Academic Skills- The academic curriculum of the CMB graduate program is intended to complement a rigorous training in experimental laboratory research. Required coursework builds a foundation in cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, biophysics and physiology in the first two years. Particular emphasis is placed on the critical reading of scientific literature, which refines their literature-based research skills and exposes students to a variety of relevant subjects.
Research Skills- In the first year, students complete their rotations with three faculty members. These rotations facilitate learning a variety of research techniques while becoming exposed to the diversity of research and the resources available at UVM. After the first year, students join a laboratory where they will complete their dissertation. During their Ph.D. training, students can also take short, specialized courses to learn specific techniques, such as mouse genetics or fluorescence microscopy. Many of our students have also traveled to outside labs or attended workshops to learn new techniques that they then share with the larger CMB research community.
Communication Skills- Students have multiple opportunities throughout their Ph.D. training to hone their public speaking and presentation skills when they share their work annually in the CMB Seminar Series, meetings within home departments, and with the student’s thesis committee. In addition, students frequently present their work at national and international meetings. To refine their written communication skills, students participate in a proposal writing course, write and defend a qualifying exam research proposal during their second year, and prepare manuscripts for publication throughout their dissertation.
Professional Skills- All UVM doctoral students gain quality experience in teaching. CMB students have the opportunity to teach in a variety of courses in genetics, biochemistry, and biology. Students are required to teach one semester during their first year and one semester during their second year. UVM also has a Graduate Teaching Program that CMB doctoral candidates can participate in if they are interested in pursuing careers in higher education. In addition, the CMB Program organizes several career panels a year directed at exposing students to the diverse career options available following graduation. These career panels increase student awareness regarding how to prepare for different science-related careers and provide valuable networking opportunities.
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