Scientific Skills for Biochemists

BCH 2101H

1/4 Credit

(formerly “Effective Science Communication” and “Introduction to Graduate Studies”)

To be taken by all new grad students. Classes are Wednesdays 10:00AM-11:30 AM before Grad Seminar.

This student-centered class will allow graduate students to learn how to design experiments, manage their projects, mature into effective science communicators, and help them to form a coherent peer group.

Class 1 – Sept 6, MSB5231(Lead: Trevor)

Orientation

  • Review of orientation package
  • Students are given their written assignment, one page fellowship proposal, due Sept 28 (One page proposal) – print 4 copies for class
  • Students are emailed proposals for discussion on Sept 13
  • Presentations by: BGSU, Peer Mentoring, Transcripts, Peer Communication Team, Wellness Inclusion Diversity & Equity Committee
  • Expectations and Class Norms
  • Print out 4 mock proposals for next class


Class 2 – Sept 13, BA2159

How to write an effective scholarship application (Lead: Haley)

  • Brief talk on effective writing.
  • Students organize into groups of 4 and discuss the four mock proposals
    • each proposal is presented by one student (brief summary, what they like and what they did not like) and the next in line is the “scientific officer” and takes down notes (1 form per proposal, per group)
    • 5 min to read
    • 2 min for first reader to present – scientific officer takes down notes
    • 5 min discussion – scientific officer takes down notes
  • Additional instructions are given for their assignment, one page fellowship proposal, due Sept 27 – print 4 copies for class

Class 3 – Sept 20, BA2159

How to Keep a Lab NoteBook (Lead: Lea Harrington)


Class 4 – Sept 27, BA2159

Peer review of student proposals. (Lead:Haley)

  • Students organize in groups of 4 and critique each other’s proposals.
    • 5 min to read one proposal, mark it up, write peer reviewer’s name, give to student
    • 2 min for first reader to present – scientific officer takes down notes
    • 5 min of discussion – scientific officer takes down notes
  • Students collect their peer-reviewed proposals and use this to produce a final proposal due Oct 4th at 9:30 am (email it to Haley).
  • Students are given their oral assignment – 5 min presentation (5 slides) for Nov 2nd and Nov 9th.

 

Class 5 – Oct 4, BA2159

(Lead: Lea)

How to give an effective talk

  • Lea to give presentation “how to give a good talk” talk
  • Discuss the rubric for the 5 min talks
  • Example talks will be presented and evaluated
  • How to Give a Good Talk – worksheet due Oct 11th at 9:30 am (email it to Trevor).

 

Class 6 – Oct 11 BA2159 (Lead: Trevor, Lea and Reinhart Guests)

Conflict Management, EDI and Wellness

  • Wise practices of setting up expectations with your supervisor, mentors and mentees
  • Conflict management
  • Wellness and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

 

Class 7 – Oct 18, BA2159 (Lead: Trevor)

My first committee meeting

  • Discussion on committee meetings:
    • What is the purpose of these meetings
    • Expectations
  • Students are introduced to their Individual Development Plan (IDP), which they must complete for next class (submit to Trevor)
  • For next week, listen to “How To Think About Science.”

 

Class 8 – Oct 25, BA2159 (Lead: Trevor)

  • What is science?
  • Group activity “How do we know stuff” Discernment
  • What is biochemistry and how can we make a difference?
  • Podcast Idea (in collaboration with Lea)

Class 9 – Nov. 1Graduate Research Integrity Workshop 
(no BCH 2101H class today) 

Class 10 –  Nov 8 – BA2159
Room #1: BA Room 2145
Room #2: BA Room 2155
Room #3: BA Room 2185

Part 1 Five Minute Oral Presentations – Concurrent Breakout Rooms (Lead: Trevor- organize faculty and 6 PCTs – Mike Norris, Ahilya Sawh, Haley Wyatt, Lea Harrington)

  • Each student gives a 5 min talk with 5-7 powerpoint slides of their own research.
  • This is followed by 4 min of questions.
  • 4 min feedback by the instructors and students.

Part 2 Five Minute Oral Presentations – Concurrent Breakout Rooms

  • Each student gives a 5 min talk with 4-5 power point slides of their own research
  • This is followed by 4 min of questions.
  • 4 min feedback by the instructors and students.

 

Key elements to be discussed/taught/highlighted:

1) how to think about and design a project
2) how to think about and design an experiment
3) how to effectively communicate (oral and written)
4) how to work in a group environment
5) how to make the most of graduate education

Course Next Offered

Fall 2023

Course Time and Location

Wednesdays
10:00AM-11:30 AM

BA (Bahen Building) 40 St George Street Toronto ON Canada
Room 2159

Start Date: Sept. 6, 2023
End Date: November 1, 2023

Enrollment Limit

None

This course is only open to 1st year Biochemistry Graduate Students.

Method of Student Evaluation

Grading scheme:
– Proposal 30%
– 5 min talk 30%
– iBiology Assignments and IDP 10%
– Class Participation 20%
– Peer review 10%

Students will lose 10% for any class missed and late assignments will not be accepted unless for medical reasons.

Coordinator

Trevor F. Moraes

Trevor F. Moraes

MaRS Center, West Tower
661 University Ave., Rm 1613
416-946-3048
trevor.moraes@utoronto.ca

Instructors

Last Updated 24 September 2023