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Directed Studies in Applied Biology
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APBI 497
Office: McML 191
Office Hours: Contact your supervisor
to determine
Class Schedule: Contact your supervisor
to determine
Important Course Pages
*APBI Directed Studies Syllabus
*Registration Form Research-Based
*Registration Form Lit Review-Based
*Project Examples

*Registration forms and proposals are due one week before the 1st day of classes.

Directed Studies in Applied Biology which includes majors in Applied Animal Biology and Sustainable Agriculture and Environment.

Course Description

This course provides a means for individual students to undertake customized projects that will help to develop and strengthen research skills and to accommodate special research interests that cannot be met through other APBI courses.

Credits: Two (2) to six (6) credits can be awarded for successful completion of the course APBI 497. The credit level of the course must be determined prior to the start of the course.

Time commitment: Approximately 40 hours of work per credit (e.g. a 3-credit directed studies course would require 120 hours, approximately 9 hours per week if completed in one term). Students are expected to complete the majority of the work within the semester(s) in which they are registered.


  • If the project to be conducted is associated with a summer or part-time, paid or volunteer position held by the student, care must be taken to ensure that any hours of work on the directed studies project are over and above those required by the related position. The supervisor must be satisfied that this requirement has been met
  • Work completed in a Directed Studies must be unique and cannot overlap with another Directed Studies, Practicum, Undergraduate Essay or Undergraduate Thesis

Application Process for Research Based Directed Studies

  1. Review the course syllabus
  2. Think of an area of research that interests you and brainstorm research questions
  3. Find a faculty member/supervisor that matches your research interests and discuss your research interests with them
  4. Develop a project proposal summary* (~1 page) in conjunction with your supervisor
  5. Complete and submit a signed registration form to, adhering to the university’s deadlines
  6. The APBI Program Coordinator (Dan Naidu) will complete the registration.
  7. DEADLINE: Registration forms and proposals are due one week before start of term.

*Details in the Registration section of the syllabus

Application Process for Literature Review Based Directed Studies

  1. Find a faculty member/supervisor
  2. Complete and submit a signed registration form to APBI Program Coordinator, Dan Naidu ([[1]]). Complete everything in the registration form except the APBI Directors signature.
  3. The APBI Program Coordinator, Dan Naidu will complete the registration.

Please consult the Applied Biology Program Coordinator, Dan Naidu ( with any questions well in advance of registration deadlines.

Course Format

There is no set / synchronous meeting time for this course. A work plan must be set out in writing with a copy to the student, faculty member, field supervisor(if relevant) and the undergraduate advisor. The work plan will consist of a definable project requiring literature and/or laboratory or field research and a written report.

A regular schedule of consultations should be pre-arranged between the supervisor and the student to monitor progress. The meeting time should form a regular entry on the timetables of both the student and the supervisor. For students enrolled in a 3-credit directed study or for 6-credits/1-term directed study, the following schedule is suggested:

Milestones Sept - Dec Schedule Jan– April Schedule
Submission of project title and name of supervisor to undergraduate advisor September 7 January 7
Project proposal September 15 January 15
Project progress report October 30 February 28
Research completed November 15 March 15
Submission of report draft to supervisor November 28 March 30
Submission of final report copy to supervisor December 5 April 7
Completion of the oral report* December 15 April 17


  • *Oral presentation of the final report is not required. For more details on potential learning assessments and marking schemes, see the syllabus
  • Marking of the final report must include one other faculty member other than the academic supervisor

Is APBI 497 the Right Course for Me?

This course may be right for you if:

  • You are highly self motivated
  • You would like to learn more about running your own research project or working in a research laboratory
  • You are looking to gain hands on experience in your field
  • You have taken APBI 398 - Research Methods (recommended, not required)

Non-LFS and non-APBI students are eligible to enrol in this course. However, they should contact an academic advisor in their home faculty to understand how this course may be applied to their degree prior to registering.

Read about past student projects and experiences in this course.

Further Opportunities

Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference

Although not required, students are encouraged to look into the Annual UBC Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC).  MURC is a conference for UBC undergraduate students to showcase their research in front of their fellow UBC students, family, and friends. Researchers may choose one of two formats to showcase their research: presentation or poster.

Any UBC undergraduate student who is participating in, or has completed, their own Faculty-supervised research project can apply to present at MURC. All Faculties and Schools are welcome. For more information, please visit the Present at MURC page.

Please note that participating in MURC requires the permission of your supervisor.