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Application Guidelines

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Part A

Part A of the Hum Bio Honors Application is the "Intention to Undertake Honors," due the first Friday of February. The declaration of intention includes the names and contact information of two thesis readers and an abstract of the proposed project. One of the thesis readers (but not necessarily the primary reader) must be affiliated with Human Biology. Hum Bio faculty are listed in the Stanford Bulletin.

Part A of the application is now closed

Submit Part A

Part B

Part B of the Hum Bio Honors Application is the "Application to Undertake Honors Research," due March 1st. At the heart of the Application (Part B) lies the research description, which should include the elements listed below. If the student is also applying for a Major Grant, a second copy of the Hum Bio proposal should be submitted separately to the VPUE by their deadline.

Note that applications must adhere to HumBio's policy on the use of generative AI (such as ChatGPT or Bard)

Honors thesis proposals (Part B) should include the following elements:

  • File name – The proposal should be saved as a PDF and the file name should include the applicant's last name and first initial or name.
  • Goals and objectives – This section should briefly set the background and justification for the research, describe the general research approach, and state the questions to be answered.
  • Significance – This section explains the significance of the proposed work by providing essential background to the topic and placing the proposed work in the context of previous work. It should end with a clear and specific statement of the hypotheses to be tested or questions to be answered and an indication of the general methodological approach.
  • Methods – This section should describe the proposed research methods in enough detail to demonstrate that they are appropriate, adequate, and feasible. Sample sizes should be given, along with sampling protocols where appropriate. In the case of complicated experimental designs or multi-part projects, specific methods should be linked explicitly to the hypotheses they are designed to test. A brief description of proposed analytical approaches is appropriate for projects that depend heavily on statistical analysis.
  • Project plan – This section consists of a general timeline, roughly by week or month. This timeline will give reviewers a clearer understanding of each step of your project.
  • References – Cite references used in your proposal. If you used generative AI in any way, be sure to cite it as described in our policy.
  • Preparation and current status – The Human Biology application includes a series of questions about the applicant’s preparation, coursework, research to date, and the faculty member’s involvement with the student and the project. These questions can be answered directly in the application form for Human Biology, but they should also be summarized in a paragraph or two in the proposal. If the research involves human subjects, a copy of the IRB submission and approval letter should be attached once they are available.  Please note that you do NOT need to have applied for IRB approval before submitting your honors application to HumBio, but you should try to have it in process before VPUE's Major Grant deadline. See their guidelines for other required appendices.
  • Budget – Any budget submitted to VPUE or another funding source should be included in the Human Biology application as well. VPUE guidelines on constructing a budget.
  • Confirmation of support – First and second readers will be asked to confirm their support to HumBio.  For the HumBio application, readers will automatically be sent an email link to a series of questions about the project. Readers are not asked to submit a full letter to HumBio. Confirmation of support is due to HumBio 7 days after the proposal due date. VPUE has its own absolutely hard deadline and requires a full letter from the first reader.
  • Checklist –Before uploading a proposal, applicants should check the following:
  1. Is the file named using the applicant's first initial and last name?
  2. Are pages numbered?
  3. Are the first and second readers ready to confirm support?

Part B of the application is now closed

Submit Part B

Additional questions?

Contact: humbioadvising [at] (HumBio Student Services) 


Katherine Preston, Associate Director
Bldg. 20, Rm. 22-D
kap1 [at] (kpreston[at]stanford[dot]edu)