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Core Competencies of the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has specified competencies are central to successful doctoral training. These competencies describe the knowledge, skills and attributes students will develop through our curriculum and research training programs. Proficiency in these competencies and their related objectives is assessed in individual required courses for each academic program, Qualifying Exams, thesis-mentor Research Evaluations, annual TRAC meetings, and at the Dissertation Defense. Graduating students will have attained all the following competencies.

Academic Standards Committee
Members: Milena Bogunovic, Daryl Bosco, Catherine Dube, Dannel McCollum, Haley Melikian, Heidi Tissenbaum, and Michael Volkert

#1. Knowledge-based problem-solving ability and critical thinking: identify important biomedical and/or population health problems and conduct original research.

Demonstrate knowledge mastery; integrate information from prior research experiences and the literature to identify novel, unanswered biomedical and/or population health questions as the basis for one’s original thesis research project.

Design a research strategy, including appropriate quantitative, analytical, qualitative, or theoretical methodologies, to explore components of the problem and begin to address the question.

Independently analyze, assess, and critically evaluate one’s own scientific work and the work of others to determine research directions. 

Demonstrate mastery and appropriate application of a range of research approaches and techniques used in their field.

Generate original research outcomes that meet dissertation standards.

Demonstrate the ability to conduct and lead research efforts in a productive and efficient manner.

#2. Communication: successfully engage in written and oral scientific discourse

Describe scientific information accurately; articulate the outcomes, progress, limitations, and challenges of one’s own scientific work.

Compose and deliver accurate, organized oral and written communications of scientific ideas, analyses, and arguments.

Articulate the background, significance and impact of one’s research and place it in the context of their field as well as more broadly in the context of scientific advancement.

Demonstrate the ability to respond to and address scientific inquiries and constructive criticisms from others, including from colleagues, peers and members of the scientific community. 

Exhibit proficiency for listening to and considering others’ views, including views from diverse backgrounds and/or that may appear different from their own.

#3. Responsible Conduct of Research: students comprehend and apply ethical standards to research and decision-making

Adhere to ethical principles and recognize potential sources of bias applicable to research, free from scientific misconduct.

Demonstrate an understanding of and compliance with appropriate regulations and institutional policies regarding lab biosafety protocols, and protection of animal and/or human subjects.

Adhere to the highest ethical standards related to honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Identify and use appropriate attribution in in both oral and written communications, including but not limited to presentations and publications.

Conduct research with scientific rigor and ensure reproducibility

#4. Professionalism and career advancement: students exhibit professional behavior and attitudes

Demonstrate the ability to work in collaborative and team settings involving colleagues with expertise in other disciplines.

Recognize the value of diverse teams and engage in efforts that support a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

Demonstrate professional and organizational skills including time management, setting and meeting deadlines, and project management.

Apply leadership principles including creating a vision, planning strategies to determine and achieve short- and long-term goals, fostering collaboration, empowering others, and guiding decision making.

Seek and leverage mentorship and professional networks to advance one’s professional development and career goals.