Course duration

The training course runs for four weeks and includes 20 days (140 hours) of instruction and supervised work. It operates during standard work hours Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM EST.


Trainees receive full-time instruction by a team of BIO-CBG research staff – read more about them here. Each trainee will receive substantial one-on-one instruction. In the second half of the program, following training in sequence assembly and editing along with data analysis, trainees are expected to work independently on their own data, with instructors being available on an as-needed basis. CCDB and Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) staff are also available to meet with trainees to discuss specific topics in more depth, e.g., primer design, quality control, and next-generation sequencing.


Program participants receive a certificate at the end of the four weeks indicating successful completion of the research training course in DNA barcoding techniques and methodologies.

Analyzing your specimens

If feasible, training course participants are encouraged to bring their own specimens for processing during the training. Any such transactions must comply with all applicable regulations.

Meeting your research targets

The instructors of the training program are committed to meeting your research targets, whether you are exploring the barcoding protocols for a specific group of organisms or gaining general knowledge to discover new barcoding applications. Describing your expectations in your application will help us achieve these targets by tailoring the course schedule and planning meetings with the appropriate experts.

General schedule

The exact schedule and topics to be covered may vary depending on the visitor’s background and research interests.

RTP participants photographing insects

Week 1 focuses on specimen processing including databasing, specimen arraying, imaging, and tissue sampling. Day 1 is spent on orientation, an overview of the BIO-CBG DNA barcoding facility, and workplace-specific safety instruction.


Week 2 is dedicated to the molecular analysis of your specimens which includes tissue lysis, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), PCR quality scoring using gel-electrophoresis, and cycle sequencing.

Core lab at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Week 3 starts with a tour of the sequencing facility at the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) where cycle-sequencing products undergo robotic cleanup and Sanger-sequencing using capillary sequencers. The rest of the week is devoted to sequence assembly from chromatogram trace files, sequence editing using CodonCode Aligner software, and sequence quality control.

RTP participants meet with trainers and CBG's director, Dr. Paul Hebert

Week 4 involves exploration of bioinformatics tools and concludes with meetings with faculty and staff at BIO-CBG who share their technical and research expertise in various DNA barcoding approaches and applications.