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Graduate Group Bylaws

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group is composed of a broad group of faculty drawn from different departments and schools of the University of Pennsylvania and its affiliated institutions. The functions of the Graduate Group are to educate graduate students in the areas of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and to award graduate degrees to students who meet the standards of the program. The Graduate Group is governed by an Executive Committee and a Chair.

Graduate Group Chair

The Graduate Group Chair presides over the Executive Committee, convenes Graduate Group meetings, works closely with the BMB Graduate Group Office, and serves as the BMB representative to the Biomedical Graduate Studies Advisory Committee. The faculty at-large elects the Graduate Group Chair by mail ballot. An election must involve participation of at least one-half of the graduate faculty members to be valid. A majority of voting Graduate Group members is required for election. If a majority is not obtained, a run-off election between the two top candidates shall take place. The term of the Chair is for three years.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall have responsibility for all Graduate Group activities. These include admissions, recruitment, overall curriculum development, reviewing recommendations for new faculty, reviewing annually the activities of current faculty for reappointment, reviewing student progress, and monitoring the general well-being of the student body. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chair of the Graduate Group and chairs of the Ph.D. Admissions, M.D./Ph.D. Admissions, Curriculum, Academic Review, Student Affairs and Recruitment committees, and the principal investigators of training grants that are utilized predominantly by the BMB Graduate Group. The Director of the Prelim Exam is also a member of the Executive Committee.

Issues discussed by the Committee shall be decided by majority vote. A quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the Committee membership. The term of the members shall be three years with no limitation on the number of terms a member can serve. The committee meets every three months or as needed.

Admissions Committees

The Graduate Group Chair shall choose the Chair of the Admissions Committee. The Chair of the Admissions Committee shall appoint each year two or more faculty members to serve on the Committee. Committee members review student applications and develop recruitment strategies. The Chair of the Admissions Committee is the representative to the Biomedical Graduate Studies Admissions Committee.

The Graduate Group Chair shall also choose the Chair of the M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee, who oversees the recruiting of combined degree students.

Curriculum Committee

The Graduate Group Chair shall choose the Chair of the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee Chair shall appoint three or more faculty members to serve on the Committee. Faculty appointments are for two years. The Curriculum Committee shall plan and coordinate the curriculum of the program. The Chair of the Curriculum Committee is the representative to the Biomedical Graduate Studies Curriculum Committee.

Academic Review Committee

The Graduate Group Chair shall choose the Chair of the Academic Review Committee. The Academic Review Committee Chair shall appoint two more faculty members to serve on the Committee. Faculty appointments are for two years. The Academic Review Committee shall meet with each first and second year student twice a year and, in consultation with the student, plan his or her schedule for the following semester. In the event that a student is placed on academic probation, the Academic Review Committee shall meet with the student, and advise the student with the goal of regaining satisfactory academic standing.

Student Affairs Committee

The Graduate Group Chair shall choose the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee. The Student Affairs Committee Chair shall appoint three or more faculty members to serve on the Committee. Faculty appointments are for two years. The Student Affairs Committee shall meet with the student body or student representatives, and shall act as a liaison and provide a forum for student input into the Graduate Group.

Preliminary Examination Director

The Graduate Group Chair shall choose the Director of the Preliminary Examination, who is responsible for devising, administering, and monitoring the Prelim Exam.

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Cell and Molecular Biology

Organization| Program Structure| Executive Committee| Graduate Group-wide Committees| Membership| Reviews

Overall Organization:

The Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group is composed of a broad group of faculty drawn from different departments and schools of the University of Pennsylvania and its affiliated institutions. The functions of the Graduate Group are to educate graduate students in the areas of cell and molecular biology and to award graduate degrees to students who meet the standards of the program. 

The Graduate Group shall be governed by an Executive Committee and a Chairperson. In addition, there shall be Program Directors responsible for each of six specialized Programs: Cancer Biology, Cell Biology and Physiology, Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biologyy, Gene Therapy and Vaccines, Genetics and Gene Regulation, and Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology.

The Graduate Program Structure

Six Programs currently exist within the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group: Cancer Biology, Cell Biology and Physiology, Developmental, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Gene Therapy and Vaccines, Genetics and Gene Regulation, and Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology.

Programs exist within the Graduate Group to offer education and training in specific areas of cell and molecular biology. All students must affiliate with a Program and students may switch between programs with the permission of the program chairs involved. A switch between Programs after the beginning of the second year might involve taking additional courses.

