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The Final Year Project Advice Series aims to give all final years some insight on the project and its technicalities and lighten their burden. Here is an article for all the final year students of Biotechnology.

Biotechnology has a vast number of disciplines and areas to choose for your project. Ideally projects in the field Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology, Genetic Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering and Process optimization can be done. But there might be some resources which might be limited and some more fields might be possible if they don’t consume a lot of resources. Discuss the possibilities with your project team members and with the supervisor for all the possibilities.

Selecting the discipline can get confusing given the number of options to choose from. With respect to NITW, the allotment will be GPA wise and supervisors will also be allotted in a similar fashion. Some department faculty are very flexible in general and allow students to take projects beyond their expertise too. Do approach your supervisor regarding your idea during the initial project meets and discuss about possible solutions. It will be really helpful if elaborate discussions about the idea of the projects possible, the time and resource constraints and requirement are done supported by literature review and cost estimate (in case of extra resources). You can also consider working on an extension or module of project of your supervisor as it will be well funded and well-structured and might save a lot of your time designing your own experiments.

Identifying faculty who have done extensive research and studies in your field of choice will prove to be of great help as they will be more than willing to assist you. The faculty expertise is available on NIT Warangal’s website. And by the time you enter final year you will definitely know the faculty expertise. Some faculties and/or their doctoral students have experience with different fields, so your supervisor can probably mentor you in most of the project ideas. Also most of the projects might require more than one laboratory. Faculty other than your supervisor are also helpful in case you require their mentorship in the project. I would suggest you to focus on discussing about the potential project with your supervisor and its feasibility in the department as mentorship will not be a major issue.

As far as grading of the project is concerned, In general, you get an EX only if you have a research paper or if you publish your results. The rest of the grades will be assigned on the overall participation in the project. You might have to report continuously for the project meetings, show progress and meet the regular deadlines. Also you might have to come up with alternatives in case you are short of some resources. If the project is a short duration project and used only a month of work, you can add some more extensions to project work. Your knowledge towards the subject is reflected during meets and discussions with the supervisor and some input will have to be put for that.

The ideal way to execute the project will be to discuss the project idea in length. Some projections like duration of the project, resources required and project design will need some working out. I would suggest to not have a project duration of more than 2-3 months because there are some delays always. The discussions will require around 2 months. So until mids of 7th sem you can work on discussions, literature review and designing the experiment. Then you should start some modules of your project and order chemicals/reagents (if required). Show some progress by the end of 7th sem. In 8th sem try to finish the project as soon as possible, because labs will be busy after midsems in 8th sem, in case some experiments are not working you might need a fresh batch of compounds and reagents. Also some extensions in project might be added based on previous results.

Keeping these points in mind, finding your way through the project will definitely become much easier and even enjoyable.

Contributor: Krishna Gupta