OHSU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program: Academic Guidelines
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Ph.D. Program Overview
Required Graduate Courses Year 2
BMB Requirement Specifics
Students are required to register for, attend and present their thesis work annually in the Departmental Seminar Series, BCMB 607, held Tuesdays at noon (Years 2 through end of program).
BCMB 620 Biochemical & Biophysical Properties of Membranes 2 credits/Winter Term
BCMB 628 Protein Crystallography 2 credits/Winter Term
BCMB 625 Advanced Molecular Bio. & Nucleic Acid Biochemistry 3 credits/Spring Term
BCMB 618 Protein Design: How Structure is Related to the
Function of Proteins 3 credits/Winter Term
BCMB 630 Intro to Biophysics (PSU/OHSU joint course) 3 credits/Winter Term
BCMB 631 Adv Biophysics (PSU/OHSU joint course) 3 credits/Spring Term
Research Advisory Committee
Purpose: The purpose of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is to advise and oversee the progress of the student’s entire graduate education and training. The Committee should be composed of two or more primary faculty members of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and faculty members with primary appointments outside of BMB with appropriate research expertise, to total four members. The Chairperson of the committee is the Student’s Research Advisor (mentor). If the focus of the student’s research changes, then appropriate changes of personnel in the RAC can be made. The RAC should advise the student in matters of curriculum requirements and research objectives. The RAC will determine whether the required coursework has been taken and may recommend additional coursework pertinent to the specific research goals. Members of this committee may also serve subsequently on the Thesis Examination Committee. In this way, these faculty members will be familiar with research, and will have the opportunity to communicate possible concerns they may have bout your work early to allow time to address these concerns. RAC meetings usually involve an oral presentation by the student of thesis research goals and progress.
Forming the Committee: Immediately following passing the qualifying exam, students in consultation with their mentor should construct a Research Advisory Committee. Students must meet with their RAC within 6 months of passing the Qualifying Examination and every 9 months to one year following the first meeting. It is the responsibility of the student to organize and schedule these meetings.
The First Meeting: Students are encouraged to form their RAC as early as possible, but the first formal meeting must be held by the end of Winter Term in the student’s third year. At least one week prior to the first meeting, the student will be expected to send the Committee Members an updated half-page description of his/her immediate research goals, a copy should also be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) along with a list of the RAC members and the RAC meeting date. At the first meeting, the student will present a 5-minute introduction to the research problem and one member of the committee will be selected to serve as chair of the committee. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule this meeting.
Subsequent Meetings: The RAC will meet every 9 months to one year, or more frequently if deemed necessary. The student will update the committee on the progress made toward the research objectives and the completion of required course work. At least one week prior to the meeting, the student will be expected to send the RAC members and the GPC an updated summary that should be no more than three pages. The meeting will begin with the student giving a 15-minute overview of his/her more recent results and future directions. Following each committee meeting, the chair should prepare a brief memo evaluating the student’s progress and send it to the GPC.
Final Meeting: Three to four months prior to anticipated thesis defenses the student would have a RAC meeting to obtain approval for the beginning of thesis writing.
Advancement to PhD Candidacy
Students will advance to PhD candidacy once they have passed their qualifying examination and have formed their RAC.
Students in BMB receive a monthly stipend for living expenses. Students will receive an increase in their stipend payment only after they have passed their qualifying exam, formed their RAC and submitted the Adv. to Candidacy form to the GPC. The increase will begin the month following submission of the form.
Non-compliance can and will result in the revocation of certain Departmental privileges (e.g. Student’s Departmental e-mail account), academic probation and possible dismissal from the graduate program.
BMB Preparation and Submission of Thesis
All instructions and guidelines adopted by the Graduate Council By-Laws shall be carefully followed.