Each Program is responsible for the design and implementation of a specialized curriculum appropriate to its specialized topic, the academic advising and supervision of the students in its Program, the supervision of preliminary exams, the organization and supervision of thesis committees, and the organization of program specific activities and events. In addition, each program shall cooperate with the CAMB graduate group in the establishment of a core curriculum, the integration of Program specific curricula with the overall CAMB curriculum, as well as the recruiting and supervision of students.

The organization of these activities may vary by Program, but at a minimum, there must be a Program Chair that is elected or whose selection is ratified by the program faculty. The Program Chair will be responsible for organizing program activities and will represent the Program on the Executive Committee.

Establishment or disbandment of Programs shall require approval by two-thirds of the membership of the Executive Committee and must be ratified by more than half of the CAMB faculty members. Changes in the composition of Program specific committees and Program procedures shall be determined by each Program individually.

The Executive Committee and Its Members

  1. Function of the Executive Committee

    The Executive Committee shall have the responsibility for all Graduate Group-wide activities. These include admissions, overall curriculum development, overseeing faculty membership, interacting with the Biomedical Graduate Studies administration and final authority in student-related matters.

  2. Composition of the Committee

    The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chair of the Graduate Group, the Chairs or their designees from each of the six Programs, two graduate student representatives, and a representative from the MD/PhD program nominated by the MD/PhD program director with consultation and approval by the CAMB executive committee. Each Program Chair may bring one member of their faculty to meetings as appropriate.

    The Executive Committee shall meet monthly or more often if necessary. Issues discussed by the Executive Committee shall be decided by majority vote. Each program shall have one vote, as shall the Chair of the Graduate Group. A quorum shall consist of two-thirds of the Committee membership including students. On matters pertaining to individual students or faculty, the graduate student members of the Committee shall be asked to absent themselves.

  3. The Graduate Group Chair

    The Graduate Group Chair will be appointed from the current or past membership of the Executive Committee to a term of three years, to be served at the pleasure of the Executive Committee. A majority vote of the Executive Committee will be required for appointment or dismissal.

    The Graduate Group Chair shall preside over the Executive Committee, lead Graduate Group meetings, and serve as one of the three representatives of CAMB to the Biomedical Graduate Studies Advisory Committee. The Graduate Group Chair shall either be one of the Program Chairs currently serving or a former Program Chair who has completed a term in that capacity.

  4. The Program Chairs

    Program Chairs are elected by their faculty for a term of 3 years. Three months prior to the end of each term, the Program shall inform their primary faculty that the term will be ending. Nominations for Program Chair may be put forward by the Program's executive committee or from any primary member of the Program. Appointment of a Program Chair will require a majority vote from at least 2/3rds of the Program’s primary faculty. Dismissal of a program chair will likewise require majority of 2/3rds of the Program's primary faculty or a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Program Chairs may appoint at their discretion a second faculty member to assist them in administering the Program.

Graduate Group-wide Committees and Their Chairs

The following committees serve at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

  1. Admissions Committee and Its Chair 

    The Chair of the Admissions Committee shall be chosen by the Executive Committee and shall report to the Executive Faculty at least once per year.

    The Admissions Committee shall be composed of the Chair and at least one faculty representative from each of the six programs. Two additional members shall each be responsible for all applications from under-represented minorities and for international applications, respectively. Faculty appointments are for two years. Committee members review new student applications and develop recruitment strategies. Three members will be designated as members of the BGS Admission Committee with full voting rights. Presentation of favorable applicants to the Biomedical Graduate Studies Admissions Committee may be made by any member of the Admissions Committee. 

  2. Curriculum Committee and Its Chair 

    The Chair of the Curriculum Committee shall be chosen by the Executive Committee and shall report to the Executive Faculty at least twice per year.

    The Curriculum Committee Chair shall preside over a Committee consisting of one faculty representative and one student from each Program. Appointments are for two years, with half being appointed each year. The Curriculum Committee shall plan and coordinate courses. It is expected that courses will be developed for individual Programs by the Programs themselves and presented to the CAMB Curriculum Committee for approval. The Chair of the Curriculum Committee shall be a member of the Biomedical Graduate Studies Curriculum Committee, as shall any two other faculty members.

  3. Events Committee and Its Chair 

    The Chair of this Committee shall be chosen by the Executive Committee and shall report to the Executive Faculty at least once per year.

    The Chair of the Events Committee shall appoint students and faculty chosen from interested volunteers. The Events Committee is responsible for organizing the annual Graduate Group Symposium and other social or scientific events.

