The Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences (JULS) is the University of Toronto's pre-eminent, peer-reviewed journal that features research conducted by undergraduate students across a variety of life sciences disciplines. Established in 2006, JULS is supported by various departments and faculties across the university, and has gained recognition from the President of the University of Toronto, the Premier of Ontario, and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
All primary research and review articles are put through a rigorous, two-step peer review process, where it will be edited for scientific rigour and accuracy by a group of fellow undergraduate students and faculty review members.
JULS is distributed both in-print (available in the lobby of Gerstein Science Information Centre) and online through this website.
Recognition from the Community
What Professors Have to Say
When employers are asked what they are looking for in new hires, the number one characteristic is excellent communication skills, both written and oral.The Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences (JULS) provides an opportunity for undergraduates in life sciences to develop their communication skills, by writing about their research experience. This could be about an interesting new finding or an exciting technique from your research project.
Scientists need to engage the public better. We need to tell Canadians about the research we are doing, and how it is contributing to a better and stronger Canada. JULS is a great place to start, by telling your fellow students what excites you about science.
And oh yes, the second thing that employers look for is the ability to work as a productive member of a team. So, I would encourage you to get involved with JULS, as an editor, in layout and production, or as a peer reviewer.
As Chair of Biochemistry, I am pleased, along with other Life Sciences departments, to be able to offer our support to JULS. I wish JULS and the JULS team every success.
The ability to effectively communicate scientific data to colleagues and to put your findings into the world of scientific literature is a very important function for all scientists. Learning how to do this effectively, even as an undergraduate student, is time well spent. Scientific discovery is only useful when colleagues know about your work and then are able to assess its value.
JULS demonstrates in the form of original research papers and review articles the accomplishments of our life sciences students. Moreover, these papers highlight the talent and excellence of our student investigators and the breadth and depth of research carried out at the university. I have personally reviewed the journal articles over the past two years and have been immensely impressed by the outstanding quality and strength of the papers. I can state that most are better than the majority of peer-reviewed literature appearing in scientific journals and JULS would rank among the top 25%. Apart from "showing off" some of the excellent work of a few undergraduates and the high standards of a peer-reviewed scientific publication, JULS has an additional purpose and function. As a "local" publication, distributed in hard copy to the student body, it serves as a means to encourage and stimulate students to engage in research, and consider a lifelong career as a scientist. It is thus educational, but also serves as a form of mentorship for students. This has been used to advantage by having information on summer research and graduate research opportunities published within the journal.
We in the Faculty of Medicine depend on a "pipeline" of top undergraduate students with knowledge and interest in research as applicants to both our Medical and Graduate Student programs. These students will be our future leaders in biomedical research. We believe JULS plays a very positive and significant role in fostering this interest and promoting excellence.
Therefore, the Faculty of Medicine firmly supports JULS and congratulates the student editors and managers on their success and excellent work.