Research Seminar 1

Research Seminar 1 (BIOC 701, Junior Seminar)

Grade: Pass/Fail

PDF icon Guideline Summary

A Research Seminar must be presented by all M.Sc. students in the Department who plan to proceed to the Ph.D. degree, as well as students who enter the Department at the Ph.D. level. The Research Seminar MUST be presented in the first semester of the second year of graduate studies (normally held in November for those students admitted in September and April/May for those admitted in January).

The purpose of the Research Seminar is to provide a forum for the student to present a sound and well thought out scientific proposal before the Department and at the same time to provide a mechanism for constructive feedback to the student from the staff as a whole.

Before the Research Seminar 1 presentation is scheduled, the composition of the student's Research Advisory Committee (RAC) must be set, and the names of the committee members must be submitted to the Student Affairs Officer (SAO). A RAC meeting must also be held in the year preceding the scheduling of the seminar and a copy of the report showing approval to present must be on file before scheduling will be allowed.

Research Seminar 1 (also referred to as the Junior Seminar) involves a 20 minute presentation of the student's proposed research work for a Ph.D. before all staff and graduate students in the Department, followed by a 10 minute discussion period. On a date set by the SAO, the student must submit for circulation to all Department members, a Title and Summary of the research proposal complete with background and pertinent references. This summary should be emailed to the SAO, Christine Laberge . The length of this summary should not exceed one single-spaced page in 12 pt or 11 pt font (Arial, Times or Calibri), 0.75 inch (2 cm) margins.

Students will be notified by email concerning the deadline for submission of a title and summary.

There is no set format for the summary. However, the summary should include an introduction, rationale, a hypothesis, an objective and/or specific aims, and significance. The summary should include a description of specific research approaches and any key preliminary data, summarizing research progress to date.

The presentation should be comprehensible to a general biochemistry audience and to minimize the use of specialized abbreviations or terminology, or provide clear definitions of them.

All faculty members evaluate the Junior Seminar on the basis of:

  1. Presentation;
  2. Background knowledge of the proposed research;
  3. Suitability for a Ph.D. and feasibility of the proposed research.

The presentation criteria is subdivided into the categories:

  • Processes received information
  • Verbal communication
  • Written summary

A summary of departmental member’s evaluations of the Research Seminar, compiled by the Chair of the GAC, will be sent to the student and the supervisor, and a copy is added to the student's file.

To pass, a student must be considered “Satisfactory” in all three criteria. A student with “Unsatisfactory” evaluation will be asked to present to the GAC again within six months. After a second “Unsatisfactory” evaluation, the student will not be allowed to progress in the Ph.D. program, but will have to finish an M.Sc. instead, or to withdraw from the program.