Additional Requirements


Students are required to attend GCB Chalk Talks and the monthly Penn Bioinformatics Forum (PBF) seminar series. The Graduate Group tracks attendance and participation in these activities, and they are considered an integral part of the GCB curriculum.

  • GCB Chalk Talks
    • Chalk Talks offer students an opportunity to present their research to other GCB students and faculty. GCB Chalk Talks also provide the opportunity for GCB faculty candidates to present their research, and for students to learn more about potential lab rotations. Schedule for Spring 2020 can be found here.

  • Penn Bioinformatics Forum
    • The Penn Bioinformatics Forum has a long history of bringing top speakers in bioinformatics from academia and industry. All GCB students are invited for a lunch meeting with the PBF speakers. Students also organize two PBF seminars per year (i.e. they select speakers, send the invitations, organize the schedule and meet with speakers on an individual basis, while Penn faculty meet the speaker for lunch and dinner as a group).

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility (SRR)

BGS requires all of its predoctoral students to be trained in both Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility (SRR). More details are included on the BGS website.

Individual Development Plans

BGS PhD and combined degree students are required to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) on an annual basis. An IDP is intended to help in the design of, and measurement of progress in, training. It is also intended to help in identifying short- and long-term objectives and relevant development activities. Each student should use the IDP that aligns with his or her progress in the PhD program and status as a PhD or combined degree student. The IDP is due August 1 of each year for GCB students.

Annual Retreat

The annual GCB retreat usually takes place in the late spring or early summer. The retreat features faculty, current and former students, postdocs and keynote speakers. GCB students present posters on their research. Student attendance for this event is mandatory.