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Based on the initial assessment of the Research Director and following discussions with the admitted scholar and his/her potential mentors, the Research Director will recommend that a new scholar entering the Basic Science track be classified as a Level 1 or Level 2 Scholar. Scholars in Basic Science Level 1 are those who have little or no research experience, whereas those in Level 2 have had some previous research training.
Scholars appointed to this track can choose a mentor from one of the following five different research areas.
Track 1, Level 1 scholars are those with no research experience. They will devote a significant part of their first year taking five basic science courses that will help them acquire the necessary knowledge to pursue research in one of the areas covered by this proposal. Track 1, Level 1 scholars are also expected to begin their laboratory work in the first year.
The spring and fall courses will be chosen from the large number of graduate courses offered by the different interdisciplinary and basic science graduate programs that belong to the Biosciences Program at the University of Iowa. Two courses Principles of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biosciences Critical Thinking and Communication, will be required for all Level 1 scholars.
Beyond these two basic courses, the Level 1 scholars can choose two electives from a large variety of Bioscience graduate courses offered at the University of Iowa that cover the five research themes listed above. The Level 1 scholars will choose these additional courses in consultation with their mentors and the Research Director.
The Level 1 Scholars will also choose from one of two required extramural summer courses: Frontiers in Reproduction, Molecular and Cellular Concepts and Applications (FIR) given at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Massachusetts, or The Annual Short Course on Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics given at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.
The didactic plan for Track 1, Level 2 scholars will depend upon previous experience and documented expertise in the fundamentals of research. The Research Director will evaluate the transcripts and research experience of all advanced scholars entering Track 1 and make recommendations to the Internal Advisory Committee as to a plan for individualized didactic training that will best serve the individual scholar.
During the first year Level 1 scholars take intensive coursework throughout the year, starting in the fall and continuing through the summer. Level 2 scholars generally take only electives starting in the fall, depending upon previous research training. Both Level 1 and Level 2 scholars start laboratory work during the first year. In general, we anticipate that most Level 1 scholars will complete their required courses during the first year, but some may decide (with the consent of the Research Director) to spread the courses out and finish them in two years instead of one.
Throughout their appointment WRHR scholars will also attend and participate in the Iowa WRHR lecture series, as well as professional development meetings. A more complete timeline for years 1-5 highlights these additional requirements, the pathway to independent research and grant preparations as well as the period research presentations and performance evaluations. Flexibility is central to our program, however, and each scholar’s needs and requirements will be individually assessed, initially by the Research Director, and secondarily by the Internal Advisory Committee.
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