Graduate Course Syllabus

NEU 807 Strategies in Neuroscience Research
Fall 2015

Unit 1: Getting started (for the rest of your life): career options for PhDs, making a “life plan”

Sept 3

  • Assignment: Read “Choices” and “Career transitions”
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:
    • Introductions
    • Your new role as graduate students!
    • Career options and what you might want to pursue
  • Assignments Due: Career assignment—upload to dropbox in “Choices” folder by noon on thur

Sept 10

  • Assignment: Read short articles in “Plan” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Making a “life plan” and core competencies of a PhD
    Guest speaker: Tony Nunez, Associate Dean of the Graduate School
  • Assignments Due:

Sept 17

  • Assignment: TBA
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:
  • Assignments Due:

Unit 2: Doing neuroscience outreach

Sept 24

  • Assignment: Read short articles in “outreach” folder “required reading
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:
    • Why and how to engage in outreach: Discussion/demos
    • What makes a good outreach project?
  • Assignments Due:
    • myIDP Completion certificate
    • outreach assignment

Unit 3: Navigating the publishing terrain

Oct 1

  • Assignment: Read short articles in “how to write science” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:
    • Discuss readings
    • Install and learn how to use Endnote
  • Assignments Due:
    • 1-2 page outreach proposal
    • Written assignment on reading

Oct 8

  • Assignment: Read short articles in “where to submit” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Discuss reading
  • Assignments Due: 
    • Endnote generated citations/bib for 3 different journals (J Neurosci; PNAS; Nature Neurosci)
    • Written assignment on reading

Oct 13

  • Assignment: Read short articles in the “review process and responding to reviews” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Discuss reading
  • Assignments Due: Written assignment on reading

Oct 22

  • Assignment: Read articles in “figures and captions” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:
    • Do’s and don’ts of writing figure captions
    • Do’s and don’ts of making publication quality figures and the “how to’s)
  • Assignments Due:Critiques of published figures and captions

Oct 29

  • Assignment: Read articles in “Art of figure making” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Make a complex figure for publication
  • Assignments Due: Written assignment on reading

Unit 4: The good and bad of new and cool techniques

Nov 5

  • Assignment: Read assigned in “Cre-lox” folder
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:discussion of cre-lox: how it supposed to work but does not always
  • Assignments Due: Written assignment on reading

Nov 12

  • Assignment: Assigned reading to be announced
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle:Control of gene expression via optogenetics and viruses
    Guest speaker: Michelle Mazei-Robison
  • Assignments Due:
    • Outreach poster
    • Written assignment on reading

Nov 19

  • Assignment: Assigned reading to be announced
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Control of gene expression via DREADD
    Guest speaker: Gina Leinninger
  • Assignments Due:
    • Complex figures
    • Final revised: complex figures
    • Written assignment on
      reading

Dec 3

  • Assignment: Assigned reading to be announced
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Detection of gene expression via RNAseq
    Guest speaker: Ashlee Rowe
  • Assignments Due:
    • Written assignment on
      reading
    • Complex figures

Dec 10

  • Assignment: 
  • Content/theme/issue to tackle: Guest evaluators: Drs. Casey Henley and Jenny Taylor
  • Assignments Due: Outreach presentations

Policies

  • Everyone starts out with an “A”. As long as you do the work, participate in discussions, and make your best effort, you will retain that “A”. All assigned exercises are intended to help you to learn and prepare you for success in graduate school. You may be asked to redo assignments but as long as you can demonstrate to me that you have learned the required material, your grade will not be jeopardized.
  • Be prepared. You are expected to keep up with the assigned reading and written assignments.
  • You are expected to work independently on all assignments outside of class.
  • Attendance is expected and missing classes can lower your grade.
  • ALL WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE UPLOADED TO DROPBOXES ON D2L BY THE SPECIFIED DEADLINES
  • On Dec 10, you are required to present your outreach projects in Giltner 101, 3-5 pm. Your project will be assessed by Drs. Taylor and Henley. Students may be invited to attend but will not “grade” your outreach project.