This course is designed for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty in
Biological Sciences and the Program in Neurosciences. The emphasis will be in the
research areas of Vision and Chemical Senses, but a comparison to all Sensory Systems
will be employed depending upon the needs and composition of the enrolled students
1. To train the incoming graduate student to read, critique, and evaluate
scientific research reports.
2. To provide a forum for the discussion of new techniques, cutting edge
developments in discovery, and current research publications.
3. To provide lectures for a specialized topic needed to advance research
training immediately in the laboratory.
4. To foster a rich environment for the exchange of laboratory protocols,
first hand experience, and constructive critique of ongoing individual
presentations, or grant submissions.
5. To maintain active reading enrichment for the trained investigator.
Each member of the course will provide one to two lectures to the group, depending
upon their level of scientific training, former experience, and need for
development/evaluation. Lectures will either be the presentation of a journal
article published in the last ½ year (preferably the last month) or the
presentation of the member's own unpublished data. Because the primary objective
of this course is to promote new knowledge development for the student AS the
discovery is made and published, evaluation will be based not on the strength
of the member's knowledge of the topic, but rather their leadership skills in
presenting a new and challenging area that the group can benefit from learning.
Likewise evaluation of data presentations will be based upon organization of
data, clarity of approach, and openness to constructive criticism rather than
depth and intensity of the research employed. This type of evaluation is
designed to foster thinking and scientific exchange of ideas in a
non-confrontational but formal setting. Following attendance to international
meetings, members are expected to provide oral report of the best scientific
research they uncovered at the conference and how they plan to apply this
information to their own laboratory experimental goals.
Each member will make the assignment for the reading the week prior to their lecture.
Articles or chapters will be posted on the web at
or copies will be made available by the group leader on canvas.
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