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Learning Goals - Biochemistry

BIOCHEMISTRY LEARNING GOALS AND ASSESSMENT
The doctoral program in Biochemistry trains students for senior research positions in industry or government settings, or for academic careers in a college or university setting where they would be expected to teach and/or conduct research.


Learning Goal 1 for Students: To develop proficiency in the critical analysis of scientific research.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses.
  • Qualifying examinations assessing depth and breadth of knowledge.
  • Faculty review of student progress with close advising and mentoring.
  • Demonstrate ability to read and critique scientific literature in seminar classes.


Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion.
  • Effective monitoring of student progress in thesis committee’s annual review.
  • Require annual reports on research progress from both the student and the student’s research mentor.
  • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with research mentor and/or course instructors to improve effectiveness

 

Learning Goal 2 for Students: To pursue and solve a novel research problem of interest to both the student and mentor.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Preparation of and defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal.
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. research by the thesis committee.
  • Public defense of dissertation.
  • Critical reading of dissertation by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside of the Biochemistry graduate program.

 

Role of the graduate program in helping students achieve Goal 2:

  • Provide early introduction to hypothesis development, research methods and opportunities for research.
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback.
  • Advocate for adequate funding throughout the research phase.
  • Employ a standard form for thesis committee members to evaluate the quality and progress of dissertation research.

 

Learning Goal 3 for Students: To produce publishable research in the field.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles and conference papers based on the dissertation research.
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placements, selection for conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and individual grant attainment.

 

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Encourage participation in classes on proposal writing
  • Host discipline-specific training when appropriate
  • Teach students how to do assessments in their future professional capacities
  • Employ a standard form for thesis committee members to determine the likelihood that a student’s research will be publishable.


Learning Goal 4 for Students: To follow ethical principles of the discipline for citing sources, using human subjects, and working with colleagues.


Assessment of student achievement of Goal 4:

  • Course grade in Ethics class in the responsible conduct of science.
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation.


Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 4:

  • Require Ethics class in the student’s first academic year.
  • Employ a standard form for thesis committee members to evaluate student’s ability to cite sources appropriately.


Learning Goal 5 for Students: To teach and mentor effectively.


Assessment of student achievement of Goal 5:

  • Review of annual research presentations as part of yearly committee meetings.
  • Research mentor’s evaluation of graduate student’s training of undergraduate researchers in lab setting.
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of graduate teaching assistants in undergraduate classes.

 

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 5:

  • Require attendance at classmates’ annual research presentations.
  • Acquaint students with academic career opportunities.
  • Employ a standard form for thesis committee members to evaluate oral and written communication skills

Contact Us

Division of Life Sciences Graduate Program Office
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Nelson Lab-604 Allison Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 848.445.9517
gradoffice@dls.rutgers.edu