include scholarship both within and outside the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Students will work under the guidance of faculty members and in collaboration with other research personnel to design, execute and analyze research questions on a problem of mutual interest.  In most circumstances this is a direct reflection of studies that have received peer reviewed funding at the time the student approaches potential supervisors.  Although the majority of Thesis and Senior Projects are Health Science related, students are not restricted to this area.

What are the deadlines?

Thesis permission must be submitted before you will be permitted to register for the course.

All thesis forms must be received electronically from your supervisor at least 10 business days prior to the start of your thesis 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 thesis course?

Registration for thesis typically occurs in 4th year, with some exceptions.  Registration for all thesis courses is completed on Mosaic.  For all thesis courses, permission is only given after the thesis form is received and approved. You can check for permission 5 business days after submitting your forms by attempting to register. 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. 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.

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; 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.

In addition, we occasionally post research opportunities in the Discussion Forum in the BHSc Community folder on Avenue to Learn.

List of previous Thesis Supervisors

When do I need to start approaching supervisors?

The deadline to submit the permission form for thesis is March 31st of the year prior to Level IV. It is recommended that you begin approaching potential supervisors before the March deadline, as students from other faculties are also beginning to approach potential supervisors. You will not be able to register for thesis until your STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form has been received, reviewed, and approved by the BHSc office.

How do I fill out the HTHSCI Thesis Form?

Students should download the STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form and complete all the required sections. This should be done in close collaboration with your supervisor. Please refer to the Thesis Guidelines above for further details. Once the form is completed, the student should submit it electronically for supervisor approval using the button on the final page.  Copies of the form will be sent to the supervisor and to the BHSc office. Once the supervisor has approved the project, they will similarly submit the form (using a separate button) to the BHSc office. A copy will automatically be sent to the student. 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.

What are the different thesis course codes?

  • HTH SCI 4B06 A/B, 4A09A/B, 4A12 A/B, 4A15 A/B (BHSc Honours)
  • HTH SCI 4C06 A/B, 4C09A/B, 4C12 A/B, 4C15 A/B (CHS)
  • HTH SCI 4G06 A/B, 4G09A/B, 4G12 A/B, 4G15 A/B (GHS)
  • HTH SCI 4D06 A/B, 4D09A/B, 4D12 A/B, 4D15 A/B (Engaging the City)

Please refer to the University Undergraduate Calendar for course descriptions and prerequisites.

Can I take a thesis course prior to 4th year?

Requests from Level III or non-BHSc students to complete a thesis course will be assessed on an individual basis. Please contact Andrea Phair, phaira@mcmaster.ca to inquire further.

Can I complete my thesis internationally?

If you are thinking about completing your thesis 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 thesis?

Thesis students are required to complete ALL applicable safety training as it pertains to the specific tasks and location of your work. Please refer to the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart for more details.

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
  • Ergonomics
  • 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: RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.

How am I evaluated?

All HTH SCI thesis courses require you and the supervisor to create evaluation criteria. This information is submitted to the BHSc office as part of STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form

This form includes a Project Outline, Learning Objectives, Evaluation Criteria, Ethics Screening, and Safety Education and Training. You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).

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. HTH SCI 4A15A/B is split 7.5 units in the Fall term and 7.5 units 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 register for more than one thesis?

Requests to complete more than one thesis/senior project (maximum 18 units in Level 4) will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact Andrea Phair, phaira@mcmaster.ca to discuss this option further.

Do I need to complete ethics screening for my thesis?

All thesis courses require you to complete the BHSc Ethics Screening section in

STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form

This form includes a Project Outline, Learning Objectives, Evaluation Criteria, Ethics Screening, and Safety Education and Training. You can identify which Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).

This must be submitted to the BHSc office no later than 10 business days from the thesis start date. For external ethics application/approval (e.g. HIREB, AREB, Biosafety, etc.), please discuss this with your supervisor.

Do I require immunization for my thesis?

If you are required to work with patients or have any contact with patients, please refer to the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart for further details.

Why do the submission buttons on the Thesis form not work?

The most common reason for the submit buttons on the

STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form

STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form

to not work is that you do not have valid email addresses entered into the required boxes either for the student or the supervisor. If entering these email addresses does not correct the problem, please save the form as requested then send it to the email address as listed on the form.