Membership in the Graduate Group and in Individual Programs

  1. Guidelines for Faculty Membership

    Candidates applying for membership in CAMB must have a faculty appointment at the University of Pennsylvania. All candidates must demonstrate, commensurate with their experience, a strong commitment to and competence in PhD graduate training and graduate teaching. All faculty must have an independent laboratory and clearly demonstrated expertise and productivity in Cell and Molecular Biology as judged, for example, by multiple first or last authored publications in highly respected peer-reviewed journals within the field. Faculty applying for membership three or more years after their initial appointment must demonstrate the presence of an active and independent, high quality research program appropriate for the training of graduate students. This can be accomplished, for example, through a distinguished record of publications in the field of Cell and Molecular biology, a history of outside funding, and participation in graduate teaching or graduate group activities. 

  2. Admission of New Faculty 

    The following procedures shall be followed for admission to the Graduate Group: 

    Faculty who wish to join the Graduate Group in Cell and Molecular Biology must submit the following documentation to the Chair of CAMB:

    • A current curriculum vitae, including grant support and training record. 
    • A paragraph (approximately 200 words) describing the faculty's research and two bibliographic reference citations. 
    • For newly appointed (within two years) and adjunct faculty (faculty with primary appointments outside the University of Pennsylvania), written confirmation that the faculty member currently holds an appointment in a department at the University of Pennsylvania. 
    • A letter of understanding that specifies the Program with which the applicant wishes to affiliate and states the faculty member's willingness to serve on administrative or examination committees, attend thesis defenses, attend Graduate Group and Program seminars, attend general meetings of the Graduate Group, develop and teach graduate level courses, host seminar speakers, serve as a facilitator for BGS bioethics training at least once every three years, and pay the fee for the annual CAMB Symposium, as well as attend at least one Symposium every three years.

    These submissions will be reviewed by the Program Chair and then submitted to the Executive Committee for its approval. The Executive Committee will only accept faculty who are likely to be suitable mentors for graduate students and are willing to contribute to graduate group activities. It is encouraged that the prospective CAMB member contact the relevant Program Chair before formally submitting an application

    The Graduate Group Chair will forward the names of accepted applicants to the Director of Biomedical Graduate Studies. The Biomedical Graduate Studies Office will confirm the applicant's University appointment and send a letter of confirmation of Graduate Group membership. 

    Once admitted to a specific program, a faculty member may supervise a rotation or dissertation for any student in the Graduate Group, regardless of the Program that the student has selected. Supervision of graduate students is contingent on demonstrating the capability of supporting a student, should he/she do a thesis in that laboratory. Membership in a Program requires participation in Program-specific and CAMB-wide activities (see Renewing Membership, below).

  3. Renewing Membership in the Graduate Group 

    Each new appointment and reappointment to the Graduate Group is for a three-year term. The term may be renewed for another three years by the Executive Committee. In order to qualify for renewal of membership, an individual must meet the service requirements outlined below and maintain a strong independent research program suitable for the training of graduate students.

    Each Graduate Group member must complete an average of 50 service hours per year over a three-year period. Graduate Group and Program chairs, training grant principle investigators, and course directors are exempt from the teaching and administrative service requirements.

    • Teaching/Academic Committee Service: A minimum of 15 of the 50 hours must be devoted to teaching and/or service on academic committees. Teaching is defined to include directing courses, preparing and giving lectures, other course preparation and in-class time, grading, and the like. Academic committee service includes participation in preliminary exam and thesis committees. This service category does not include supervision of a rotation or dissertation student.
    • Administrative Committee Service/Supervision of Students in the Lab: The remaining hours per year must be performed in areas such as serving on administrative committees and supervising rotations and dissertations.
    • Bioethics Training: Each faculty member must participate in a bioethics training program at least once during each three-year term. This requirement may be met by serving as a discussion leader of a BGS Bioethics Workshop; other options for participation include attending other relevant BGS-approved University bioethics courses or symposia. 

    Documentation for the evaluation will be provided by annual surveys submitted by each faculty member to the CAMB office and by written confirmation of faculty teaching contributions generated by the Curriculum Committee. Failure to provide the necessary information in a timely manner could be construed as a failure to meet the service requirements of the graduate group.

    The Executive Committee, advised by recommendations of the Program Chairs, shall make decisions regarding membership. A faculty member whose membership is not renewed may appeal the decision to his or her Program Chair. The Executive Committee will vote again on reappointment after this meeting.

Graduate Group Reviews

In accordance with BGS policy, each graduate group shall be reviewed every six years.

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Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Introduction and Objectives

The Graduate Group in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Graduate Group) is responsible for providing graduate training in epidemiology and biostatistics and managing a PhD degree program in epidemiology and MS and PhD degree programs in biostatistics. The objective of both PhD programs is to train individuals to be rigorous and independent academic investigators able to apply and extend the range of approaches available in epidemiology and biostatistics to address research issues in health. Training focuses on both applied and methodologic work. The objective of the MS program in biostatistics is to train individuals in the basic theory and applications of statistical methods, especially as applied to problems in the health sciences.

