Module Descriptions


Develop skills in mechanistic hypothesis setting and experimental design. Learn how to use the relevant literature and deductive reasoning to generate a hypothesis, evaluate ways to utilize in vitro and in vivo complementary models, validate findings, recognize flaws in research direction, re-assess and modify your approach and questions to effectively maintain a mechanistic experimental design.

Learn strategies for selecting a strong thesis topic, defending your research project, evaluating your progress, handling mistakes and results that do not support your hypothesis, giving and receiving advice and criticism.

Become aware of and develop strategies to recognize, implement and fully integrate the academic and non- academic skills required to succeed in Graduate School. Cultivate traits and skills that will demonstrate flexibility, the capacity to work with others and to change and adapt to work environments in an academic hierarchy. Content is geared towards beginning and early year students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences who are preparing for the preliminary examination, thesis-writing process and dissertation defense.

Gain insight and practice in effective oral communication of scientific results. Learn how to frame and structure a poster or oral presentation to communicate with your intended audience. Utilize visual materials to highlight key concepts and findings. Gain practice in creating and delivering a brief scientific presentation, responding to questions, interacting with an audience, giving and receiving formative feedback.

Gain the skills needed to interact with the public and share your scientific pursuits in a meaningful and simple way with a wide variety of audiences, including journalists, students, the general public and Members of Congress.

Learn how to construct effective figures and graphs for scientific presentations while minimizing distractions. Organize data for efficient use of scientific graphic utilities such as Illustrator, “R”, Photoshop and Excel. Learn how to present biological imaging and genomic data effectively. Learn how to adjust your graphics for presentation in a variety of media, including both print and electronic/computer projection.

Gain familiarity with statistical concepts such as hypothesis testing, probability distributions, random variation, rates and proportions, and regression modeling. This course will use a combination of real-world examples and in silico data to illustrate the use and interpretation of various techniques of statistical inference. Although statistical software will be used, no prior experience is needed. The main objective of the module is to introduce students, in a conceptual and non-technical way, to the principles of statistical reasoning in medical and biological research.

Learn how to recognize and acquire behaviors that promote success in graduate training and careers in biomedical sciences and public health. Identify useful strategies for maximizing your impact in scientific meetings and other professional settings. Gain insight into how to effectively present yourself in interviews, CVs, and improve interpersonal communications and interactions with colleagues.

Gain insights and information to help you prepare for the next phase of your career. Learn how to utilize the Individual Development Plan (IDP) as a tool for self-assessment and planning. Develop interviewing skills, and consider how mentoring, networking, personal and professional development, and social support can aid in your postdoctoral/job selection process. Share best practices aimed at helping you succeed.

Develop skills in reading and interpreting original scientific literature. Learn how to distill the main message of the paper, critically analyze the results presented, and engage in scientific discussions among colleagues. Learn how to compare and contrast publication formats for various types of journals and gain insight into the publication process.

This module provides an introduction to key methodologies in modern biology and an overview of Brown University’s shared resource facilities. Visit core facilities that provide services in Biobanking, Microscopy, Structural Biology, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Transgenics, Molecular Pathology, Proteomics, Behavioral Phenotyping, XROMM and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Learn the basics of how the equipment works, how the technology is used in biomedical research, and how the data can be analyzed.

Learn how to effectively communicate the what, why, how, and outcomes of your scientific research. Develop skills and strategies for writing a journal article, responding to reviewer comments, and engaging in critical peer reviews. Understand how to write with clarity and tailor scientific writing to a specific audience and publication format (journal article abstract vs. proposal).

The 5Rs Module aims to help Graduate Students with strategies, tools, and resources for supporting their research and publishing careers. The module content includes strategies for managing data and spreadsheets, tools for making research more reproducible, and resources for preserving and publishing digital content and making it discoverable, accessible, and citable.

Improve your CV, Biosketch, and LinkedIn profile so that you can market yourself more effectively for your chosen career path.

Is this your first time mentoring a research student? Not sure where to start? Curious about best practices and strategies? Want a forum to talk and meet others interested in mentoring? Join us for this 4-part module on research mentoring in science with a focus on mentoring undergraduate researchers in a laboratory setting.

Graduate school success isn't based solely in the classroom. Get tips for wellness outside of courses and labs. Sessions topics include financial wellness (by covering topics like budgeting, savings, and credit), sleep hygiene, stress management, and time management.


This module will focus on the importance of building diverse research teams and implementing inclusive lab policies. It focuses on problem solving, decision making, gender and race in academia and how they influence our work culture, best practices, hiring, mentoring, lab culture and potential problems that may arise. We will discuss and work on ways to collaborate, mentor and lead a team.

This IMSD Module aims to prepare STEM students to submit successful STEM graduate fellowship applications to support their PhD studies by:

  1. Familiarizing them with available STEM graduate fellowships and the practical benefits of receiving such fellowships; 

  2. Acquainting them with the typical components of graduate fellowship applications, including research and personal statements, and how they are evaluated according to Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria;

  3. Teaching them how to draft effective research statements and engaging personal statements; and 

  4. Showing them how to critically evaluate fellowship applications.