These seminars enable students nearing the completion of their thesis work to present it publicly and critically to students and faculty. We believe that it is very important for students in the first two years of the Program to be exposed to the research accomplishments of the more advanced students. Students in the early stages of their training come away with an immense appreciation for the progress made by their more senior peers. This helps to build confidence in their own ability to carry out all that will be required of them.
Connections made between the junior and senior students helps to unify the Program vertically and fosters a spirit of shared participation. Often, these seminars become occasions for the senior students to offer advice based on their own experience concerning the choice of a discipline, a laboratory, a mentor or a career direction. For the senior students, these seminars provide a valuable opportunity to practice their presentation skills. Many students use these seminars as an opportunity to practice and critique their thesis defense presentations. The participation and comments of Program-affiliated faculty helps to ensure that the seminars are viewed as an important part of the MD-PhD experience.