Part I - First Year
|Graduate Student Handbook||
Qualifying Exam I consists of the aggregate exam
grades in the Core courses. Biology G6001, G6002 and G6003 must
be successfully completed by the end of the student’s first year.
Part II – Before end of Fall of Third Year
will prepare a written proposal based on their intended research project, as
perceived at that time. The proposal will be in the form of a short
postdoctoral fellowship application (see guidelines below). Students will
submit this proposal to qualifying exam committee consisting of two faculty
members, then present and defend the proposal before this committee.
deadline for proposal defense is the end of the Fall semester of the student’s
second year, however students many also take the exam earlier, in the previous
Spring or Summer semester.The written
proposal must be submitted to the committee at least two weeks before the oral
defense of the proposal.
committee will probe the student’s general knowledge in the area represented by
the project, the area represented by the sponsor’s laboratory, and the areas
covered in courses the student has taken. Students should be prepared to
describe any procedure proposed in the research plan. Although the structure of
the oral examination will be that of a defense of the proposal, the emphasis
will be as much on general knowledge in these areas as on the merits of the
specific research proposed. The examining committee will be made up of two
faculty members from the program’s training faculty and will not include the
student’s research sponsor. This committee, plus the sponsor, will constitute
the student’s research progress committee, which will meet at least annually
with the student after the oral examination.
whose performance is judged unsatisfactory on this exam will be given one
additional opportunity to take the exam within the next few months, but before
the end of the Spring semester of the third year. The committee for the second
exam shall be comprised of the original members plus the sponsor. The student
also has the prerogative to request a new committee for the second exam
comprised of two new faculty members plus the sponsor.
Be sure to print the Qualifying Exam II form and take it with you to your Qualifying Exam for your committee to sign. Then return the form to 600 Office.
Guidelines for the written research proposal
The guidelines for an NIH
predoctoral research fellowship should be used. These are printed below. The
space limitations have been changed for double-spaced formatting. Another
difference is that up to 7 figures may be included outside of the page limits.
References are also not included in the page limits.
2. Specific Aims
Specific Aims are limited to two pages. State concisely the goals of the proposed research and
summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the
proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved. List succinctly
the specific objectives of the research proposed, e.g., to test a stated
hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an
existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress
in the field, or develop new technology.
3. Research Strategy
This item is limited to twelve pages. Organize the
Research Strategy in the specified order using the instructions provided below.
Start each section with the appropriate section heading —Significance,
Innovation, Approach. Cite published experimental details in the Research
Strategy section and provide the full reference in the Bibliography and
References Cited section.
the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that
the proposed project addresses.
how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical
capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative
interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are
(b) Innovation - Optional.
the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the
specific aims of the project. Include how the data will be collected, analyzed,
potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success
anticipated to achieve the aims.
project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to
establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of
the proposed work.
If an applicant has multiple Specific Aims, then
the applicant may address Significance, Innovation and Approach for each
Specific Aim individually, or may address Significance, Innovation and Approach for
all of the Specific Aims collectively.
Studies for New Applications.
For new applications, include information on
preliminary studies, if any. Discuss the applicant’s preliminary studies, data and/or
experience pertinent to this application. When applicable, provide a succinct account of
published and unpublished results, indicating progress toward their achievement. [This
should be done within the Research Strategies section, usually in
Bibliography & References Cited
Provide a bibliography of
any references cited in the Project Narrative. Each reference must include the
names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the
publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page
numbers, and year of publication. Include only bibliographic citations.
Applicants should be especially careful to follow scholarly practices in
providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section
of the application.
The proposal should
be formatted according to the following guidelines:
all text, except captions for figures, which may be single-spaced.
Use a 11 or 12 pt. font such as Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or Georgia.
1-inch margins on top, bottom, left and right.