BIOS S-200 Proseminar: Graduate Research Methods and Scholarly Writing in the Biological Sciences

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7-week session | CRN 32752

This proseminar is designed to teach students many of the writing and analytical skills that are required to succeed in graduate-level courses in the biological sciences. Through critical reading and presentation of research articles, students learn how to form questions that can be addressed experimentally and how to write a corresponding, testable hypothesis. The course also addresses the process of experimental design and current experimental methodologies in biology. Students are given multiple opportunities to hone their writing skills on several short writing assignments. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, present a paper to the class, and write a final research proposal due at the end of the semester. We focus our attention on the molecular mechanisms of innate immune responses to pathogens. Some prior knowledge of immunology is beneficial but not required. Students learn to think scientifically while they gain knowledge of basic mechanisms of immune protection against bacterial pathogens.

Course information
Class meetings

On campus
Mondays, Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 pm
Sever Hall 104

Start date

Monday, June 19


4 credits

Course tuition


Enrollment status

  • Limited to 15 students
    Registration Closed
  • Prerequisites

    A satisfactory score on the test of critical reading and writing skills or a B or higher grade in the alternate expository writing course; molecular biology (BIOS S-12 or the equivalent) highly recommended.


    Not open to Secondary School Program students. Harvard College students see additional information.




    Mihaela G. Gadjeva, PhD.

    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

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