The Graduate Group is a member of the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program (BGS) in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. It is comprised of clinician epidemiologists, epidemiologists, and biostatisticians. The Graduate Group is closely affiliated with the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) and the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE).

Governance

The Director of the CCEB selects the Chair of the Graduate Group, subject to the approval of the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Vice Dean for Research and Research Training. The Chair is appointed for six-year, renewable terms. The Chair is responsible for the administration of the Graduate Groupís training programs, including student advising, curriculum, degree requirements, and research experiences; the appointment of Directors of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics training programs, in consultation with members of the Graduate Groupís Executive Committee, as appropriate; the appointment of faculty to BGS and campus-wide committees, as needed; and final approval of studentsí dissertations.

The Directors of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics training programs are responsible for the administration of each training program within the Graduate Group. The Director of the Epidemiology training program works closely with the Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit and the Director of the Biostatistics training program works closely with the Director of the Biostatistics Unit, both within the CCEB. The program directors are responsible for the appointment of chairs of standing and ad hoc committees within each program, in consultation with the appropriate Unit Director, subject to the approval of and also in consultation with the Graduate Group Chair. Together, the program directors and Graduate Group Chair are responsible for managing funding packages for all students.

Graduate Group standing committees include Curriculum and Admissions Committees within each of the two training programs. Other standing committees include a Teaching Awards Committee, an Epidemiology Qualifications Evaluation Committee, a Biostatistics Qualifications Evaluation Committee, and a Biostatistics Program Executive Committee. Committee members are appointed annually by the program directors, subject to the approval of the Graduate Group Chair.

Executive Committee members are appointed by the Graduate Group Chair, all of whom are members of the Graduate Group. The Executive Committee is responsible for providing guidance to the Graduate Group Chair. Its responsibilities also include the integration of its two training programs, approval of changes in policy and course/degree requirements, and confirmation that requirements have been met by degree candidates. The Executive Committee meets monthly to discuss academic issues and programs, as well as administrative matters, brought to its attention by members of its standing and ad hoc committees, as needed and appropriate.

Membership

Graduate Group members include epidemiologists and biostatisticians with faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania. New members must be nominated by current members and submit an application, which includes a cover letter describing proposed contributions and a Curriculum Vitae. The Graduate Groupís Executive Committee reviews applications and approves new appointments and renewals. In order to maintain membership, members must provide approximately 50 hours of service annually, on average, over a three year period. Membership is subject to renewal every three years. Service activities include: advising a student; serving as a member of a thesis/dissertation committee; acting as a course director or course lecturer/seminar leader; serving as a track or program leader; reviewing student manuscripts, grant proposals, and protocols; attending student presentations; participating in the CCEB and/or Biostatistics Applied Research Forum seminar series; and serving on one or more of the Graduate Groupsí standing or ad hoc committees.

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Genomics and Computational Biology

Preamble

The Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Group (GCB) is a member of the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. The purpose of the GCB is to provide excellent education for qualified students, leading to the Ph.D. in Genomics and Computational Biology. The GCB provides the graduate educational program corresponding to the Penn Genomics Institute and Penn Center for Bioinformatics. Fiscal support of the Graduate Group is provided by BGS.

Article I. Of Members

Section 1. The faculty of the Graduate Group shall consist of members and members emeriti. Members must hold appointments to the standing or research faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.

Section 2. Members shall be appointed for a term of three years. Membership may be renewed at the end of each three-year term pending approval of the Executive Committee. Renewal will be based on a review of each member's level of participation in Graduate Group affairs.

Section 3. Candidates for membership must be nominated by a member, by a letter to the Chair. Nominees will be considered by the Executive Committee, and if approved, presented to the Graduate Group faculty. Resumes and supporting documents for each candidate shall be available at the Graduate Group meeting or circulated to the faculty. Candidates shall become members upon approval of at least 3/4 of the Graduate Group membership. Members who lose their Graduate Group membership may be nominated for new membership at any time.

Section 4. A member shall become emeritus (-a) at the time of attaining this status in his or her home department, provided that a review of participation in the Graduate Group affairs by the Executive Committee is successful.

Section 5. The criteria for new and continued membership applied by the Executive Committee shall include the extent to which the candidate is actively involved in Graduate Group activities. These activities include teaching in the Genomics and Computational Biology curriculum, supervision of thesis and rotation students, and participation on standing and ad hoc committees of the Graduate Group.

