BSCI 279C / BSCI 279H
The Catalyst Seminar has two overarching learning goals:
- Students will be able to identify and obtain research opportunities that are appropriate to their professional goals.
- Students will develop an awareness of the diversity of undergraduate research opportunities available to them in the chemical and biological sciences.
- Students will be able to evaluate and express how particular research programs resonate with their professional goals.
- Students will be able to communicate their interest to potential faculty mentors.
- Students will better understand what it means to be part of the scientific community.
- Students will become proficient in basic forms of scientific communication (e.g., reading and interpreting primary literature, interacting with researchers at oral and poster presentations).
- Students will develop awareness of some of the basic ethical issues in the conduct of science.
- Students will understand the role and limitations of peer review in science.
- Students will develop increased awareness of how scientific knowledge is constructed
Students will learn about the research currently being conducted at the University of Maryland through a series of faculty seminars and informal receptions. The seminar will also provide an opportunity for students to learn skills essential for becoming successful student researchers, such as strategies for negotiating the research process, locating a faculty mentor, ethics in science, and critical analysis of research papers and proposals.
Pechenik, J.A. 2013. A Short Guide to Writing about Biology, 8th ed. New York: Longman. The text is *required* but I am flexible about the edition. If you choose to purchase an older version, be aware that the chapter and page numbers may not correspond perfectly to the newest version.
Our course syllabus and information on each class meeting is available at http://hhmi.umd.edu/catalystseminar/syllabus. We will also make use of ELMS (http://www.elms.umd.edu/) for assignments, discussions, and posting grades.
Class meeting time:
3:30-4:45 Monday, room 1243 Biology/Psychology Building
Assignment of grades:
The final grade for the course will be based upon a total of 160 possible points. Instead of having a small number of high stakes assignments, this course will have a larger number of small assignments that build over the semester. Instructions and due dates for all graded assignments are given in the Assignments section of ELMS. Late assignments will acrue a penalty of 10% for each day past the due date.
Format of written assignments:
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council.This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, remember to sign the Honor Pledge on all examinations and assignments: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (assignment)."
|Date||Topic||Readings and Assignments Due|
||Why? The role of undergraduate research experiences in your professional development|
|Feb. 4||How? Finding the right kind of undergraduate research opportunity||
Oral Introduction (in class)
|Feb. 11||What? The philosophy of research and the role of peer review||
Case Sudy #1 Questions
Faculty research presentations
Peer Review of Personal Introductions (calibration exercises and peer review in CPR)
|Feb. 25||Faculty research presentations||Faculty Interest Statements #1-#3|
|Mar. 4||Faculty research presentations||
Non-technical summar (submit in CPR)
|Mar. 11|| HHMI Undergraduate Research Symposium
4:00 PM The Colonnade, Bioscience Research Building
Faculty Interest Statements #4-#6
|Mar. 18||Spring Break - no class|
|Mar. 25||Faculty research presentations||
Non-technical Summary (calibration exercises and peer review of Non-technical Summary in CPR)
Ethics in science
Ch. 3, pp. 42-45
Case Study #2 Questions
Peer Review Reflection
How to write a great grant proposal
Grant review panels
Faculty Interest Statements #7-#8
Ch. 10 (Writing Research Proposals)
|Apr. 22||No class||
|Grant review panel assignment due|
|Scientific ideas assignment due|