Graduate Program Guidelines
All requirements for the individual graduate degrees (M.D./Ph.D., Ph.D.) follow the
requirements of the TTUHSC Graduate Program. The general requirements for those Programs
are outlined in the TTUHSC Graduate catalog. The program follows the rules and regulations
of graduate studies (i.e. grade point average, etc.) of the TTUHSC Graduate School.
Those rules are outlined in the TTUHSC Graduate Catalog. Requirements for the thesis
and dissertation style are defined by the TTUHSC Graduate School. Additional requirements
regarding academic standing
The Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology program reserves the right to terminate from the program any student who recives a failing grade (C,D, or F) in any graduate course or who is on academic probation with the GSBS.
Graduate Program Guidelines
In that the Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology concertation considers research to be the foundation of graduate education, students will be expected to familiarize themselves with ongoing research in the laboratories of the Faculty in the spring semester of the first year of graduate study by taking GSBS 5098 Techniques in Biomedical Research and thereby undergoing 3 laboratory rotations. These rotations are designed to assist the graduate student in the selection of a research advisor early in their graduate career. Selection of a research advisor is an extremely important process; it is the research advisor who will direct the student's masters or doctoral work and who will imbue the student with his or her own philosophical approach to scientific research. All graduate students will also be encouraged to apply for extramural support in the form of fellowships, stipends, or research grants.
Skills to enable the student to verbally evaluate and communicate scientific research
and information, he or she will engage in the following departmental activities. All
students will be expected to enroll in the TNP Graduate Concentration Seminar Program
(GTNP 7101 and 7102) every semester, participate in all departmental seminars and journal clubs, and present a minimum of one (1) research seminar and (1) journal club presentation per year. The Faculty will serve as role models in the Seminar Program by presenting their own research periodically. They will also actively participate in the Journal Club by regularly presenting publications themselves, by assisting the student presenter with his or her presentation, and by asking provocative questions during the presentations. In both seminars and journal clubs, students will be encouraged to ask thoughtful questions of the presenters. The Faculty believe that this type of activity will help develop the student's ability to critically evaluate and discuss the content of scientific presentations.
As part of the Qualifying Examinations, the Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students will be orally examined by Faculty members. This activity is intended to help the student discuss scientific concepts in a logical manner and to enable the student to ascertain what he or she may or may not understand about a particular scientific subject or concept.
All students will be encouraged to present their research findings at both regional and national scientific meetings. This type of activity will strengthen the student’s ability to think critically under pressure; also, it will enable the student to meet other scientists working in the student's research area.
All students will be expected to engage in certain endeavors designed to develop and hone their scientific writing skills. The Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. student will be asked to write and orally defend a grant application in the NIH format. This will serve as the Qualifying Examination and enable the student to apply to candidacy. In this exercise, the student will independently describe and discuss the details of a scientific project.
An important component of scientific writing is that of writing research papers for peer reviewed journals. The Faculty feel that all students should, prior to the completion of the graduate program, submit their work for publication to peer reviewed journals.
Courses in Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology will both establish a core
background of knowledge in the disciples but also emphasize the development of critical
thought in graduate students rather than the ability to memorize facts.
Following completion of the GSBS Core Courses in the Fall Semester of Year 1; CTNP students with take the following courses:
Spring Semester Year 1: GTNP 5303 Principles of Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology; GMBP Human Physiology; GTNP 7101 and 7102 Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology Seminar and Readings; GSBS 5098 Techniques in Biomedical Science Research; and GSBS 5101 Responsible Conduct of Research.
Summer Semester Year 1: GTNP 7000 Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology Research
Fall Semester Year 2: GTNP 5303 Medical Pharmacology; GIDN 5910 Integrated Neuroscience
TNP Students are expected to enroll in GTNP 7101 and 7102 (seminar and readings courses) every Fall and Spring semester with the following exceptions- Fall Semester Year 2 (while enrolled in Medical Pharmacology and Integrated Neuroscience course) and the semester in which they complete their PhD Dissertation Defense.
TNP students must also complete a graduate level course in statistics (please consult with TNP graduate director)
The Department will offer an orientation to all incoming graduate students to delineate the Department's philosophy of graduate education, the research interests of the Faculty, and to address any concerns a student might have about graduate education.
All graduate students will meet annually with the TNP Graduate Advisor in June to discuss their own individual progress as a graduate student and to provide guidance and additional mentorship. This report will be included in each student's departmental file.
The Ph.D. Student's Advisory/Dissertation Committee should be identified as early in the student's program as possible. The composition of the Advisory Committee must include at least 5 members, two committee members must be faculty outside of the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience. One of the Pharmacology Graduate Faculty included in this committee would be the mentor. The function of the Advisory Committee is to assist the students and mentor in evaluating the progress of the dissertation/thesis research. Therefore, it is expected that this committee would meet with the student periodically (at least annually) throughout the student's tenure in their research project. With some exceptions the Advisory Committee may also serve as the Qualifying Examination Committee (mentor may not serve as Char of the QE Committee, but is the Chair of the Advisory/Dissertation Committee).
Implemented Publication Requirement. Consistent with GSBS policy all Ph.D. candidates must publish at least one peer-reviewed original research paper, as first author prior to graduation or request a waiver from the GSBS Dean.
Qualifying Examination: Refer to the appropriate year's GSBS catalog for current, required examinations. Catalogs can be found on the GSBS website at https://www.ttuhsc.edu/biomedical-sciences/
***For the written portion of the Qualifying Examination- As stated in the GSBS catalog
the written portion is to be in the form of an NIH R01 grant application. More specifically
GTNP students are expected to go to grants.gov and complete most of the grant application
package that are currently in place (i.e. SFR424 R&R, PHS 398 Research Plane, Project
summary/abstract, Project narrative, Specific Aims, Significance, Background and rationale,
Vertebrate Animals and Human Subjects (if appropriate), Authentication of Key Biological
and/or Chemical Resources, PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement, Senior/Key Person Profile,
PI/Student Biosketch, Research and Related Other Project Information, Bibliography,
Resources, Equipment, and Project/Performance Site Location(S). A Modular Budget and
Budget justification is not necessary. The grant application package should be compiled
into a single PDF document for distribution to the Qualifying Committee. Please contact
the GTNP Graduate Program Director (Dr. Blanton) if you have any questions.
PhD Dissertation Defense: Please refer to GSBS catalog requirements.