The Neurosciences Department hosts a weekly Journal Club.
Once each year students present an oral critique of a research article (selected in consultation with the thesis advisor typically from a recent issue of Journal of Neuroscience, Neuron, or Nature Neuroscience) to the entire department.
During the 45-minute presentation students are expected to articulate, with accompanying slides, in depth background to the article, critically evaluate the authors’ findings and conclusions and the overall impact of the study in advancing knowledge. The student is also expected to summarize strengths and weaknesses of the article and what future work might be done to make additional advances. Following an informal discussion period, in which students in the audience are encouraged to ask questions or raise relevant points concerning the study, training faculty remain with the presenting trainee to provide detailed feedback on the scientific content of the article and most importantly the effectiveness of the trainee’s oral and slide presentation. Students appreciate the constructive nature of these sessions and it has served, uniformly, to greatly improve their subsequent presentations. Third and fourth year students have the option of presenting their own thesis research progress. Similar to a regular journal club presentation all trainers remain after the seminar to offer formal constructive feedback on the student’s studies and presentation.
The Neurosciences Journal Club is a highly values experience for our students as it serves to substantially improve the trainee’s skill and poise when presenting research findings to a broad audience.
Attendance in the journal club is open to members of the CWRU community and those interested may contact Kelly Fortune-Somerville to inquire about upcoming dates and the location.