Professional Development

BCH2024H – Focused Topics In Biochemistry

This is a graduate level course focused on developing the academic and professional skills required to succeed during and beyond graduate education in basic biomedical sciences such as biochemistry.

Interactive lectures will include classroom discussions regarding the practical aspects of succeeding in graduate school, mentoring, leadership, finding successful collaborations, developing strong written and oral communication skills, further training as a postdoctoral fellow, effective networking, integrating family commitments, career transitions, cvs and resumés, career options in and out of academia, best methods of searching for and landing the job, creating the career pathway, maintaining career development and other core competency skills.

Students will develop communication skills through writing assignments and oral presentations related to their research. Classes will include interactive assignments or an interactive panel discussion with guest speakers from various industries and careers such as those from Academia, Law, Research Ethics, Management Consulting, Science Writing, Industry, Innovation, Government, and Education.

Read more about the Professional Development initiatives at the department.

SIGN UP: TBA in Fall 2023

Add date – TBA
Drop date – TBA

This course is part of a larger initiative by the department – read more about the Professional Development Program and discover career resources available to graduate students.

Non-Biochemistry Students please refer to Prerequisites for enrollment.

Biochemistry Graduate students: This module is available for PhDs only. GPD cannot be used towards M.Sc. program course credits.

Over subscribed classes will follow priority enrollment as per Departmental guidelines.

Course Next Offered

Fall 2023

Course Time and Location

Classes are held two hours at a time every 2 weeks.

BCH2024 GPD has been certified as a green course by the University of Toronto Sustainability Office for the 2017-2018 academic year.


PhD students only. Biochemistry students are given registration priority until Aug 1 and Dec 1 before each semester. Registration is then open to all other U of Toronto graduate students on Aug 2 and Dec 2. For non-Biochemistry students interested in taking this course, please submit a summary of less than 500 words of 1) your career objectives, 2) what your home department offers with regards to GPD, and 3) how you think this course will help you with your professional development goals. Send to by August 1 and December 1 before each semester with full name and year of studies.

Enrollment Limit

Yes — 16


Senior PhD students and MSc students may audit with special permission by the Instructor.

Method of Student Evaluation

Written Assignments (45%)
Oral Presentations (30%)
Class Participation (25%)

Recommended Reading

“Success During and After Graduate School” by Nana Lee and Reinhart Reithmeier, 2016.

Accompanying Videos

GPD1 The Why

GPD2 Career Stories

GPD3  The What and How

GPD4 Reflection using the IDP

GPD5 Options After Graduate School

GPD6 Meaningful Engagement

GPD7 Informational Interviews

GPD8 Marketing You

GPD9 Networking

GPD10 The Job Application

GPD11 The Resume

GPD12 The Cover Letter

GPD13 The Interview

GPD14 Three Minute Thesis Tips

GPD15 Time Management

GPD16 Conflict Management

GPD17 Work Life Integration

GPD18 Mentorship and Expectations

GPD19 Reframing Failure

GPD20 EDI, Unconscious Bias, Wellness

GPD21 Next Action Steps

GPD22 Class Activities

GPD23 Your First Publication

GPD24 Workshop Ideas for Conferences

GPD25 Creating the Career

GPD26 Acknowledgements

GPD27 Booking an Appointment

GPD28 Meaningful Engagement by Graduate Students

Additional Information


Nana Hyung-Ran Lee

Nana Hyung-Ran Lee

Room 5233
Medical Sciences Building
1 King's College Circle


Last Updated 19 September 2022