Pre-Doctoral Training Program
The training program will be open to students admitted to the following graduate programs:
- Cell and Developmental Biology
- Biological Chemistry
- Human Genetics
- Human Nutrition
- Oral Biology
- Physiological Acoustics
- the inter-disciplinary Program in Neuroscience
The training of the students will primarily follow the curriculum established for these departments and it will be the responsibility of our training program to supplement the curriculum with specific course work and research relating to the sensory sciences.
During the first year of their graduate training students will focus on basic course work but also enter into laboratory rotations to familiarize themselves with research in the sensory systems. In the second year the students will spend increasing amounts of time in the laboratory of a faculty sponsor and may engage in preliminary research leading to a dissertation proposal.
During the third year the students will take the qualifying examinations and submit a dissertation proposal. Thus, the focus for years 3 and 4 is on laboratory research and activities related to the conduct of research, namely advanced seminars in sensory systems, special seminars by outside speakers, journal clubs, and research discussion groups.
Specific Courses and Seminars Related to Training in Sensory Systems
Introductory course: Hearing, Balance, and Chemical Senses
This course is offered by our training faculty through the Neuroscience graduate program and is taught in an interdisciplinary format. It focuses on basic information and methodology about these sensory systems, their anatomy, physiology and molecular biology, and processing at levels of the peripheral and central nervous system.
During the first year students are required to take rotations through the laboratories of the training faculty. These are 3 rotations, 4-6 weeks each and the student may choose from any laboratory of the training faculty as well as laboratories of the faculty in the home department. Students will be encouraged to rotate through both a laboratory engaged in hearing research and one engaged in research on the chemical senses that uses different methodologies. This will provide the student with a broad orientation on research programs and methodology.
Seminars in Hearing, Balance, and Chemical Senses
Both students and post-doctoral fellows attend a series of weekly seminars organized around selected topics in hearing, balance, and chemical senses. This series features expert speakers from outside the University of Michigan and local faculty. In order to further the integration among the students, the speakers at the seminar series will have an informal lunch with all students and postdoctoral fellows. This series is an integral part of the training program, and a list of recent seminars is found in the Progress report. Post-doctoral fellows will be given the opportunity to present their research findings in this series.
Research Seminars and Journal Clubs
The individual laboratories conduct weekly research seminars and journal clubs where current research and literature is discussed and analyzed to assess its impact on the development on the field and the research of the individual trainee.
Responsible Conduct of Research
Teaching of responsible conduct in research is a high priority at the University of Michigan. Our pre- and post-doctoral trainees are required to obtain training in these topics. For training options go to the Research Standards and Ethics webpage.