Article II. Of Officers

Section 1. There shall be a single elected officer of the Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Group, its Chair.

Section 2. The Chair shall serve for a period of 3 years. The Chair may serve successive terms if re-elected by the membership.

Section 3. The membership shall be requested to nominate candidates for Chair during the last year of the current Chair's term. The new Chair shall be selected by closed ballot during the last Graduate Group meeting of the current Chair's term. At the discretion of the Executive Committee, the vote can be by mail ballot. The new Chair shall be determined by a plurality among those voting. Absentee votes shall be obtained for faculty not in attendance at the meeting. The votes shall be collected and counted by the Executive Committee and the new Chair announced as soon as possible after the meeting.

Section 4. The duties of the Chair shall include: oversee day-to-day operation of the Graduate Group, appoint chairs of standing committees, and administer personnel matters regarding faculty and students. These tasks will be performed in consultation with members of the Executive Committee as appropriate.

Article III. Of Organization

Section 1. The standing committees of the Graduate Group shall be: Executive, Admissions, Curriculum, and Academic Review/Advising. The membership of these committees shall be rotated on a three-year basis. Preliminary exams will be administered under the authority of a separate Prelim Committee. Additional committees (standing or ad hoc) can be created by the Graduate Group chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall meet approximately every three months to administer and coordinate Graduate Group activities.

Section 3. The Admissions Committee shall be chaired by the Chair of the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee shall review all applications to the Graduate Group, select the most promising applicants for interviewing and recruitment, and ultimately identify those who will be offered admission to the program. Toward these ends, it shall meet weekly throughout most of the Spring semester.

Section 4. The Curriculum Committee shall meet at least annually to review course evaluations and to consider major or minor revisions to the curriculum. Minor actions such as suggestions to individual course directors may proceed without approval of the membership. Major revisions of the curriculum shall be discussed and presented to the Executive Committee or to the full membership of the Graduate Group for further discussion and ultimate ratification.

Section 5. The purpose of the Academic Review/Advising Committee is to track the performance of all students through the program, to serve as formal advisers to students in the program, and to assist the Chair in resolving problems. The Committee shall meet twice per semester to review student progress and provide advice on program and course selection.

Section 6. The ad hoc committees of the Graduate Group will be of two types: Preliminary Examination Committees and Thesis Advisory Committees.

Section 7. When proposed revisions are drafted, the revised Bylaws will be proposed at a Graduate Group meeting, or at the discretion of the Chair, circulated by email to the membership. The revised Bylaws will be accepted if ratified by a majority among those voting.

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Immunology

Governance of the IGG

Chair

The sole officer of the IGG is the Graduate Group Chair. This person is responsible for all of the educational aspects of the program as well as for organizing and maintaining integration of the various aspects of the program. The Chair will appoint individuals to chair the various committees of the IGG and approve all changes in the directorship of IGG organized courses. It is the responsibility of the Chair to notify and advise the membership of significant changes in University and BGS policy and to represent the concerns of the membership to these groups. The Executive Committee serves as an advisory body to the Chair. The Chair convenes monthly meetings of the executive Committee and sets the agendas for these meetings. He or she presides over and sets the agenda for annual faculty meetings. In addition to these responsibilities, the Chairís responsibilities include the following:

The Chair serves a three year term that is renewable. In the spring semester of the third year of the term, the Membership Committee will request nominations for the Chair, contacting those individuals to determine if they would agree to serve. Nominations must be of senior level (Associate or Full Professor) individuals from the standing faculty of the University. The Chair is expected to be experienced in training Ph.D. level students. The election is administered by the chair of the Membership Committee, with votes are forwarded to the Coordinator, who tallies the votes and reports back to the Membership Committee.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee functions as an advisory committee to the Chair. It is composed of the IGG Chair and eleven other faculty selected from senior membership of the IGG. The membership will represent the concerns of Student Affairs, Curriculum, and Admissions Committees in addition to the primary training grants supporting students in the program. Its responsibilities are to maintain integration of the various graduate group programs and to review significant changes in policy, direction, or intent as recommended by IGG Committees or members, prior to final approval by the membership at large. The Executive Committee will decide upon the advancement to candidacy for each of the students in the program. For this reason, the membership should always broadly represent each aspect of the studentsí training program. The Chair of the Executive Committee will be the IGG Chair, who will be responsible for leading meetings and organizing the agenda. Members of the committee are John Wherry (Chair), Mike Cancro, Jan Burkhardt, Dave Allman, Pete Felsburg, Mark Greene, Christopher Hunter, Gary Koretzky, Terri Laufer, Warren Pear, Craig Bassing, Phil Scott, and David Artis.

