NEURBIO 221: Scientific Presentation Skills is taught in Winter Quarter by Professors Marcelo Wood and Craig Stark.

Dr. Wood 04-11-14

Dr. Marcelo Wood


Dr. Craig Stark

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Restriction: Graduate students only

Course Objective:

The goals of this class are to prepare graduate students to present their research in a clear and concise manner through oral/visual presentations. The focus here is on the delivery of the material, not the scientific merit of the material per se. The course is structured to give students ample opportunity to hone their skills both through practice and through careful critique of their own work and the work of others. This is a highly interactive course. You will be preparing a talk and a poster presentation over the course of the class by building up components of the talk each week (see the “Project” section of the schedule below). In addition, you will be helping your classmates by routinely critiquing their work. Remember, what goes around comes around and if you want helpful, constructive criticism, it is imperative that you do this for your classmates. “It was cool” is as unhelpful as “it stunk”. Thus, the evaluation of your performance in the course is a combination of both your own work and of your ability to effectively critique your classmates’ work.

Sample Syllabus:

Week # Topic
1 Overview, perspectives on science careers, role of critiques, writing and speaking to tell a story, publishing and the paper review process
2 Present first 2-min of talk & critique Organization of a talk, effective slides and figures

Present data slides

Data slides and critiques


Present 1st 5-7 min

Effective delivery skills


Talk Session 1

Talks and critiques


Talk Session 2

Talks and critiques

7 Reports on self-critiques
8 How to make effective posters and make the most of conferences
9 Poster session 1
10 Poster session 2

Download Sample Syllabus