Qualifying (Comprehensive) Exam
The Qualifying Exam is typically offered annually during the Spring-Summer Term of Year II. Students are eligible for the exam after successfully completing PHTO 6312 (ACC Pharmacology) and PHTO 6213 (ECT Pharmacology). The qualifying exam format involves the preparation of a grant proposal. Students will be asked to submit a written research grant proposal on any pharmacologically-related topic that can include the area related to their individual dissertation research. A second component of the qualifying exam is an oral presentation of the research proposal. Certain guidelines are to be met as listed below.
The Written Component
The research proposal will follow NIH PHS398 grant guidelines (http://grants.nih.gov/
grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html) as they pertain to the general ‘research plan’ limited to 10 pages, and should describe an original hypothesis/idea based on published literature, and a research plan to test the hypothesis. Published research (with due consideration given to citing the work appropriately) can be used as supporting/preliminary data for the purpose of the proposal. Original data generated by the student can also be used for this purpose in proposals related to their dissertation research. The deadline for submission will be determined annually. Proposals are to be submitted electronically as PDF files to the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Program Administrative Associate (Ms. Nicole Bilotta) or the Qualifying Exam Committee (QEC) Chair (Dr. Elferink, firstname.lastname@example.org) by the deadline.
A one page (or less) letter of intent briefly describing the research area being considered for the proposal (e.g. background and significance, hypothesis and specific aims) is to be submitted 2 months before the proposal deadline to the Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Program Administrative Associate (Ms. Nicole Bilotta) for review by the QEC in order to evaluate appropriateness.
The expectation is that student will 1) develop the proposal independently without involvement by the student’s mentor, and 2) continue to be research active during this time, unless granted leave by their mentor. For each proposal, three reviewers (selected from the faculty in the PHTO graduate program) will be assigned to provide a written critique of the proposal, and a score will be assigned using the NIH scoring format. Written critiques will be made available to the student two weeks after the submission deadline date. A preliminary average score will be assigned to each proposal.