Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the application deadline for the workshops?

Applications are due April 3rd, 2017. Applications received prior to this closing date qualify for the early registration fee (e.g. $475+TAX). Applications received after the closing date will only be accepted pending space availability and will be subject to the late registration fee (e.g. $475+$200+TAX).

Students accepted into the workshops will be notified of their acceptance approximately a week after the early application closing date. Students who submit late applications will be notified of their acceptance as soon as the acceptance committee has reviewed their application.


2. How do I get the $475 early registration fee?

Apply before the early registration date of April 3rd, 2017 to qualify for the early registration fee. All applications received before the workshop closing date will be considered for the workshop and will qualify for the early registration fee. Students accepted into the workshops will be notified of their acceptance approximately a week after the early application closing date and will qualify for the $475+TAX registration fee.

Applications received after the closing date will only be accepted pending space availability and will be subject to the late registration fee ($475+$200+TAX).


3. Are there awards available for the tuition?

Yes, the CBW has secured award funding for the 2017 workshop season. $5,000 plus to support attendance during the 2017 season. An application is required to be considered for the award. Awards are valued at $475 + TAX and will be applied against the workshop registration fee. Only two (2) applicants per workshop will be granted a registration award, pending funding availability.


CBW also makes CIHR funding available for travel awards. The awards are given out after the workshop on a reimbursement basis, and cover flight (economy fare) and accommodations ($160/nt).
Applications for awards must be received by 3pm EST on April 3rd, 2017. Decisions will be announced a week thereafter.


4. Do I need to know how to program to take these workshops?

There is no formal requirement to know how to program. The prerequisites required for each course are listed with each of the workshops (See webpage for each workshop). Pre-reading lists are also available for each of the workshops and wherever possible, links are given to good web-based tutorials. It is highly recommended that you take the time before the workshop to adequately prepare your programming skills by completing the online tutorials if required by the workshop.


5. What biology do I need to know to take these workshops?

While formal training in life science is not a prerequisite, it is highly recommended that you have more than a layman's knowledge of current biological concepts and techniques. For some of the workshops you may be teamed with biologists, who will assist in the interpretation and manipulation of biological information. As well, suggested readings will always be provided prior to the workshop start.


6. I have not graduated yet. Can I apply to take the workshops?

Although it is strongly recommended that you have finished your Bachelor of Science degree from a recognized university to participate in these workshops, we do accept senior undergraduate students who have completed their 3rd year of a four year program, or 2nd year of a three year program (Quebec) with high marks. You will be asked to provide us with an official transcript as part of your application package.


7. How do I apply?

Since competition for places in these workshops is high, we recommend you apply early. You can complete an application over the web. All applicants will require a short curriculum vitae (<5 pages) and a letter of reference from your supervisor/manager and/or mentor. These documents should be uploaded with your application.


8. Can non-Canadians apply to the workshops?

YES. The Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop series has had participants from all over the world and welcomes all interested participants regardless of geographical location. Non-Canadians, however, are not eligible for the registration or travel awards.



9. How do I register to take a workshop?

After you submit your application, an Admissions Committee will meet to consider your application. The Committee, which meets after the closing date for a workshop application, will issue invitations to qualified individuals to register for a workshop. You will be given a few weeks to confirm your acceptance and pay the required registration fee.


10. What are you looking for in the application materials?

Admission to each workshop is on a competitive basis and the following criteria may be considered:

  • your background in molecular biology
  • your experience with Windows, Mac, and basic computer applications
  • your experience with UNIX, if any
  • your programming skills and languages, if any
  • your current use of bioinformatics tools and resources
  • the reason(s) you wish to take the bioinformatics workshop, e.g. is it essential to your or your lab's research program, etc.?



11. Where can I stay during the workshop?

We will advise you of suitable accommodation close to the workshop venue upon registration. These are suggested accommodations only as the CBW does not have preferred rates at any hotels (we are not big enough to have this status). You will be responsible for making your own arrangements for accommodation. The cost of accommodation is in addition to the registration fee.


12. Where can I go for further information?

This FAQ is frequently updated, so check back here. You can also send your questions to course_info{at}bioinformatics{dot}ca and a member of our staff or instruction team will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.


13. Will the Introduction to Bioinformatics course still be offered?

No, the 2-week Introduction to Bioinformatics course material has been discontinued. We now offer a advanced 2-day workshops where the emphasis is in on some of the current topics in bioinformatics.


14. Will the Genomics, Proteomics and Developing the Tools courses still be offered?

No, as much of the material offered in these courses has now become standard in many university courses. Therefore, these courses will no longer be offered through the CBW. Please contact your home university to learn about their bioinformatics and computer science courses.


15. Can I still complete my Certificate in Bioinformatics if the Genomics, Proteomics and Developing the Tools courses are no longer being offered?

The CBW will no longer be offering the Certificate in Bioinformatics. You may use your record of attendance and completion as evidence that you have participated in the CBW workshops. Please contact course_info{at}bioinformatics{dot}ca if you have not received this record.


16. Can I get credit for this course from U of T or from my home university?

The CBW is investigating accreditation possibilities with universities and colleges. At this time, no credit is being given for having completed any of the advanced 2-day workshops. Should this possibility change in the future, all past attendees will be notified and offered accreditation retroactively.


17. Will the CBW continue to offer official transcripts for course completion?

Transcripts were previously offered for CBW workshops because course completion was dependent on marked assignments. Since the 2-day workshops do not have marked assignments, official transcripts are no longer required. Instead, students will be provided with a certificate of completion to demonstrate attendance in the advanced CBW workshops.

The CBW however, will be happy to continue to provide transcripts for past students at no charge to meet your medical school/graduate school entrance requirements. Without exception, we require three weeks notice, and will only send transcripts by Canada Post.


18. What is the CBW payment and refund policy?

All registration fees must be received by OICR at least two weeks after you receive your workshop acceptance email, or your registration will be cancelled and your spot will be given to someone else on the waitlist. If your host institution is paying for your course and payment is late, we require an official letter from the host institution to keep your registration active. Notice of any cancellations must be received by the OICR two weeks prior to the workshop start date in order to qualify for a full refund. No fee refunds will be made for cancellations received after that time, but the balance can be used towards a future course offered that year or the following year.

We reserve the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrolment or other causes. We reserve the right to substitute instructors without prior notification to participants (for example, if an instructor becomes ill).


19. Where can I go for further information?

Send your questions to course_info{at}bioinformatics{dot}ca and a member of our staff or instruction team will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.