2011 GSBS at RWJMS/Rutgers Joint Graduate Program Retreat

was held on Monday June 13 in the Busch Campus Faculty Dining Hall


Three working groups (Structure of Graduate Programs, Curriculum, and Financial/Quality of Life) were formed to address the recommendations of the Graduate School External Review Team from July 2010 . This retreat was an opportunity for all faculty to discuss the proposals generated by the working groups which had been meeting for the past 7 months.  The minutes for the retreat are posted here.


12:00-12:30pm    Lunch

12:30-1:00pm     Presentation of External Review Team Report and Progress of Working Groups.

1:00-3:00pm Curriculum Group Discussion Session

  • First year core courses
  • First year mini-electives
  • First year Quantitative Problems/Survival Skills/Ethics courses
  • Upper level requirements
  • Qualifying Exams
  • Rotations
  • Primary program assignment and definition of “active status”

3:00-3:15pm Break

3:15-3:50pm Structure of Graduate Programs Breakout Sessions

  • Duplicate programs: Molecular Genetics Microbiology and Immunology (RWJMS)/Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (Rutgers)
  • Duplicate programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (RWJMS)/ Biochemistry (Rutgers)
  • Individual programs: Neuroscience, Toxicology, Biomedical Engineering, Exposure Science
  • Molecular Biosciences Admissions

3:55-4:30pm Financial/Quality of Life Breakout Sessions

  • How many PhD students should we be graduating?
  • Teaching opportunities for graduate students
  • Recruitment efforts
  • Teaching in the digital age
  • Fellowships for graduate students (internal and external)


Self study / external review documents:

To review the original self study data click here.

To review the external committee report click here.


Curriculum working group documents:

Examples of umbrella programs from other graduate schools

Current first year syllabi for joint programs

Current graduation and upper level requirements for joint programs


The recent NIGMS Strategic Plan for Training is available here.

Recent articles and releases on the future of graduate education:

From the April 20, 2011 issue of Nature.

Fix the PhD is an editorial discussing the need for a rethinking of PhD level science education.

Education: The PhD Factory compares PhD education in Japan, China, India, U.S., Singapore, Germany, Poland, and Egypt.

Seven Ages of the PhD features scientists sharing memories of PhD education in different decades, disciplines, and locations.

1950s: The age of formality
1960s: The age of independence
1970s: The age of innocence
1980s: The age of internationalism
1990s: The age of revolution
2000s: The age of perseverance
2010s: The age of communication

Rethinking PhDs discusses innovative approaches to postgraduate science training .


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