PSL2000H - Seminars in Physiology PhD

Course Coordinator:

D. Belsham

PSL2000H students will complete the following four (4) course components:

1) Introduction to Scientific Communication Requirement; 2) Seminar Attendance Requirement; 3) PSL2000H Scientific Presentation Requirement: 4) Graduate Professional Development Course Component

1) Introduction to Scientific Communication Requirement: 

An introductory didactic lecture on Scientific Communication (a 2 hr session) at the Department of Physiology New Graduate Student Orientation will be mandatory for all new students. This seminar will be presented by Dr. Michelle French, title: “Scientific Communication: Presentations and Writing”. This will give practical advice on scientific writing styles and also how to present your work in public, whether as a poster or an oral presentation. Existing students are encouraged to attend this session, if possible, but it will not be a requirement to pass the course if you have registered in the Graduate Program prior to May 2010.

2) Seminar attendance requirement: 

Each student is required to submit a “Seminar Course Attendance Record” form after they attend an eligible seminar in the Department of Physiology, as a record of their attendance. Students should print this form before they attend the seminar, as copies will not be provided. The form must be submitted into the basket in the seminar room at the end of the seminar. Late forms will not be accepted.

Since this is an official U of T registered course for all Department of Physiology graduate students, each student MUST personally attend the seminar in full and never submit a form for another student.

Students are required to attend at least 8 seminars per academic year.

Eligible Seminars:
Department of Physiology Seminar Series, Thursdays 4:00 pm in MSB 3227
These seminars are held on a weekly basis and are Platform-based; students can attend any of these seminars for credit. These are announced in PhysioLINK.

Department of Physiology-sponsored Special Seminars
These seminars are held outside of the designated Thursday 4:00 pm seminar times, but are usually to host outside speakers that are here for other purposes. The Special Seminars that are eligible for the course will be indicated in the PhysiolLINK announcement.

Department of Physiology Endowed Lectures – look for announcements in PhysioLINK

  • Archibald Byron Macallum Lectureship

  • Charles H. Best Lectureship and Award

  • John K. and Mary E. Davidson Lectureship

Distinguished Lectureships in Specific Collaborative Programs associated with the Department of Physiology – see their websites for more information

  • Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence for Cardiovascular Research - Distinguished Visiting Professors Series

  • University of Toronto Neuroscience Program - Distinguished Lectureship Series

  • Banting and Best Diabetes Centre Seminar Series

NB – forms are required and will be collected at the end of the seminars as per above.

3) PSL2000H Scientific Presentation Requirement: 

Each student in the course will be required to present their work at least once over their degree program. This requirement is in place to encourage Supervisors to send their Students to Scientific Meetings, whether National (even local meetings are often very informative, and obviously affordable for all) or International. It is important for every student to experience a scientific meeting during their career training to put their work into the proper perspective in their respective fields.

International or National Scientific Meeting
• Oral presentation

Department of Physiology Research Grouping Meeting
• Oral seminar presentation

Provide a copy of the official oral talk invitation from the Meeting Organizers to the Graduate Administrator, Rosalie Pang, at MSB 3217 or by email to If you have not been able to attend a Scientific Meeting over your degree, you should arrange to present a seminar to your Departmental Platform Research Group with the Platform Leader (this may include an invited Oral Presentation at FIP). This should be planned well in advance of your potential defense date to be sure that you have fulfilled all course requirements. Your Seminar Course record will be checked before you are allowed to schedule a defense.

4) Graduate Professional Development Course Component

This is a graduate level course component focused on developing the academic and professional skills required to succeed during and beyond graduate education in basic biomedical sciences such as physiology.  The primary goals of this course are for students to 1) realize skills and interests; 2) explore career options; 3) learn how to set a professional development plan; 4) learn how to effectively market oneself during and after graduate school.  Interactive lectures will include expert lecturers and classroom discussions regarding the practical aspects of succeeding in graduate school, mentoring, leadership, finding successful collaborations, developing strong written and oral communication skills, further training as a postdoctoral fellow, effective networking, integrating family commitments, career transitions, CVs and Resumes; career options in and out of academia, job search methods, creating the career pathway, maintaining career development and other core competency skills. Graduate Professional Development is all about empowering trainees to be market ready.  **This course component is mandatory for students who began their graduate program studies in 2017 and onward**

This is a 6 session bi-weekly course directed by Dr. Helen Miliotis and offered in Fall and Winter Sessions.

Registration Sign up Fall & Winter Sessions via email:
Course Materials: "Success After Graduate School" by Nana Lee and Reinhart Reithmeier, 2016; "Designing your Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, 2016

Evaluation: Please note this is a pass/fail course (passing grade minimum 75%). Evaluation will be based on active participation, informational interviews, written and oral communications for a public audience, reflections, and targeted job applications.