Research Practice in Biology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

  • Through research practice in biology, students gain practical experience with research as a process and work method.
  •     Students acquire relevant scientific knowledge and skills and at the same time build academic identity and understanding of roles.
  •     Through participating in research, the students develop a better understanding of the research process and the contribution of research in society



    The student will, under the guidance of a scientific employee at BIO,carry out a practical research project. The student's project can be a stand-alone or part of an ongoing research project, and it can be carried out independently or in collaboration with other students. The thesis may be methodical, empirical, analytical, or theoretical.


    The student will gain knowledge of the research process (the path from hypothesis or a research question via study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of the results) and will gain practical experience with two or more of the steps in this process (for example, data collection, data compilation, and writing of field or lab report).

    The student participates in course meetings, workshops, and a poster session, allowing them to develop scientific knowledge and skills. 

    An overview over potential projects are found here: (note that possible projects are not limited to this list).

    The scope of the course is a total of approx. 250 hours including compulsory activities as well as planning, implementation, reporting, and presentation of results from the project.

    Learning Outcomes



    The student

    • has knowledge of biological research as a process and working method
    • can explain the principles behind and the purpose of the research activities that are included in the project assignment
    • has experience with some of the field's scientific methods
    • can place their own data and findings in a professional context




    The student


    • can plan, implement, and report results from a defined research task according to the standards of the subject
    • can find, summarize and use specialist knowledge relevant to a defined academic project
    • has knowledge of how the results in the project assignment can be interpreted and evaluated
    • can assess their own results against updated professional knowledge within the field


    General competence


    The student


    • develops understanding of the specificity of research and the contribution of research in society
    • develops professional identity and understanding of roles
    • can work with others in a research community
    • can create and present a professional poster

    ECTS Credits


    Semester of Instruction

    Autumn and spring

    This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 2/33 for the spring/autumn semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.

    It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section ( The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

    To complete the course, the student must conduct an internship project with one of the scientific staff at the Department of Life Sciences. You can sign up for the course and attend the start-up meeting before you have found a supervisor. It is the student's responsibility to find a supervisor and hand in a signed project agreement within a set deadline (see mandatory work requirements). Contact a relevant scientific staff or for help in finding an a project and a supervisor. 

    Place of Instruction

    Required Previous Knowledge
    Compulsory courses in bachelor's in biology, or equivalent courses.
    Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
    Access to the Course
    The course is available for students enrol in a study programme at the Department of Biological Sciences.
    Teaching and learning methods
  • Start-up seminar on Research practice in biology
  • Mid-semester meetings and discussions 
  • Independent work on a research assignment under the guidance of a scientific employee at BIO. The practice assignment is agreed with the supervisor, and may consist of lab work, field work or other things that are relevant to the task in question.
  • Participation in a poster workshop and presentation of the work as a poster.
  • Write a blog post. 
  • A written report following a given template. The format of the scientific product part of this report is agreed with the supervisor, and can for example be a field report, lab report, a documented data set, or a full scientific report
  • Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Find a supervisor and agree on a project. Sign agreement with the supervisor and submit at Mitt UiB by February 1st (spring semester) og September 1st (Autumn semseter)
  • Mandatory participation in a research project
  • Mandatory attendance at seminars / course meetings
  • Mandatory participation at poster workshop
  • Mandatory participation at poster presentation
  • Forms of Assessment

    The student delivers a portfolio following a given template. The portfolio consists of a written report, following a given template, that includes:

    • A project description (5%)
    • A scientific product that documents the results of the practice project. The format is adapted to the needs of the project, and is agreed with the supervisor. (60%)
    • A poster (10%)
    • The feedback and assessment on the poster and presentation (10%)
    • A blog post (10%)
    • An overview over working hours (5%)

    The scientific supervisor provides the grade for the scientific product in consensus with the course responsible. The rest is graded by the course responsible. The portfolio and the individual components are valid for three semesters. 

    Grading Scale
    A - F
    Assessment Semester
    Portfolio can be delivered every semester
    Reading List
    The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
    Course Evaluation
    Students will evaluate the course in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the Department. You can find courseevaluations in the Quality Assurance Reports.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the programme and courses.
    Course Administrator
    The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Department of Biological Sciences are administratively responsible for the course.