Doctoral Seminar Course in Biochemistry


This is the Wednesday afternoon (4:00 pm) student seminar series. Attendance at, and participation in, this course are mandatory. Attendance is monitored by a sign-up sheet. Although you are not expected to attend every seminar, you will be penalized if you have a poor attendance record. The penalty will be an essay assignment(s) on seminar topics that you have missed. A student in the Ph.D. program must present at least three seminars (including at least one full-hour seminar; see below) to obtain credit in this course. If you enter the Ph.D. program via a transfer from the M.Sc. program, you will be given credit for one seminar given in the BCH2020L series and will only be required to give two additional seminars. If you enter the Ph.D. program after completion of an M.Sc. degree, then you must present three seminars. You remain registered in this course until you complete your Ph.D. program, at which time you are assigned credit for the course.

Although there is no formal grade assigned to BCH2022L, you will receive feedback on your seminar from faculty immediately following the presentations of the day. You will also receive a summary of evaluation forms completed by the faculty.

Since the last seminar that you give as a Ph.D. student is a forum for members of the Department to learn what the outcome of your thesis project has been, this seminar should be given as close as possible to the time at which you complete your thesis research. This will be one hour in length and you are expected to present an overview of all your thesis research (i.e., not just the most recent aspects). If a period of one year has passed between the time of your third seminar and submission of your thesis, you may be required to give another seminar.

Seminar Format

Your seminar should include sufficient background information on the goals of your project and the experimental approaches that you use for the diverse expertise of the members of the audience. You are strongly encouraged to rehearse your seminar presentation and to think about how you might answer questions that you may receive. You are advised to keep PowerPoint animations to a minimum as the audience generally finds these distracting rather than instructive. Be aware of your colour choices. Avoid red on a black background!

Seminar Sign-up

Sign-up for a seminar slot is done mid-summer through the Graduate Assistant. You will receive an email from the Graduate Assistant. When you sign-up for a seminar inform your supervisor and committee members of your scheduled date as they are expected to be present at your seminar. Two weeks before your presentation date, remind them that your seminar is coming up. At the same time, give the title of your seminar to Rob Reedijk ( with a cc to the Chair of the Department.

See the current schedule for student seminar presenters and Connell Lectures.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the date that you sign-up for, or are assigned, your seminar is convenient for your supervisor and supervisory committee members. Two weeks before your seminar date, you must remind them that your seminar is coming up.

Also remind your committee members that Departmental Guidelines require that they be present at you seminar. This is true even if they have just attended a seminar that you presented elsewhere or if you have just had, or are about to have, a committee meeting.

Note that all new incoming students must also take the Effective Science Communication portion of the course.

Course Next Offered

October 2015

Enrollment Limit



G. Angus McQuibban

G. Angus McQuibban

University of Toronto
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry
MaRS Centre, West Tower
661 University Ave., Suite 1500, Rm 1536


Last Updated 15 September 2015