Teaching and Professional Development
Teaching Assistant (TA) Requirement
Students are required to serve as BCB teaching assistants (TAs) anytime during their second or third years. These assignments are made by the BCB Director. Students will typically TA one or two BCB modules, or co-TA a full semester BCB course. The rationale for the TA requirement is twofold: 1) it provides students with an opportunity to develop their pedagogical skills, in addition to reinforcing scientific concepts that they have learned in the program; 2) it help maintain the didactic component of the BCB curriculum and represents an essential duty to the program.
The process for assigning TA’s to classes is as follows. First, students are surveyed about their TA-ing preferences sometime the the summer of their first year (or second year, if the student has not yet TA’d): here, students typically rank their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices, plus any other comments. Then the BCB Director allocates students to courses taking into account: i) students preferences; ii) the students’ grades in the courses, where there is a preference toward students TA-ing courses in which they scored highly; iii) whether the course is a BCB core module/course, with BCB core modules/courses taking priority over BCB electives.
TA-ing non-BCB classes, such as is required for some students by their home departments, does not typically count toward fulfilling the BCB TA requirement because it does not contribute to the didactic component of the BCB curriculum.
Students also encouraged to participate in summer internships and other training opportunities at local companies and research institutes.
All BCB students are strongly encouraged to present their work at scientific meetings, either as poster or oral presentations. The BCB program provides students with some travel support to subsidize the cost of attending such meetings.