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

 

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

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.

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

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
  • HTH SCI 4C06 A/B, 4C09A/B, 4C12 A/B, 4C15 A/B: Registration in Level IV of the B.H.Sc. (Honours) Child Health Specialization and permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program
  • HTH SCI 4G06 A/B, 4G09A/B, 4G12 A/B, 4G15 A/B: Registration in Level IV of the B.H.Sc. (Honours) Global Health Specialization and permission of B.H.Sc. (Honours) Program
  • HTH SCI 4D06 A/B, 4D09A/B, 4D12 A/B, 4D15 A/B: Permission of B.H.Sc (Honours) Program

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  forms specified below 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.  If you register in a HTH SCI Thesis course, and have not submitted the required 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

  • STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form
  • 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).
  • STEP 3: HTHSCI Thesis Interim Report form *under construction
  • STEP 4: HTHSCI Thesis Grade Submission form *under construction
    • This form is submitted at the end of the project.
    • ALL STUDENTS must submit a Project Grade Submission Form, even if the thesis is not yet complete.
    • The completed form should be in a sealed envelope, with your supervisor’s signature on the back of the envelope seal. This form is submitted to the BHSc office (MDCL 3300).
    • If you would like a copy of your Grade Submission Form, please obtain it from your supervisor.

Required Training

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:   http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/eohss/training/matrix and outlined in RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.

Optional forms

These forms must be submitted via email to Andrea Phair at phaira@mcmaster.ca

Off campus project courses require the completion of the Risk Management Manual (RMM) program #801 Field Trip/Student Placement/Research Activity Approval form. This form can be found on page 11 of the RMM #801 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.

Participation in POSTER DAY is mandatory for all Thesis/Senior Project students.

POSTER DAY typically occurs in late March/early April over a 2 day period.

POSTER DAY 2019 will occur on APRIL 1st and APRIL 2nd in MUSC Marketplace (10AM-4PM)

Presentation dates: 

  • APRIL 1st (4A09/4A12/4A15) 
  • APRIL 2nd (specializations, engaging the city 4D06/9/12 + project courses 4B06/3H03/6/3BM3/6/4D03/4W03)

Participation:

  • thesis/senior project students are expected to attend for at least a 2 hour duration (they do not have to be consecutive and you can indicate the times you will be in attendance by way of a sticky note on your poster)
  • your supervisor is invited to attend but their attendance is not mandatory
  • your supervisor can include their evaluation of your poster in their overall evaluation at the end of the year
  • this is an opportunity for students to share the work they have been doing with their peers and others who may stop by to ask questions

The BHSc office will be coordinating the printing of approximately 300 posters in the week leading up to poster day, we would kindly ask that you adhere to the rules for poster printing as noted below.  Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that your poster will be printed through our office.

Golden Rules of Poster Printing

  • submit your poster by the deadline, no exceptions
  • no extensions, no exceptions
  • no reprints, no exceptions
  • adhere to dimensions as noted below

*IF YOU DO NOT ADHERE TO THE RULES AS INDICATED ABOVE, YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE OTHER ARRANGEMENTS FOR PRINTING YOUR POSTER.

POSTER DAY 2019 will occur on APRIL 1st and APRIL 2nd in MUSC Marketplace (10AM-4PM)

Presentation dates: 

  • APRIL 1st (4A09/4A12/4A15) 
  • APRIL 2nd (specializations, engaging the city 4D06/9/12 + project courses 4B06/3H03/6/3BM3/6/4D03/4W03)

Poster printing deadlines: 

  • Monday March 25th if presenting APRIL 1st
  • Tuesday March 26th if presenting APRIL 2nd

Poster dimensions:

  • 42 inches by 36 inches
  • ensure a half inch border on each edge
  • posters must be saved and submitted as .pdf (licensed version of Adobe must be used)
  • you must submit an abstract (details below) when submitting your poster
  • send posters to BHSc POSTER PRINTING assignment in BHSc Community on Avenue.
  • when you see that your Poster ‘assignment’ has been graded, you can pick up your poster from the BHSc Office, MDCL/3300 (office hours, Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM).
ABSTRACT DETAILS:

Include the mandatory abstract in the body of the email when submitting your poster, and use the format below.

Course Code:

Abstract Title:

Abstract Description: MAXIMUM 250 words

Author list:

  • 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.

Affiliations: (at least for the primary supervisor, as well as any other collaborators who have other affiliations)

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.

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

  • 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).
  • STEP 3: HTHSCI Thesis Interim Report (mid-year progress report) *under construction
  • STEP 4: HTHSCI Thesis Grade Submission form *under construction
    • This form is submitted at the end of the project.
    • ALL STUDENTS must submit a Project Grade Submission Form, even if the thesis is not yet complete.
    • The completed form should be in a sealed envelope, with your supervisor’s signature on the back of the envelope seal. This form is submitted to the BHSc office (MDCL/3300).
    • If you would like a copy of your Grade Submission Form, please obtain it from your supervisor.
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- attached) which is to be returned to the BHSc office, MDCL/3300.  Should there be an unsatisfactory report, the supervisor will make specific recommendations, state their view of the problem in writing and submit them to the Course Administrator.  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 Submission form *under construction
    • This form is submitted at the end of the project.
    • ALL STUDENTS must submit a Project Grade Submission Form, even if the thesis is not yet complete.
    • The completed form should be in a sealed envelope, with your supervisor’s signature on the back of the envelope seal. This form is submitted to the BHSc office (MDCL 3300).
    • If you would like a copy of your Grade Submission 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 or 905-525-9140 x22855) or

Eric Seidlitz, Faculty Thesis Course Advisor (seidlit@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 x20725)

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.

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:   http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/eohss/training/matrix and outlined in 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 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, students MUST complete and submit an Immunization Form. 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

  • STEP 1: HTHSCI Thesis Permission form
  • 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).
  • STEP 3: HTHSCI Thesis Interim Report form *under construction
  • STEP 4: HTHSCI Thesis Grade Submission form *under construction
    • This form is submitted at the end of the project.
    • ALL STUDENTS must submit a Project Grade Submission Form, even if the thesis is not yet complete.
    • The completed form should be in a sealed envelope, with your supervisor’s signature on the back of the envelope seal. This form is submitted to the BHSc office (MDCL 3300).
    • If you would like a copy of your Grade Submission Form, please obtain it from your supervisor.

Required Training

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:   http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/eohss/training/matrix and outlined in RMM #300: Safety Orientation and Training Program.

Optional forms

These forms must be submitted via email to Andrea Phair at phaira@mcmaster.ca

Off campus project courses require the completion of the Risk Management Manual (RMM) program #801 Field Trip/Student Placement/Research Activity Approval form. This form can be found on page 11 of the RMM #801 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

The student should download the thesis form and begin completing the required sections in consultation with the supervisor. 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 you are satisfied with the information on the form, you will similarly submit the form (using the labelled 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.

At the end of the project the Thesis Grade Submission form *under construction is required to be submitted electronically. This form must be submitted mid-April, even if the thesis is not yet complete.

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 *under construction (mid-Dec), which is completed by their supervisor and submitted to the BHSc office, MDCL/3300.

At the end of the thesis, the supervisor is required to complete the STEP 4: Thesis grade submission form *under construction 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.

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.