Departmental Seminars. Weekly seminars are held in the department during the academic year. Speakers include departmental faculty and graduate students, and speakers from outside the department (both on- and off-campus). These seminars usually consist of a formal presentation which is followed by a question-and-answer session that can sometimes lead to lively discussion. Topics incorporate the breadth of scientific sub-disciplines represented in the department. Seminars provide a forum for exchange of ideas and for interactions among members of the department. Such exchanges are a critical component of graduate education, and provide a convenient method for students to get to know other members of the department. All graduate students should attend the departmental seminars and are expected to sign up each quarter for department seminar (Bot 507 or 607). Do not fail to attend a seminar simply because the specific topic is outside your main field of interest – you might actually learn something if you attend!

University Seminars. The Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology and other departments at OSU, such as  Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, Integrative Biology, Fisheries & Wildlife, and departments in the College of Forestry, also hold seminars that will be of interest to BPP students. Announcements for seminars are distributed by email lists and posted on departmental websites.

Policy on Thesis Proposal Seminars/Required Graduate Student Seminars

Objectives: The purpose of this requirement is to focus the student, advisor, and program committee on the thesis research early in the student’s program. In addition, the requirement will provide an opportunity for Department members to become familiar with the planned research, and to provide comment and feedback on the proposed research.

Policy: The thesis proposal seminar is required of all Ph.D. and thesis-M.S. students. The seminar should be planned to occur within the first 15-18 months of the student’s program. Length of the seminar is limited to one-half hour (20 minute presentation, 10 minutes for questions). In recent years we have grouped these as much as possible into a special event on a Friday afternoon in May. If that is not possible, the seminar can be given during the regular weekly departmental seminar time slot. The seminar should be advertised by the Department. Both oral and written feedback from Department members is encouraged.

Students should work with their advisor and other sources to learn how to organize and prepare effective seminars.

Administration: The seminar time should be scheduled one quarter in advance with the Chair of the Seminar Committee. A reminder/check-off for the proposal seminar requirement is on the form for Annual Graduate Student Review.

Approved by vote of the faculty in May 1995

Graduate Student Seminars. A member of the Seminar Committee will notify students well in advance of the date for the required seminar which will normally be on the student’s thesis research. The following guidelines should be useful when preparing for this presentation.

  1. A student should begin development of a seminar several weeks in advance of the scheduled presentation. Students are not only expected to give smooth and well-prepared presentations but also to be knowledgeable about the subject. This may involve considerable background reading on the topic.
  2. A student should work closely with his/her major professor in the development of the seminar. We encourage a “dry run” with the major professor several days before the seminar presentation.
  3. Visual aids should be prepared well in advance of the seminar presentation so that graphics and text can be refined.
  4. The speaker should be in the best position to answer many of the comments and questions raised during the discussion period, but if necessary he/she should feel free to ask members of the audience to enter the discussion.
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