The Principles for TIGP-MCB Seminar Course


Course Goal

For students to learn about important scientific discoveries and to improve presentation skills.

General Guideline

  1. Seminars will be held on every Thursday. The first presentation will be from 9:00AM to 9:55AM and the second presentation will be from 10:05AM to 11:00AM.
  2. Each student needs to invite two MCB faculty members to participate in the seminar, one serves as the coach and the other serves as the sit-in professor. With the approval of the coach, the student needs to choose a peer-reviewed research article (not review) that was published within the past two years and represents a breakthrough in fields related to Molecular and Cell Biology.
  3. To facilitate the matching process, the course organizer will invite MCB faculty members to
    recommend suitable articles for students. The faculty members who suggest at least one article to the course before the semester starts will receive one credit. If a student selects the article, the faculty member who suggested the article will serve as the coach.

Coach responsibilities (Two Credits Each)

  1. Help the student to choose the paper to present.
  2. Tutor the student for preparing the presentation. For example, the coach should help the student by discussing the background and significance of the article, clarifying the scientific content, and reviewing the PowerPoint slides. Rehearsal in a lab meeting is strongly recommended.
  3. Help the student to invite a sit-in professor.
  4. Attend the seminar, participate in the discussion, provide constructive comments, and evaluate the performance.

Sit-in responsibilities (One Credit Each)

  1. Review the chosen paper and related literature before the seminar.
  2. Help the student to prepare the presentation when requested.
  3. Attend the seminar, participate in the discussion, provide constructive comments, and evaluate the performance.

Student responsibility

  1. Each student needs to serve once as the presenter and once as the moderator during the semester.
  2. Attend every seminar. If unable to attend, inform the course organizer and the TIGP-MCB office as soon as possible.
  3. Presenter
    a. Inform the TIGP-MCB about: (1) the paper to present, and (2) the name and affiliation of the
    coach and the sit-in professor. The deadline is before the semester starts for all the students.
    b. Present the chosen paper, lead the discussion, and answer questions.
    c. Collect and rank the written reports (best to worst). Provide short written comments on the
    reports before submitting to the course organizer.
  4. Moderator
    a. Control the time of the seminar. Make sure that at least 15 minutes are reserved for comments by faculty members and discussion among all participants.
    b. Prepare and deliver a short presentation (no more than five minutes) on the background of the study and the authors.
  5. Non-presenting students
    a. Read the paper before each seminar.
    b. If not serving as the presenter or moderator for the week, prepare a written report (no more
    than two A4 pages; 12-pt font size and 1.5 line spacing). The content should include:
    i. Significance of the paper
    ii. Strengths/Weaknesses of the paper
    iii. At least three questions to ask the presenter
    c. Participate the discussion during the seminar. Write down the answers to the questions
    prepared in the written report.
    d. Submit the report to the presenter immediately after the seminar. Any late report will receive
    a score of “0”.


  1. The grade scale is 0-100, with 70 as the passing grade.
  2. The final grade combines the following: (1) performance as the presenter (evaluated by the
    participating faculty members; 50%), (2) performance as the moderator (evaluated by other students; 10%), (3) average grade from all written reports (20%), and (4) participation (evaluated by the course organizer; 20%).