Collaborative Research


6.1. Overview. Publication of results is a basic and integral part of research, so graduate students are expected to publish results from their thesis research in the scientific literature. Since thesis research is usually supported through the supervisor's research grant, and is normally a collaborative effort involving student and supervisor, some form of joint authorship is usually appropriate on all papers resulting from MSc and PhD thesis research. Incoming graduate students are encouraged to discuss authorship arrangements with their supervisor at the outset of their graduate program. Space is provided on the student's annual Graduate Student-Supervisor Agreement to record the details of this arrangement to ensure both that the student and supervisor have discussed the matter and that some written record of the agreement is available in the student's file.

6.2. Guidelines. These guidelines reflect the general procedures followed by the majority of professors in the Department of Biology and are listed below to form the basis of discussion between student and supervisor.

  • The supervisor will retain copies of all data on which the thesis and publications are based. The supervisor has a right to both the raw data and any analyses derived from it.
  • The graduate student is usually first author on all publications arising directly from his/her thesis research; exceptions are sometimes made when the majority of ideas, data or analyses are provided by the supervisor or other researchers, but this should be discussed early in the research project.
  • The supervisor is usually co-author on all publications arising from the thesis research.
  • Where a significant amount of additional research or analysis is required to produce publishable results from a thesis, or where the student does not make a major contribution to the writing of publishable manuscripts, the supervisor is often first author.
  • Students employed as research assistants for data collection or analysis should not automatically expect joint authorship unless they have made significant original contributions to the research program.
  • Supervisors have the right to write up and take first authorship on papers based on any material in the thesis or arising from the thesis that is not submitted for publication within one year of normal degree time limits (2 years for MSc, 4 for PhD). Since the student will be co-author on such papers, such thesis material may be used directly without infringing on the student's copyright.


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I've spent more time than many will believe [making microscopic observations], but I've done them with joy, and I've taken no notice those who have said why take so much trouble and what good is it?

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

It's a parts list... If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don't think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn't understand why it flew

Eric Lander

What is true for E. coli is also true for the elephant

Jacques Monod

The world becomes full of organisms that have what it takes to become ancestors. That, in a sentence, is Darwinism

Richard Dawkins

Shall we conjecture that one and the same kind of living filaments is and has been the cause of all organic life?

Erasmus Darwin

Nature proceeds little by little from things lifeless to animal life in such a way that it's impossible to determine the line of demarcation


Cells let us walk, talk, think, make love, and realize the bath water is cold

Lorraine Lee Cudmore

In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history

Charles Darwin

It is my belief that the basic knowledge that we're providing to the world will have a profound impact on the human condition and the treatments for disease and our view of our place on the biological continuum

J. Craig Venter

Imagine a house coming together spontaneously from all the information contained in the bricks: that is how animal bodies are made

Neil Shubin

A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live and which shall die - which variety or species shall increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become extinct

Charles Darwin

The stuff of life turned out to be not a quivering, glowing, wondrous gel but a contraption of tiny jigs, springs, hinges, rods, sheets, magnets, zippers, and trapdoors, assembled by a data tape whose information is copied, downloaded and scanned

Steven Pinker

We wish to discuss a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid. (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biologic interest

Rosalind Franklin

We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget

Mary Roach

The systems approach to biology will be the dominant theme in medicine

Leroy Hood

I've always been interested in animal behavior, and I keep reading about it because it's so surprising all the time - so many things are happening around us that we neglect to look at. Part of the passion I have for biology is based on this wonderment"

Isabella Rossellini

Because all of biology is connected, one can often make a breakthrough with an organism that exaggerates a particular phenomenon, and later explore the generality

Thomas Cech

Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century

- Freeman Dyson

Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third

- Thomas Huxley