This training program is designed for students to learn as much as possible from their experience in the Sauvageau lab.
The objectives of this program are to expand general scientific knowledge of students and teach them to:
- Design a scientific project and organize efficient workflow
- Perform appropriate literature review of a research subject
- Write research project summaries
- Critically read, analyse and synthesize a research article
- Prepare presentations of scientific findings
- Produce publication quality figures
- Write scientific articles
To achieve this, students are asked to practice these skills via various activities that are described below. Students are also paired with a mentor once their project is defined who will actively participate in their training. To ensure that students evolve in a good environment and to evaluate their progress in the lab, monthly follow-up meeting are also organised with the lab’s Deputy Director.
A selection of grants and research articles has been made for students to familiarize themselves with ongoing scientific projects in the lab. During this period, students also begin learning R programming using suggested tools and refresh their memory about statistics and how to apply them to biological questions by reading suggested documentation.
Before students initiate experiments related to their project, we propose a two months internship with research assistants in the lab where they learn basic techniques commonly used in the lab. A defined program exists for this internship, which is adapted to students based on their level of experience in lab work.
Once a research subject is selected for the student, a one page description of the research project is written in collaboration with the mentor. This summary focuses on objectives and experimental strategy and is revised by Deputy Director and Principal Investigator.
We believe learning R is an important part of scientific training. Learning R takes time and practice, this is why we have built a series of tools to help students with this task. Help in this process is provided by lab members mastering R programming.
Toward the end of Year 1, students are given the opportunity to follow an introductory workshop on Adobe illustrator with an expert at IRIC to learn how to use this software. We ask that students use this software to prepare figures for reports, so that they have numerous opportunities to practice.
Once a year, students are asked to write a 2-page report related to their research project in the format of a small research article, which includes figures generated from their results. This report is evaluated by Deputy Director and Principal Investigator. After the evaluation, mentors revise reports with students to give them more detailed feedback and help them improve their writing skills.
Participation to the Lessard-Wilhelm-Hoang-Cellot-Lavallée-Sauvageau Science club is mandatory for all students in the lab. Sessions comprise project presentations and journal club. This event takes place every 2 weeks and is an excellent opportunity for students to improve their presentation skills and to learn how to critically read and analyse a research article. Students are asked to do one presentation of their project and one presentation of a research article every year as part of the Science club starting on Year 2 of the Training program.
Summer school classes
Upon arrival, students are asked to choose classes as part of their M.Sc. or Ph.D. program. We strongly encourage students to attend additional classes of IRIC summer school as this is an excellent opportunity to expand their scientific knowledge.
IRIC seminar series
Every week, IRIC hosts an international speaker seminar series. IRIC members also take turn and present their most recent work to the Institute as part of the weekly Current project presentation sessions. We strongly encourage students to attend both of these events to improve their general scientific knowledge.
Following Reading period and Sauvageau internship, grasp of knowledge is evaluated by lab’s Deputy Director. Students’ progress is also evaluated by mentor, Deputy Director and Principal Investigator every year.