Urban Barcode Project
Project Guidelines: Research Proposal Requirements

Submitted Urban Barcode Project proposals will be reviewed for evidence of research ability, scientific originality, and creative thinking. The proposal is your time to show skillful planning of an interesting project. Projects must use DNA barcoding as an essential part of the experiments. Projects where DNA barcoding is used to answer questions that could not be answered in other ways will be given preference. Reagents, materials, and sequencing for a maximum of thirty samples sequenced in both directions will be provided to each team.


  1. The proposal should incorporate the following components:
    • Introduction, surveying current literature, background and purpose of the project. (maximum one page)
    • Specific Aims, providing the goals and approach of the experiment. (maximum one page)
    • Methods, detailing how samples will be collected, archived, and processed to produce barcodes. If the project requires taxonomic identification independent of DNA Barcoding, a clear plan must be included. Any anticipated permission needed to collect samples must also be documented (maximum two pages)
    • Data Interpretation Plan, detailing methods for data analysis, including any planned graphical or statistical approaches. (maximum one page)
    • References, outlining all sources used with internal citations using the APA format. The reference section is not included in the five pages. Participants are encouraged to seek all forms of resources, such as, journals, text books, and mentors in the field. (no page limit)
  2. The proposal must be legible and conform to the following requirements:
    • Use one of the following typefaces: Arial or Times New Roman, 11 point.
    • All margins must be 1 inch.
    • Single spaced
  3. Work submitted by students is expected to be of their own original design and execution, and presented in their own words.  Full disclosure of any other person or resource that may have influenced the applicants’ proposal is required.  In addition, the research project should reflect the work of the students only.  Students may receive review of their work and writing but all alterations are to be that of the students.

B.  Team Information

  1. Each student must include a brief biography including their name, present grade (9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade) and the name of their school/institution (including state and zip code). Sponsoring teachers or mentors are strongly encouraged to must be submitted a brief biography as well.
  2. Each team member, i.e. students and teacher or mentor, must submit a brief biography with each proposal.
  3. If required by the school, signed permission forms from parents for all minors doing research must be included with the proposal.
  4. A signed teacher or mentor statement certifying that the proposal was written by the student team members and developed from their ideas must accompany each proposal.

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