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Scientific Presentation and Conduct

Instructor: Hania K√∂ver





Course goal:

To provide a forum for discussion and skills-development for all first year graduate students at IST Austria. Topics will include developing goals for the PhD, choosing and making effective use of the thesis supervisor and other mentors, scientific presentation, writing, teaching, and responsible conduct of research.


Active discussion and workshop-style practice, along with weekly reflection and homework assignments. 


Major assignments include a 7-minute slide presentation on a scientific topic (April 8-22), a (short) scientific writing assignment (May 6-13), as well as a portfolio of weekly reflection and mini-assignments due at the end of the course (to be completed weekly).


Grading is pass/no-pass. Students are expected to attend every class session, and to actively participate in discussions, activities, and homework assignments. Missing more than two class sessions, failing to turn in homework assignments, or not participating in class will result in re-taking the class next year.

Course schedule:

Start date: March 4th, 2016; End date: June 24th, 2016

Fridays 10am - noon, Mondi 2

Please note exception on June 10th and June 17th: 9am - noon

Please note that attendance is also expected on "bridge days" (May 6th and May 27th).


Voestalpine Administration Building, 1st floor

Office hours: By appointment!

Please get in touch! I am interested in the feedback on this and other courses at IST Austria, your overall experience in the PhD program, as well as challenges, questions or conflicts you are facaing. You can also drop by my office on the first floor of the Voestalpine Administration Building.

Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time Topic Location
March 4th 10am-noon Introductions + course overview Mondi 2
March 11th 10am-noon Goals for the PhD/ Working with your supervisor Mondi 2
March 18th 10am-noon Slide presentations: Overview Mondi 2
March 21st to April 1st   Easter break (no class)  
April 8th 10am-noon Student presentations 1 TBD
April 15th 10am-noon Student presentations 2 TBD
April 22nd 10am-noon Student presentations 3 TBD
April 29th   Young Scientist's Symposium (no class; midway homework portfolio due)  
May 6th 10am-noon Writing 1 Mondi 2
May 13th 10am-noon Writing 2 Mondi 2
May 20th 10am-noon Teaching 1 Mondi 2
May 27th   No class  
June 3rd 10am-noon Responsible conduct of research (RCR): overview Mondi 2
June 10th 9am-noon RCR case studies 1 TBD
June 17th 9am-noon RCR case studies 2 TBD
June 24th 10am-noon Course recap Mondi 2

Reading materials

Topic File
Elevator Pitches Science Careers: Elevator Pitches
Elevator Pitches Elevator Pitches Handout
Goals for the PhD Guide to the PhD: Publications Matter
Supervision How to pick a graduate advisor
Supervision How to be a graduate advisee
Supervision Care and maintenance of your advisor
Choosing a Research Question Alon: How to Choose a Good Scientific Problem
Choosing a Research Question Platt: Strong Inference
Coping with Stress Djokic: This is your mind on Grad School
Writing How to write an introduction


File Due Date
Homework week 1  
Homework week 2  
Homework week 3-6  
Workshop groups for weeks 4-6  
Example Structure & Content Rubric  
Homework week 6  
Homework week 7  
Useful transition words  
Useful general model words  
Homework Week 8  
Homework Week 9  
Active learning strategies  
Example rubric research proposal Stanford  
Example rubric term paper Penn State  
Homework Week 10  
Homework Week 11  
Homework Week 12  
Research integrity case studies  

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