QBC Journal Club Requirements

Biophysics (BP), Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB), Biological and Medical Informatics (BMI), and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG), established their own formal journal club for first- and second-year students with the following ground rules:


Two talks per student are required:

  • One talk for first-year students
  • One talk for second-year students

Faculty coaches

  • There are two faculty coaches per speaker, one of whom is pre-assigned.
  • Neither coach may be the second-year student’s principal investigator.
  • The principal investigator of the speaker must attend.
  • Both coaches are present at the talk and will submit a formal review for the student’s record.

Faculty coach duties

The coaches:

  • Approve the student’s choice of paper.
  • Provide guidance to the student as requested.
  • Rehearse with the student until acceptable performance is achieved.
  • Attend the journal club talk and discuss the presentation with the student afterwards.
  • Provide a written evaluation to the program manager for the student’s academic file.

Student duties

One month before the assigned date, the student:

  • Arranges for a second faculty coach.
  • Works with his or her coach to select a paper for the talk.
    • First-year students: The paper should not be related to the student’s primary or undergraduate research.
    • Second-year students: The paper should be from a different field (i.e. Biological and Medical Informatics students should do an experimental paper.)
  • Submits the paper and justification to the coaches and course instructor Brian Shoichet for approval.
    • Paper should be current, scientifically significant, and of broad interest to the four groups.
    • The coaches can veto the choice if the above criteria are not demonstrated.
  • Submits the presentation title, approved article, and choice of coaches to Rebecca Dawson.
  • Organizes coaching appointments and practice talks.
  • Arranges an alternate date with another speaker and inform the administration if the assigned date conflicts with the student's schedule.
  • Invites his or her principal investigator to attend.

Attend weekly and be on time.


Grade based upon:

  • Presentation and preparation effort and performance, evaluated by faculty coaches.
  • Attendance: Miss more than three in one quarter = No Pass or Incomplete at the discretion of Course Director.
  • Tardiness: You must be there at the start time (10:10 am) and will be marked absent if you show up after talks have started.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The course instructors and teaching assistants value the contributions, ideas and perspective of all students. It is our intent that students from diverse backgrounds be well-served by this course, that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that the students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is our intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender identity, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, and culture. Integrating a diverse set of experiences is important for a more comprehensive understanding of science and we strive towards that goal. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let the course director know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups.