Serving on a DEB Qualifying Exam

DEB Faculty Members Serve on DEB Student Qualifying Exams (QEs)

At least one member of a student's qualifying exam committee must be a DEB faculty member in good standing and willing to examine the student on DEB-related material. The person fulfilling this role must be indicated on Office of Graduate Studies Form 319, which the DEB chair must review and sign before it is filed by the DEB student with the Office of Graduate Studies and the qualifying exam takes place.  The DEB faculty examiner may be the QE committee chair or one of the other QE committee members.  The expectation for the QE committee member examining for the DEB is that they’ll assess the student’s knowledge of DEB-related coursework.  To aid in preparing QE questions, DEB faculty serving in this role may request the current DEB263 course syllabus from the Administrative Team.

General expectations for the DEB portion of a doctoral qualifying exam:

  1. DEB students should be able to articulate how their research (or other basic research) might inform applications of biotechnology to range of global challenges (e.g. healthcare, environment, agriculture). 
  2. DEB students should have a basic understanding of regulatory affairs/government policies, intellectual property (IP), interdisciplinary team science, project management and science communication in life science technology development and deployment.
  3. DEB students should have knowledge of basic molecular biology, bioprocess engineering and other platform technologies that form the basis of the biotech industry (i.e. understand the research operations and business models of biomanufacturing companies, such as Genentech or Novozymes, or seed companies, such as Bayer Crop Science).
  4. DEB students should be familiar with professional norms of practice in biotechnology (“responsible conduct of research”) and current bioethics debates regarding the deployment of new biotechnologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of humans, plants and animals.