Biology, the science of life is concerned with the structure and function of organisms, their evolution and ecology. The Department of Biology offers undergraduate instruction in all the major fields of biology, with particular strength in Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While each specialized program in the Department of Biology centres on a prescribed core of courses, students have the opportunity to take a broad variety of elective courses so as to acquire an understanding of the multifaceted nature of biology today.
The Biology faculty includes accomplished and internationally renowned research scientists who are dedicated to helping students acquire critical learning, analytical and scientific skills. These skills provide students with a better understanding of the beauty, complexity and fragility of the natural world and facilitate engagement in informed discussions of scientific questions. Our goal is to provide students with an excellent well-rounded education in life sciences that can lead to fulfilling careers in industry, academia and government. We strive to inspire and engage our students through lectures, laboratory courses, field courses, and independent study programs. An important component of the undergraduate program in Biology for Honours students is the opportunity to do an Honours Thesis based on laboratory and/or field investigations under the supervision of a faculty member.
The Department of Biology is housed in three separate buildings on campus: Farquharson Life Science Building (FS), Lumbers Building (LB), and Life Sciences Building (LSB). All first year and some second year laboratories are offered in the new LSB with state-of-the-art teaching laboratories.
This website is primarily for current students. Prospective students should visit the Faculty of Science Future Students website.
Samuel Benchimol, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Biology
Fall @ YorkU
SUMMER SCIENCE RESEARCH@York
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AWARDS,
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Undergraduate
Student Research Awards (NSERC USRA) & Dean’s Undergraduate
Research Awards (DURA)
Applications are now being accepted for Summer 2016.
DEADLINE Friday February 19, 2016. Applications for Biology (both Part I and Part II)
must be completed online with hardcopies submitted to 108 Farquharson Building
(Biology Undergraduate Office) by the deadline.
The NSERC USRAs provide financial support for working in research labs over the summer months. NSERC especially encourages qualified Aboriginal students and women to apply to this program. DURAs are designed to supplement the quota provided by NSERC for the summer USRA program, making it possible for more of our top undergraduate students to contribute to research in the Faculty of Science. Conditions and details are similar to those for USRAs.
Further information on NSERC USRAs can be found on the NSERC website:
http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/students-etudiants/ug-pc/usra-brpc_eng.asp . The application form and instructions (Form 202) are now available on the NSERC website and must be filled out using NSERC’s on-line system. Both students and supervisors will have to register online to be able to complete the application.
NSERC USRA in Universities
(a) The value of the award from NSERC is $4,500 for 16 consecutive weeks. Faculty members must pay the student at least $25% ($1,125) on top of this. If a student is selected from another university to hold their award at York, the supervisor will be responsible for paying at least $787.50 extra; i.e., 4% vacation pay and 10% for benefits. Travel allowance may also be available from NSERC when applicable.
(b) At York, the award can only be held during the summer session.
(c) NSERC expects students to work the full term, so awards are for the full 16 weeks, full-time hours. (NSERC may approve a shorter tenure in exceptional circumstances but it must be approved by NSERC in advance.)
(d) Applications (both Part I and Part II) must be completed online by Friday, February 19, 2016 with hardcopies submitted to the departments. Hand-written application will not be accepted. Non-York applicants must order their official transcripts from the Registrar’s Office to be sent directly to their potential supervisor at York by the above deadline.
Transcripts for York students will be printed by the department.
All successful applicants will be instructed on attaching their transcripts as PDF documents to their on-line applications at a later date.
(e) Notification of awards will be issued by mid March 2016 .
(f) Students must accept/reject the awards by Friday, April 1, 2016 .
(g) Recipients must devote their full time to research and are not permitted to take any additional summer employment (assistantships, etc.). Recipients may be permitted to register for one degree credit course during the tenure of the award, outside of regular working hours. They may not hold more than three USRA awards during their university career.
(h) Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be registered as full-time students in an eligible bachelor degree program in the natural sciences or engineering and must have completed all the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) of a bachelor’s degree at the beginning of the NSERC grant . Up to 15% of the total awards will be available for final-year students.
(i) Students must work under the supervision of a faculty member who holds an active NSERC research grant (research, collaborative opportunities or collaborative health, genomics, research partnerships) either at the time of application, or when the award is held.
(j) Candidates who hold higher degrees in natural sciences or engineering, or are candidates for an undergraduate professional degree in health sciences (e.g. M.D., D.D.S., B.Sc.N.) are not eligible. Female applicants are especially encouraged to apply.
(k) In continuation of its incentive for Aboriginal undergraduate students to pursue graduate studies and research careers in the natural sciences and engineering, NSERC asks each university to actively promote the availability of USRAs to qualified Aboriginal students. Awards that are made to Aboriginal students will be in additional to the university’s quota of awards.
NOTE: Final year students are encouraged to apply to the USRA in Industry.
Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) in Industry
This award is very similar to the USRA in universities except that for the duration of the award students will be full-time employees of eligible companies. A list of such companies is available on the relevant SERC website: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/UGPC/ USRAI-BRPCI_eng.asp . Students must complete Form 202 and submit the completed application along with their official transcript to the company of their choice. NSERC has a limited number of awards available. The Industrial USRA program awards are not counted as part of York’s USRA quota.
Deans Undergraduate Research Awards (DURA)|
Students must apply for the NSERC USRA program to be considered for the DURA program. All eligible but unsuccessful applicants to the USRA program in the Faculty of Science will automatically be considered for the DURA program. No additional application is required. Applications from international students will be considered eligible for a DURA.
(a) Notification of award will be issued by Mid March 2016.
(b) Students must accept/reject the awards by April 1, 2016.
(c) Students must be undergraduates in the Faculty of Science at York and have an overall minimum GPA above 8.0.