Admissions Committee

The responsibilities of the Admissions Committee are the following:

The Chair of the Admissions Committee will sit on the BGS Admissions Committee and represent the IGG. He or she will also be a member of the IGG Executive Committee. The following faculty members are currently members of the Admissions Committee: David Artis (Chair), Mike Cancro, Chris Hunter, John Wherry, Jan Burkhardt, Warren Pear, Phil Scott, Terri Laufer, Craig Bassing, Dave Allman, Avinash Bhandoola, Gary Koretzky, Taku Kambayashi, Dan Powell, and Paula Oliver.

Student Affairs Committee

The Student Affairs Committee reviews the progress of all 1st and 2nd year students. This Committee administers the First and Second Phase Oral Examinations. The Chair of the Student Affairs Committee sits on the IGG Executive Committee. The current composition of the Curriculum Committee is as follows: Terri Laufer (Chair), Mike Cancro, Dave Allman, David Artis Avinash, Bhandoola, Jan Burkhardt. Scott Hensley, and Jon Maltzman.

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee reviews the existing curriculum and evaluates how the studentsí needs are met by the available courses. Modifications to the existing curriculum are initiated by this Committee and approved by the Executive Committee and then by the membership of the IGG.

The Chair of this committee prepares the agenda and runs committee meetings, attends BGS Curriculum Committee meetings, and sits on the IGG Executive Committee. The current composition of the Curriculum Committee is as follows: Craig Bassing (Chair).

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee evaluates faculty applications for membership in the IGG. This committee reviews applications and votes for nomination and election to membership. This Committee also solicits nominations for IGG Chair and tabulates votes from the membership. The current composition of the Curriculum Committee is as follows: Peter Felsburg (Chair).

Retreat Committee

This committee will organize the annual IGG retreat, held in the fall of each year. The co-chairs of the Retreat Committee are Taku Kambayashi and Ed Behrens.

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Neuroscience

Fall 2010

Preamble

The Neuroscience Graduate Group shall be a member of Biomedical Graduate Studies program within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. Its purpose shall be to develop and maintain a high-caliber training program for qualified students leading to the Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience.

Article I. Of Members

Section 1. The Neuroscience Graduate Group shall consist of members and members emeriti. Members must be members of the Standing Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Under exceptional circumstances, members of the research faculty may be elected to the Graduate Group, but their participation is defined by University policy.

Section 2. Members shall be appointed for a three-year term. Membership shall be renewed at the end of each three-year term upon review by and approval of the Membership Committee. Review shall consist of evaluation of a summary of the member’s participation in Graduate Group activities, submitted in writing by the member and confirmed by Graduate Group staff. The criteria for continued membership applied by the Membership Committee shall be the extent to which each candidate is actively involved in Neuroscience Graduate Group activities. These activities are summarized in Appendix I and include teaching graduate courses in the Graduate Group curriculum, supervision of rotation and thesis students, and participation in standing and ad hoc committees of the Graduate Group.

a. Faculty with insufficient participation shall be notified in writing during year 3 of their membership cycle.

b. If participation is not increased, the member will be placed on “student ineligible” status at the end of the three-year term. Student ineligible status means that the member may not host students for lab rotations or thesis work for the duration of this status.

c. Upon increasing participation, a member with student ineligible status may petition the Membership Committee in writing for restoration of full membership status. If participation requirements are not met within 1 year, membership will be revoked.

d. The Membership Committee shall meet twice per year to consider these requests and other membership issues.

Section 3. Faculty candidates for new membership shall request a meeting with the Graduate Group Chair and submit a cover letter and curriculum vita. The Graduate Group Chair, Vice-Chair or designee shall meet with the faculty candidate to discuss requirements for membership and participation required to maintain full membership. After this meeting, faculty candidates shall have all rights and privileges of Graduate Group membership. Faculty candidates shall become full members with voting rights upon a majority vote of full Graduate Group members at one of the semi-annual meetings, and upon approval by the Biomedical Graduate Studies program as described in their guidelines.

Section 3. A member shall become emeritus when his or her faculty appointment within his or her home department attains emeritus status, provided that a review of participation in Neuroscience Graduate Group activities by the Membership Committee is successful.

Article II. Of Officers

Section 1. There shall be a single officer of the Neuroscience Graduate Group, its Chair. The Chair may decide to institute an Executive Committee, consisting of a Vice Chair, Director of Student Recruiting and Admissions, Director of Curriculum, and Director of Student Advising and Academic Review, or other positions. These individuals will serve at the Chair’s discretion and assist in the development and execution of Graduate Group activities.

