Molecular biology project

Who must prepare and approve the project contract?

The project contract is drawn up by you and your future supervisor.

The project contract must be completed by you and approved by your supervisor and your education officer via the contract generator.

Guidance on how complete a project contract


Your project contract must be completed and approved via the contract generator no later than 1 October for autumn projects and 1 March for spring projects.

Supervisors for the molecular biology project

See the list of supervisors at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Guidelines for writing a "Molecular biology project" report

The report, which concludes your Molecular Biology project, should be written in Danish or English by agreement with your main supervisor. The report must contain a summary in English if the report is written in Danish. The report has a maximum of 10 pages. You should aim at hitting  this number of pages fairly precisely. The number of pages is inclusive of figures and tables, but exclusive of appendices. The front page, abstract, list of abbreviations, table of contents and references are also be deducted from the 10 pages.

The report must contain an introduction to the molecular biology subject, which forms the basis for the experimental work, and the experiments carried out (methods and results), which are subsequently discussed and put into perspective. The report ends with a conclusion.

The report should be structured as a scientific article and must contain at least the following elements: summary/abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusion, future perspectives, references and possibly appendix. The report must also have a table of contents, and possibly a preface and acknowledgments. Also, following the introduction, add a precise description of the purpose of the project (Aims), including working hypothesis and strategy. The report must be addressed to a peer without specialist knowledge in the field you have worked with. You are actually the expert and most others (including the reviewer) need some background to understand your project. Therefore, every time a new experiment is introduced, it is also important to provide information on why a described experiment was carried out (results).

More specifically about the individual sections of the report:

The preface can contain information about where and when the study was carried out, supervisors, collaborations, a brief description of the subject and possibly how you have chosen to approach it. Here, you can also describe the purpose of the project and what is experimentally focused on. You should also state whether the project is an extension of your own bachelor's project and state that there may consequently be minor overlap, e.g. in the method section.

Table of contents - as the name says.

Acknowledgments, here you thank the people who have contributed to the project with guidance and materials of various kinds.

List of abbreviations with all relevant abbreviations in alphabetical order, although not generally known ones such as ATP, DNA and RNA. Gene names (remember italics) can also be entered here.

Abstract that describes briefly (100-150 words) and precisely the background of the project, the purpose of the study, the experimental strategy, and conclusions.

Introduction, where you describe the background necessary for the reader to understand what is presented in the results section. Something can be written in general with reference to reviews. This concerns what is supposed to be "certain" knowledge. The use of reviews should be kept to a minimum. Subjects which are more closely linked to what is being studied in the project, should be described in more detail with key references (original literature). Make sure sometimes you delve deep into the subject, so that it does not all become superficial. Divide the introduction in general sections with headings. The headings should preferably be "descriptive", so that you have an idea of ​​what you are going to read about based on the heading alone. Use figures and tables as an explanatory supplement to the text. Figure references in the text are important and the figure text must explain all symbols and other details in the figure so that the figure + figure text can stand alone and be read independently of the main text. Remember to indicate the source for figures and tables, whether you have modified a figure or whether you have produced it yourself. The introduction is completed with a brief description of the aim of the bachelor's project (Aims).

Results - the various results that have been obtained are described here. Each section has its own heading, which should be descriptive of what is explained. A results section can start with the wording: "In order to investigate...", where you explain what you have investigated. Next, you describe how the experiment was designed and carried out. The results obtained are presented in figures and tables. Be careful with the graphics - everything must be clear and legible. The individual results sections can end with: "In conclusion, the obtained results demonstrate/indicate that....". The figure texts must contain a heading that will most often describe the conclusion. The figure text must clearly describe what the figure shows – i.e. detailed enough that you do not need to read about it in the results section. If you have many results, you can, due to limitations in the number of pages, simply present the most central ones in the main text, and present the others in the appendix.

Discussion - often begins with a brief summary of the results achieved. From here you take point by point and discuss the results in relation to whether they confirm your hypothesis or expectations, and in relation to previously published studies within the research field. Remember to include relevant references. You can also include sections where you discuss why some of your experiments have failed. Here you can make suggestions for trouble-shooting and how to change future experiments.

Conclusion - describes the most important conclusions from the entire work and puts them into perspective. The section will thus be a brief summary of the most important results and how they fit into a larger context, e.g. what is the social relevance of the project? Remember, you are not expected to have conducted enough experiments to draw a firm conclusion. Therefore, it is important to assess your results in terms of statistical uncertainty and not least to describe which experiments you wish you had had time to continue with.

Future plans for the project, where you mention the experiments and methods you think are relevant and which you would like to do in the future in order to move forward with the project.

Materials and Methods serve to accurately describe your experiments with a degree of detail such that a peer in another laboratory can repeat the experiment. The information herein is given as briefly as possible, but remember to reproduce all concentrations and/or quantities or precise references, if any. You can possibly use the appendix to give a detailed description of media recipes, PCR programmes, primers etc. Appendices do not count towards the maximum number of pages of 10.

The list of reference must contain all the sources that you have referred to in your report. Reviews may be included, but try to limit the use of these and incorporate original literature as much as possible. It is easiest to keep track of the references by using software such as End note, for example.