Graduate Seminars

All graduate students are required to participate in the departmental seminar series. For M.Sc. students, this requirement is given as course code Chemistry 6001. For Ph.D. students, this requirement is given as course code Chemistry 6003. Graduate student are required to attend all scheduled seminars during their programs.

Each graduate student is also required to present a seminar on their research to the department. This is typically done in the final semester of their program. It must be completed satisfactorily before their thesis is submitted. Students should consult with their supervisor about the best way to present their research and practice presenting their seminar with their research group.

The Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) is the official instructor of Chem 6001 and Chem 6003. At the beginning of every semester, the instructor will hold an orientation session for students enrolled in Chem 6001 and Chem 6003. Attendance is mandatory. The purpose of this session will be to ensure that students are fully aware of all regulations concerning graduate seminar courses and receive guidance about basic presentation skills. Students who enroll midway through the semester are responsible for arranging a meeting with the Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) in lieu of the orientation session. The instructor receives no teaching credit for these courses.

Graduate seminars (Chem 6001 and Chem 6003) will normally be presented during regular departmental seminar slots. Students must set their seminar date in consultation with the Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) within the first week of the semester in which they are registered. Graduate seminars will normally be scheduled prior to the commencement of exams. At least one week prior to the scheduled date of the seminar, an abstract must be submitted (to Ms. Mary Flinn).

Chem 6001

Chem 6001 is the Master’s Research Seminar. The student will present the results of his/her master’s research project in a fashion that is clear, informative, and understandable to a general chemistry audience. 6001 seminars should be 30 minutes in length. If the room where the seminar is given is equipped with a microphone, it must be used.

Chem 6003

Chem 6003 is the Doctoral Research Seminar. The student will present the results of his/her doctoral research project in a fashion that is clear, informative and understandable to a general chemistry audience. 6003 seminars should be 40 minutes in length. If the room where the seminar is given is equipped with a microphone, it must be used.

Acknowledgement of the Work of Others

For Chem 6001 and Chem 6003, all work of other people must be acknowledged appropriately. Guidelines for the use of copyrighted material can be found at http://library.concordia.ca/help/copyright/. The use of images from the open literature including copyrighted material without permission is permissible provided that a clear acknowledgement of the source is given (e.g., “Figure taken without permission from www.pa.msu.edu/cmp/csc/nanotube.html” or “Figure taken without permission from “Kroto, H. W.; Heath, J. R.; O’Brien, S. C.; Curl, R. F.; Smalley, R. E. Nature, 1985, 318, 162–163”.

The presentation of unchanged passages of text from literature sources is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence (see Section 2.4.12.2, Entry 3 in the Memorial University Calendar). Placing a literature citation at the bottom of a slide where copied text is presented does not negate the plagiarism. The presentation of unchanged passages of text from literature sources is permissible only when the entire passage of text is placed in quotations and immediately followed by the name of the author(s) and the source of the quote. For example:
Example of the contents of an unacceptable slide (reformatting of material taken verbatim from a source and the listing of additional sources):

  • Much of modern organometallic and polymer chemistry, as we know it, started with a chance observation made in the early 1950s by the Ziegler group in Mülheim, Germany.
  • During this time, Ziegler was continuing work that had been initiated during World War II in exploring the use of alkyl aluminum complexes for the oligomerization of ethylene to produce lubricating oils.
  • On one occasion, it was noted that this reaction produced 1-butene from ethylene instead of the C10–C20 hydrocarbons normally observed.
  • Subsequent analysis of the reaction autoclave found the presence of nickel.
    • Grubbs, R. H. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 3760–3765. Handbook of Metathesis, Grubbs, R. H., Ed., Wiley-VCH, Weinhem, 2003.

Example of the contents of an acceptable slide (if verbatim, or slightly modified, text is to be presented):
“Much of modern organometallic and polymer chemistry, as we know it, started with a chance observation made in the early 1950s by the Ziegler group in Mülheim, Germany. During this time, Ziegler was continuing work that had been initiated during World War II in exploring the use of alkyl aluminum complexes for the oligomerization of ethylene to produce lubricating oils. On one occasion, it was noted that this reaction produced 1-butene from ethylene instead of the C10–C20 hydrocarbons normally observed. Subsequent analysis of the reaction autoclave found the presence of nickel.” – Grubbs, R. H. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 3760–3765.

More information on proper attribution of research work is available on the Academic Integrity page.

Seminar Attendance

Attendance of all graduate seminars is mandatory for all graduate students. Attendance will be taken and monitored. Poor attendance will be reported to supervisors and persistent poor attendance may be grounds for the failure of Chem 6001 or Chem 6003. An attendance sheet will be placed in the mailbox of the supervisor of a presenter prior to the seminar. The supervisor is responsible for circulating the attendance sheet and returning it to the Graduate Secretary after the seminar.

Graduate Seminar Evaluation

Examining Committee

Graduate seminars (Chem 6001 and Chem 6003) shall be evaluated by a committee consisting of the student’s supervisor and three other examiners. The other examiners will normally be regular academic staff members (ASMs) in the Department of Chemistry, or cross-appointed ASMs. Graduate Seminar Report forms will be placed in the mailbox of the supervisor of a presenter prior to the seminar. The research supervisor is responsible for appointing the examiners and it is strongly recommended that this be done at least a day in advance of the seminar. The Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) may appoint examiners when necessary.

Evaluation

The student will be expected to:

  • present a well-organized and professional seminar, in which the content is of an appropriate level and the presentation material is acceptable
  • demonstrate a strong level of understanding of the material presented appropriate to their field of study
  • answer questions satisfactorily
  • cite original literature appropriately and obtain copyright permission where appropriate

The examiners shall decide individually if the seminar is a PASS or UNSATISFACTORY using the 0–10 scale on the Graduate Seminar Report form (see below). Each examiner must complete and submit a Graduate Seminar Report form to the Graduate secretary shortly after the completion of the seminar. The Graduate Seminar Report forms will be made available to the student.

A grade of PASS in the graduate seminar will be awarded to the student if at least three examiners have evaluated the seminar as a PASS and no examiner has evaluated the seminar to be UNSATISFACTORY. If an examiner deems the seminar to be UNSATISFACTORY, the examiner must clearly state why. If one examiner deems the seminar to be UNSATISFACTORY, the committee will meet with the Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) within 24 hours to discuss whether the seminar should be repeated. If more than one examiner deems the seminar to be UNSATISFACTORY, the student will be required to prepare and present another seminar within two months.

If one examiner deems the repeated seminar to be UNSATISFACTORY, the committee will meet with the Deputy Head (Graduate Studies and Research) within 24 hours to discuss whether a re-presentation is required. If a repeated seminar is deemed to be UNSATISFACTORY by more than one examiner, the student will be awarded a grade of FAIL for the seminar course.
Graduate Seminar Report