Section 2. The Chair shall serve for a period of 3 years. The Chair may serve successive terms if re-elected by the membership.

Section 3. The membership shall be petitioned for nominations for Chair during the third year of the current Chair’s term. The new Chair shall be selected by a simple majority of votes of the entire membership during the last Graduate Group meeting of the current Chair’s term. Absentee votes shall be obtained for faculty not in attendance at the meeting. The votes shall be collected and counted by the Chair of the Membership Committee and the new Chair announced as soon as possible after the meeting.

Section 4. The duties of the Neuroscience Graduate Group Chair are described in Appendix 2 and shall include: supervision of the day-to-day and other operations of the Graduate Group; constituting Graduate Group standing committees and serving on those committees ex officio; providing opportunities for members to participate in Graduate Group activities; hiring and supervision of Graduate Group staff, in collaboration with the Biomedical Graduate Studies program; advising graduate students, serving as a liason among the student, advisor, Thesis Committee when needed, and assisting in ensuring that all students are funded for the duration of their thesis work; serving on the Biomedical Graduate Studies Advisory Committee; and other duties as necessary.

Article III. Of Organization

Section 1. The standing committees of the Neuroscience Graduate Group shall be: Admissions, Academic Review, Curriculum, and Membership. The Chair and members of these committees shall be appointed by the Graduate Group Chair for a three-year term. The Chair and members may be invited to serve additional three-year terms at the Graduate Group Chair’s discretion.

Section 2. The Admissions Committee shall coordinate recruitment efforts, review all applications to the Neuroscience Graduate Group, select applicants for interviews and recruitment, and ultimately identify those individuals who shall be offered a position in the Graduate Group. The Admissions Committee meets regularly from November through March, and additionally as needed.

Section 3. The Academic Review Committee shall monitor the academic and research performance of all graduate students during years 1 and 2 in the Neuroscience Graduate Group. The committee shall meet with each student once per semester during this time, will review student performance, and advise students on coursework and laboratory rotations. The committee shall assist the Graduate Group Chair and committee Chair in addressing student issues that may arise through the time students successfully complete the candidacy examination. The committee shall also monitor the progress of all thesis level students once per year, and ensure that the student’s thesis committee is addressing any student issues that may arise.

Section 4. The Curriculum Committee shall review course evaluations and revisions to the Neuroscience Graduate Group curriculum. Major revisions shall be discussed with and voted upon by Graduate Group members at the Graduate Group meeting each semester. The committee shall meet at the committee Chair’s discretion. The committee Chair shall represent the Graduate Group on the Biomedical Graduate Studies Curriculum Committee. In addition to ongoing management of the curriculum, the committee shall prepare a review of all Graduate Group courses and other aspects of the curriculum in advance of the Graduate Group review, conducted periodically by the Biomedical Graduate Studies program.

Section 5. The Membership Committee shall evaluate existing members for renewed membership and to consider petitions from those members on student ineligible status for full membership. The committee shall meet twice per year, or as appropriate, at the committee Chair’s discretion.

Section 6. The ad hoc committees of the Graduate Group shall be of two types: (1) Candidacy Examination Committees and Thesis Advisory Committees, with duties as described in the Neuroscience Graduate Group Handbook; and (2) Committees such as the Awards Committee, Lab Rotation Talks Committee and other committees constituted at the Graduate Group Chair’s discretion.

Article IV. Of Meetings

Section 1. The Graduate Group Chair shall convene at least two general meetings per year, one in each of the Fall and Spring semesters. Faculty shall be invited to add items to the agenda in advance of the meeting or may introduce items for discussion at the meeting itself.

Article V. Of the Program

Section 1. A description of Neuroscience Graduate Group requirements for student coursework, laboratory rotations, the Candidacy Examination, and other program requirements shall be found in the Handbook.

Section 2. Neuroscience Graduate Group faculty members are required to provide full support for a student conducting thesis level research in their laboratory, including but not limited to stipend, tuition, dissertation fees and health insurance as mandated by the Biomedical Graduate Studies program, as well as associated research costs.

Article VI. Ratifications and Amendments

Section 1. These by-laws became effective in November, 2010, upon approval by a majority of the Neuroscience Graduate Group membership.

Section 2. Amendments shall be valid on approval by a majority of the members attending future Graduate Group meetings.

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Pharmacology

The Graduate Group of Pharmacological Sciences shall be a member of the Biomedical Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Its function shall be to provide academic and research training for graduate students in modern approaches to Pharmacology leading to a Ph.D. in Pharmacological Sciences.

