Q: When should I apply to the VCL for my 402?

A: It is recommended that you apply as a Co-Pilot a term before the start of your 402. That way, you are able to get acquainted with the lab environment and the ongoing research so that you can come up with your own research proposal.

Q: Who can I contact for more help/information about 402 at the VCL?

A: If you would like more information on how the 402 is conducted at the VCL, please email the lab manager at For general 402 inquiries please contact the instructor or program advisor.

Q: Why do we have a course like this in our program? / Why is this course required when I’m not planning on going into research?

A: COGS 402 is designed to give students exposure to research before they graduate and provide them with the opportunity to learn invaluable skills outside of the classroom.

Q: Do I have to come up with my own project, or can I join one?

A: Students are expected to propose their own extension or focus within an existing project at the VCL or to propose a novel project.

Q: Is it better to take 402 during the year or in the summer?

A: It’s all about personal preference, and there are advantages/disadvantages to both. However, it good to know that COGS 402 require 9 hours of lab per week so make sure your schedule can accommodate that.