Requirements and Steps For Completing Capstone Project
Revised for 2022 Spring.
After working some time in your lab or research environment, you'll want to start defining what will be your capstone project. You may up spending time in a few different labs, and so the process of choosing a lab starts well before enrollment in the capstone class, TRGN520. The right capstone project may be pretty clear after a few months. However, finalization of the capstone is not required until you enroll in the capstone units (typically your last semester). In the end, the capstone deliverable should showcase your experience and knowledge in translational biomedical informatics.
The capstone project is the final requirement for the Masters in Translational Biomedical Informatics. It is a cumulative project that draws upon the classes and research experience during your time within the master's program. You are expected to be actively part of a laboratory before enrolling in the Capstone credits. Ideally, you have spent at least the summer before fully emersed in that lab, and many people will have been part of a lab for multiple previous semesters. You are not required to take capstone units during these prior semesters, only the final semester before graduating.
The capstone is credit/no credit.
Capstone Project Steps
There are different acceptable capstone projects, which differ based on your long-term career and education goals. However, there are several key steps and milestones that are defined. These include:
- Register for
- Develop a proposal (Week 1-2) for your project and turn this to the course instructor (
email@example.com) no later than 5 PM the Friday of the second full week of the semester you are taking the final units of
- Turn in and have your proposed capstone accepted (End of Week 3). Your proposal will be reviewed with 1 of 2 outcomes, and the requirements are described below. (a). Based on the review, further refinements may be requested, and you may need to resubmit. (b). Your proposal may be accepted.
- Oral/Presentation (variable, before Week 15). Working with your capstone advisor and the program director (David W. Craig), select a date for the presentation of your final project before the end of the course week 15. Your presentation does not need to be with the program director, but should be to a group that can give you feedback scientifically and professionally. Examples would include 1) Group presentation with other lab members; 2) Presentation to a scientific body (including presenter at a conference; 3) Presentation to program director and mentor, plus invited members. The method of assessment may vary depending on project, and will be determined by student, mentor, and program director.
- Written portion (Draft: End of Week 13;Final: End of Week 15). The written portion will be based on those requirements set forth by the proposal. Upon submission, you will either (a) pass the written portion or (b) be asked to make further changes. The written portion may vary, and can be a PDF document or other suitable form. However, the final written deliverable will need to be provided with a Github repository, and also emailed to the program director and mentor.
- Completion of the capstone project is when both a written and oral presentation are passed.
Your proposal will be turned in as a Github titled
Capstone in markdown format as the initiating
Readme.md. This may be a private Github link, or it may be public, but must be shared with the program director (firstname.lastname@example.org). There is purposeful flexibility in the type of capstone project and its deliverable. In the end, the deliverable will be defined through a proposal, and this should be done with a mentor. The experience of working within a lab is critical, and the deliverable may vary. There will be some back-and-forth on the proposal to make sure expectations are clear. You will be notified by the program director by email when the proposal is accepted.
Your proposal will have the following sections, where each section is formatted as H2 markdown followed by text.
- Title: Less than 240 characters
- Mentor: Mentor name and email
- Proposed Written Portion (150-300+ words). This will consist of two to three sentences describing the topic, bioinformatic approaches, and your specific contributions. It will be followed by 1 to 2 sentences describing the deliverable.
- Deliverable Types. This will vary, but examples include: (i) Traditional thesis, turned in as a PDF consisting of no-less than 6 pages written with 0.5" margins, Ariel 11 or Times New Roman 12, with sections of abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion written by the student. Proper referencing is required and references do not count towards page limits. (ii) A web resource consisting of tutorials or applications that include all major components of a web application or resource. Examples may include R-Shiny or WordPress resources and must be compliant with best practices. While a live version is critical, a submitted thesis must include all materials be deposited on a versioned Github resource to fulfill written requirements. Both the Github resource and the live application are required. The department will either provide hosting resources or resources may be available through other means with approval. (iii) A poster presented at an academic conference, noting that additional requirements may be needed based on the content in the poster and the amount of content provided by the student. The written portion is due no more than 2 weeks before the end of the semester.
- Oral/Presentation Portion (1 to 2 sentences). The presentation can vary depending on project, lab, and other consideration (e.g. proprietary content in industry). The presentation does not need to be with the program director, but should be to a group that can give you feedback scientifically and professionally, and whereby the program director can confirm on successful completion. Examples would include 1) Group presentation with other lab members; 2) Presentation to a scientific body (including presenter at a conference; 3) Presentation to program director and mentor, plus invited members. The method of assessment may vary depending on project, and will be determined by student, mentor, and program director.