Biomedical Neuroscience Capstone Project

To complete the Biomedical Neuroscience concentration, students must complete, submit, and successfully defend their capstone project during the final semester. The capstone project replaces a written thesis. This project is divided into two sections (chapters), each focusing on a featured study article that is pre-selected based on course content completed by the student.

Students will create the capstone chapters within the structured environment of the capstone course (GMS 6910).

Projects should be posted to a single, VoiceThread project shell created by the student and shared with all members of their graduate committee. Supervisory committees will monitor student progress towards completion of the capstone project.

What is the capstone project?

The capstone project is an educational journal that will be divided into two chapters – one chapter for GMS6007 that is required and one chapter for an additional course that you choose to highlight in your project. Each chapter presentation will be roughly 15 min long. Timing will be based on recorded audio only and will not include the timing for your text transcripts that will accompany the audio recordings. The content of each chapter will highlight a featured article that you will select from an article database that we have created. The articles in the database for a specific course have been selected by the instructors for the course and are related to the content taught in the course. The materials that you will include in each chapter will be developed around the four tasks listed below (more detailed descriptions are provided in the Capstone course):

1. Title slide with a brief description of the research field on which your chapter focuses
2. Presentation of background material 
3. A detailed presentation of the key finding described in the highlighted paper
4. A brief discussion of how research in this area might evolve in the future

Prior to the start of the semester in which students intend to graduate, the student will notify their committee members that all two project chapters are completed and are ready to undergo editorial review. During the editorial review period, committee members will review the student’s project materials to judge whether each chapter adheres to the formatting, organizational, and content requirements of the capstone project. Provided that it does, students will receive written review notes on the changes that must be incorporated to their project prior to the submission of the capstone project for scientific review.

At the start of the semester in which students intend to graduate, they will complete Department paperwork of the intention to graduate and submit a degree application on one.uf. Failure to do so will delay your graduation until the following semester and result in the need to register and pay for additional coursework to meet enrolment requirements. While revising the capstone project, students should select a scientific defense date based on the availability of their full committee and reserve this specific date and time with the assistance of our Academic Coordinator. The UF Graduate School refers to this defense as the ‘Final Exam’.

All revisions based on the content of the editorial review must be completed no later than TWO WEEKS (14 days) prior to the student’s scheduled defense date. This 14-day span represents the duration of the scientific review period. During the first week of scientific review, committee members will post scientific questions on the student’s VoiceThread chapters as text-box uploads. During the second week of scientific review, the students will post answers to these scientific questions as text uploads on the same slides. These questions and the answers provided will be the primary content discussed during the live defense meeting that will be held over Zoom. Additionally, during the second week, students will be able to add slides to the end of the project containing any illustrative content needed to help explain concepts that are relevant to answering the scientific questions. These slides may include diagrams, data figures, complex formulas, or any other material required to address a specific scientific question. If students have any questions about the content of their scientific project reviews, they should email the instructor whose comments require clarification directly and as soon as possible to prevent delays in project or program completion.

During the defense, students will be evaluated on the content of their project and their ability to answer questions about the materials that they present. Following the student’s project defense, committee members will convene and decide whether or not the student successfully defended their project content and will issue a punch-card document via email detailing any remaining changes that must be completed by the student.  

Required project edits indicated on the punch-card document must be reviewed for completion prior to receiving instructor approval and final sign-off of your graduation paperwork, so it is imperative that you complete these edits and notify your committee as soon as possible following your defense. After these final changes are made, the committee will sign the necessary paperwork indicating that the student has successfully passed the Final Exam Capstone Defense.