Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Department assign a supervisor for me?
No. It is the student’s responsibility to organize a supervisor.

How do I find a supervisor?
Go to the Pathology Department website to read a bit about the kinds of research that our faculty members do (Graduate Studies page is a good place to start).  Perhaps you already know what area of pathology you are interested in.   The next step is to contact the supervisor(s) of the lab(s) that appeal to you and see if they are interested in taking a PATH 438 student for September.

Can my supervisor be in another department?
Your supervisor should be a member of the department of Pathology.  If the supervisor is in another department, you should take that department’s directed studies course.  If that department doesn’t offer a directed studies course you may obtain special permission from the Course Coordinator to enroll in PATH 438.

Can I register first and find a supervisor later?
It is advisable that you have a supervisor before registering for the course.  You should start searching for a supervisor as early as possible (i.e. the summer).  The deadline to register is by the second week of classes in September.

Do I need permission to take the course?
BMLSc students do not require permission to take the course.  Other interested students should contact the Course Coordinator for permission.

How do I register?
Students can register themselves for the course through the Student Service Centre.

Can I take Path 438 for 2, 3 or 4 credits?
Currently only the 6 credit option is available.  This course is a research based course and therefore the amount of work required (more than the formal 78 hours required for a 6 credit course) warrants enrolling in 6 credits.

Can I take Path 438 in the summer?
No.  The course is not offered as a summer course as it requires that you participate with the main body of students registered in the course.  For summer student positions, you can certainly do a summer studentship in the same lab as the lab you will go into for Path 438, but you cannot use the data collected in the summer for your Path 438 report as you are not taking the course at that time.

Can I take the course in 3rd year?
No.  The course is restricted to students in year level 4 or higher.

Are there any registration or safety forms for me and/or my supervisor to complete prior to beginning the course?
Students can complete the registration form available on the website.  There are no safety forms.  You are covered under UBC’s student insurance.  Any laboratory specific safety training should be provided to you by the Supervisor (or his/her staff) according to the UBC and WBC policies.

I Have to Write a What?
In order to satisfy the requirements for PATHOLOGY 438, you must write a project report.  Two faculty members (one of who is your 438 supervisor) read this report.   Prior to submitting the project report, the student will participate in a PATH 438 research day at which he/she will give a 15 minute presentation of the research project followed by a 5 minute question period (45%).

The final mark is based on three elements: the quality of the written report, the quality of the oral presentation (10%) and the evaluation of the student by the supervisor (45%).  Ask your supervisor to read your report before you give it to the examining committee.  He or she should be able to ensure that you have understood how to properly prepare the written report.

What does my supervisor need to do?
The supervisor should:

  • familiarize themselves with the requirements of the directed studies course
  • prepare a paragraph or two describing the project that the student will be working on
  • read the student’s written report prior to submission to ensure understanding of how to properly prepare the written report
  • be prepared to evaluate the student based on the following guidelines:

    Work and Effort

    •    Was the student well motivated?
    •    Did s/he get an early start on the project?
    •    Did the student need encouragement to start, or did s/he begin on their own initiative?
    •    Did s/he do assigned reading?
    •    Did the student keep up with the current literature in the field?
    •    Did the student carefully carry out experimental work? Or was the student careless at times?
    •    Was a laboratory notebook kept?
    •    Did the student spend a reasonable amount of time on the project (approximately one day each week)?

Initiative, Problem Solving, Understanding
•    Was the student able to work with some independence?   Or did the student constantly ask questions of others when they should have been able to solve the problem themselves?
•    Was the student able to make suggestions or modifications to the experimental approach when necessary?  Where they able to detect and solve some problems on their own?
•    Does the student have a clear understanding of the topic of research?
•    Did the student, on their own, understand the significance of the experimental results?
•    Did the student participate in lab meetings or discussions?