Remember that you must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form. You cannot use a browser or any other software to complete and submit the form.

What forms are required?

Required forms

Safety Education Training Record

Identify the Safety Training you are required to complete be reviewing this chart (BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements).

To understand additional health & safety training courses you are required to complete, speak with your supervisor, and review the EOHSS Training Matrices, available at: RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.

Full details regarding training requirements for your specific project course work and project location, as well as forms required for travel off-campus, can be found at: BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements

Helpful Information for completing the electronic forms

  • You must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form. You cannot use a browser to complete and submit the form. You must save the form to your desktop/laptop to complete and submit it.
  • If the submit button does not appear or work for you, email the form as an attachment to your supervisor, and cc to the appropriate email address listed on the bottom of the form. *Old versions of the project course form will not be accepted. You must ensure you are completing and submitting the most recent version, available on the BHSc Thesis Course Hub.
  • If the submit button does not appear or work for your supervisor, they can email the form as an attachment to the appropriate email address listed on the form.
  • Unpaid Work Placement, Travel, and Immunization forms must be submitted via email to Andrea Phair at phaira@mcmaster.ca
  • Further details relating to required training can be found on the BHSc Placement Projects Thesis Requirements chart.

What are the guidelines for supervision?

It is the student’s responsibility to secure a Thesis or Senior Project supervisor to work with in their 4thyear.  The project supervisor is responsible for the immediate direction and instruction of the student and should commit a minimum of 30 minutes of contact time to each student per week, on average. Contact should be such that the student is able to obtain continuous guidance, feedback and support from the supervisor.  Course expectations and time commitment should be discussed and agreed to by both parties before the project begins.  The BHSc office will help resolve any student-supervisor conflicts, which could arise.

Guidance for BHSc Student-Supervisor Thesis Communication

What are the deadlines?

Thesis courses are unique to each student, typically, the deadline to submit the STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form is March 31st of their 3rd (although this deadline is somewhat flexible, students will not be able to register until their permission form has been received, reviewed and approved by the BHSc office).  STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required Components form is due before work begins on the thesis.

Thesis students are required to submit an STEP 3: Interim report (mid-Dec), which is completed by their supervisor and submitted electronically to the BHSc office.

At the end of the thesis, the supervisor is required to complete the STEP 4: Thesis Grade Form and submit it electronically.  This form is required even if the thesis is not yet completed, typically in mid-April.  The majority of students will complete their thesis by mid-April, however, if the thesis is not completed by the deadline date, that’s ok!  The supervisor will 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 thesis projects appropriately, and enter an appropriate ‘placeholder’ on your transcript.
  • This placeholder will be either the interim grade, 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 will be used will depend on the information provided by the supervisor about the expected date of completion.
  • In all of these cases, once the thesis is complete and a final grade is submitted a grade change will be processed.

To calculate an interim grade, your supervisor should review your original evaluation criteria from your proposal, and calculate the grade based on work completed; elements not yet complete should be calculated as 0% of your overall grade.

For example, if your evaluation criteria were as follows:

  • Lab notes – 20%
  • Meetings – 20%
  • Literature Review – 20%
  • Final paper draft – 20%
  • Final paper- 20%

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.

The student must also submit a .pdf copy of their thesis paper/work to Thesis_.hp3pil239d5c3qfs@u.box.com

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 may 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. It is not a requirement that the thesis culminates in a publishable research study.

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 thesis. At the end of the thesis, you are required to evaluate the student on their completion of the project as per the evaluation criteria that was documented on the initial STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required Components form.

Why do the submission buttons on the Thesis form not work?

The most common reason for the submit buttons on the

STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form

STEP 2: HTHSCI Thesis Required components form

to not work is that you do not have valid email addresses entered into the required boxes either for the student or the supervisor. If entering these email addresses does not correct the problem, please save the form then attach to an email to student, with a cc: to the email address as listed on the form.

Remember that you must use Adobe Acrobat Reader DC to complete and submit the form. You cannot use a browser to complete and submit the form.

Should I require that the student prepare a poster?

BHSc Poster day is usually held in late March/early April each year.  For thesis students participation in poster day is mandatory. Supervisors are invited and encouraged to attend.