How Our Program Works

We invite you to apply to the Collaborative Program in Astrobiology. Our exciting curriculum is designed to provide both a deep training in a home field, together with thesis and research work in Astrobiology. Students participate in our activities, by interacting with our members and fellow students, taking our courses, meeting our visiting distinguished scientists, and completing thesis work and writing research papers.

Our research facilities are superb. Students in the collaborative program will utilise the facilities and equipment available in the laboratories of the participating core faculty members. On-site facilities potentially include the Biointerfaces Institute, Centre of Excellence in the study of surfaces and colloids, and high performance computing through SHARCNET. Off-site facilities (e.g., observatories) also would be available. On-site equipment potentially includes chromatographs and spectrometers, PCR machines, and paraphernalia associated with test tube selection experiments.

Space for students in the collaborative program will be provided by supervising professors, within home department existing research space. In addition, our newly created Origins Institute Centre (located in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Arthur Bourns Building, ABB 245) provides a vital interaction space, lounge, and conference table and 60 inch electronic screen that is designed to promote transdisciplinary research. This is a 'Think Tank.' This space also contains offices for visiting speakers in the Origins Institute Colloquium and Public Lecture series as well as postdoctoral researchers. It will be open for students in the collaborative program.

The Collaborative Program in Astrobiology is taken as a complement to a variety of participating graduate programs, including those offered by the:

 

Students must complete requirements for the appropriate graduate degree in their home department or school.

Required courses are defined according to prescriptions for each home program.

Additionally, students are required to take a one term, ORIGINS 701 Survey of Astrobiology course and ORIGINS 705 Research Seminar and Journal Club course, by participating in the bi-monthly Astrobiology Journal Club.

Doctoral students are required to complete (one term) course work from outside their research area, from the Astrobiology course list:

Biochem 711 Special Topics in Microbiology and Biomolecular science
Biology 6DD3 Molecular Evolution
Biology 720 Bioinformatics
Chemistry 799     Pre-biotic Chemistry
Earthsci 753 Advanced Environmental Geochemistry
Earthsci 761 Advanced Glacial Sedimentology
Physics 6S03 Introduction to Molecular Biophysics
Physics 756 Special Topics in Biophysics
Physics 775 Planetary Astronomy

With supervisory committee permission, the courses below and entries in the Astrobiology course list could count toward requirements for a home program.

Origins 701          Survey of Astrobiology
Origins 705 Astrobiology Research Seminar and Journal Club

Typical progress through the Collaborative Program in Astrobiology is presented immediately below.

LevelExpected Progress
M.Sc. Year 1      - ORIGINS 701 Survey of Astrobiology
- ORIGINS 705 Research Journal Seminar Course
- (Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club)
- Research
M.Sc. Year 2 - Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club
- Research
- Defence
Ph.D. Year 1 - Coursework equivalent to a 1/2 course (or two 1/4 course modules) from the ASTROBILOGY COURSE LIST
- Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club
- Research
Ph.D. Year 2 - Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club
- Research
- comprehensive
Ph.D. Year 3 - Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club
- Research
Ph.D. Year 4 - Participation in Astrobiology Journal Club
- Research
- Defence

Seminar Requirement

All students are required to attend the Origins Institute Colloquium series. This is an important resource for students, as they will have the opportunity to interact directly with distinguished leaders and scientists in the field. Such interactions enrich the Astrobiology learning experience far beyond what is available in their home departments.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Requirement

The Ph.D. comprehensive requirement must be completed within 2 years from entering the Ph.D. program (or the deadline prescribed by the home department).