Independent Study Helpful Hints by 5K3vbv


									Independent Study Helpful Hints

Safety Training
    - WHMIS (Lab and/or office)
    - Fire Safety
    - Gas Cylinder
    - Chemical handling and spills

WHMIS and Fire are mandatory. Biosafety would be required if biological agents are being used in the
lab. Training requirements should be reviewed with the supervisor to ensure that all institution and site
specific training is covered.

All persons shall know individual building emergency procedures including location of fire pull stations,
eye wash stations and safety showers
     - Know McMaster University Hazardous Waste disposal procedures

Individuals should also ensure that they have taken all of the required safety training for working in a lab
area. Please see the link with the laboratory training documentation record so that you can see the
training that needs to be completed.

Laboratory Identification
A student number would be a minimum requirement to work within the lab. Students may also wish to
contact Human Resources about the possibility of arranging for formal McMaster photo identification
badges. Students should speak to administrators and Principal Investigators in the area to determine if
additional security access badges or key cards are required depending on the nature of the work being
conducted in the lab particularly if biohazards or radiation is being used.

Individuals doing independent study in a lab should also consider completing volunteer and use of
facilities agreements for the labs that they will be working in so that the Principal Investigator has
documentation for all of the individuals within his or her space. These forms can be found on the Safety
Office web site at and

Number of Hours
4A03 and 4B06 – 10-12 hours a week
4C09 – 12-15 hours a week

Course Evaluation
Students may be evaluated on the basis of four main areas:
    1. Literature review
    2. Mid-year report
    3. Written paper/thesis
    4. Work performed to collect data (e.g. activities performed in the laboratory or in the field or on
Independent Study Supervisor
Supervisors must be either, a faculty member or an Associate Member, of the Faculty of Science.
Individuals, who are not currently associated with the Faculty of Science can co-supervise a project,
providing a full-time faculty member agrees to the co-supervision.
Students are encouraged to approach prospective supervisors based on their general area of research
interest, to discuss their willingness to act in this capacity.

Student Responsibility
    - It is the responsibility of the student to keep the supervisor up-to-date regarding progress on
       the project throughout the year
    - The student should consult with the supervisor on all aspects of the course including the
       guidelines and requirements for the research proposal, mid-year report, and written thesis
    - Student should be clear on what is expected of them throughout the course

Information on Independent Study Courses

Additional information including suggested timelines and evaluative criteria can be found on the Life
Sciences website at

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