I. Organization

A. Graduate Group Chair

Responsibilities

Election and Term

The Chair shall serve for a term of three years and may serve successive terms if re-elected by the members of the Graduate Group. During the third year of the Chairís term, the Graduate Group Executive Committee nominates one or more faculty members from the Graduate Group. Members of the Graduate Group will be requested to provide additional names for the ballot. The new Chair shall be elected by majority vote by closed ballot at the annual Graduate Group meeting.

B. Executive Committee

Responsibilities

Members of the Executive Committee shall include the Chair of the Graduate Group, the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Chairs of each of the Standing Committees, and a representative from each of the Training Tracks in the Graduate Group. In addition, up to two additional members can be appointed by the Chair of the Graduate Group. Terms will be for three years except for Chairs who shall remain on the Executive Committee as long as they continue to serve in the capacity of Chair.

C. Standing Committees

Curriculum

Responsibilities

Members of the Curriculum Committee shall be the course directors of classes being taught during the academic year, faculty volunteers appointed by the Chair of the Graduate Group in consultation with the Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and two students elected each year by the students in September. Membership to the committee shall reflect changes in course directors on a yearly basis. Additional faculty appointed to the committee shall be for a term of three years. Student membership shall be dependent on yearly election by the students.

Academic Review

Responsibilities

Members of the Academic Review Committee shall be faculty volunteers appointed by the Chair of the Graduate Group in consultation with the Chair of the Academic Review Committee. Membership to the committee shall be for a term of three years.

Admissions

Responsibilities

Members of the Admissions Committee shall be faculty volunteers appointed by the Chair of the Graduate Group in consultation with the Chair of the Admissions Committee and two students elected each year by fellow students. Membership to the committee shall be for a term of three years for faculty and dependent on yearly election for students.

D. Other Committees

Preliminary Examination Committees

The Chair of the Preliminary Examination Committee shall be appointed by the Academic Review Committee. The Chair of the Examination Committee in consultation with the student appoints three faculty members to complete the Examination Committee. This committee shall be responsible for evaluating the written proposal and its oral defense. Expertise in the field of the proposal should be considered in selecting members of the Examination Committee.

Thesis Advisory Committees

No more than six months after initiation of a research project, a Thesis Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Academic Review Committee in consultation with the student and the thesis advisor. To this end, the student submits the name of prospective committee members to the Academic Review Committee together with a short paragraph describing the topic of the thesis research. If appointment of a faculty member who is not a member of Graduate Group is requested, the student should submit one copy of a complete curriculum vitae of this person. Appointment to the committee should be based on expertise in areas relating to the thesis research. The committee reviews the request, and notifies the student and thesis advisor of the appropriateness of the committee and any suggested modifications. The chair of the committee is chosen at the first meeting by the committee in consultation with the advisor and student. The Chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee must be a member of the Graduate Group. Ultimately, the advisory committee consists of 4-5 faculty, but may initially consist of 2-3 faculty in addition to the advisor. The thesis advisor is not an official member of the committee; although, she or he will provide important input at all meetings. Thesis Advisory Committees shall meet every 6-8 months.

II. Membership in the Graduate Group

Members of the Graduate Group shall be from the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania and associated organizations. A limited number of faculty from other institutions or organizations may be Associated Members of the Graduate Group. Associated membership shall not exceed 20% of the total membership in the Graduate Group.

Application for Membership

Faculty who wish to join the Graduate Group should send a letter to the Chair indicating the reasons for their interest in joining the Graduate Group along with a current curriculum vitae including a list of past trainees. A supporting letter from a current member of the Graduate Group is not required but can be included.

Term

Members are appointed for a term of three years. Membership may be renewed every three years. Renewal of membership by the Executive Committee is dependent on active participation in Graduate Group events and service to the Graduate Group.

Graduate Group Service

Continued membership in the graduate group is dependent upon involvement and service in Graduate Group activities. Service includes but is not restricted to the following:

  1. serving as course director or teaching in graduate group courses
  2. participating in graduate group committees
  3. training rotation or thesis students
  4. acting as a principal investigator on an appropriate training grant

III. Training and Academics

It is recognized that the training mission of the Graduate Group evolves and responds to the changing academic and research environment. The Student Information and Guidelines book shall serve as the guiding policy on the academic and training mission of the Graduate Group. Changes in academic and training policies shall be updated annually by the Chair of the Graduate Group in consultation with the Executive Committee and other committees as appropriate and published in the Student Information and Guidelines book.

IV. Graduate Group Meetings and Amendments to the Bylaws

Graduate Group meetings will be held annually. Amendments to these bylaws can be made at the annual graduate group meeting if approved by a majority of the members attending.

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