QBC Journal Club Requirements

Biophysics (BP), Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB), Bioinformatics (BI) and 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 administrator 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. Bioinformatics 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 Nicole Flowers.
  • 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.