What skills should students of undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology programs have upon graduation?


Address for correspondence to: Department of Chemistry, Gottwald Center for the Sciences, University of Richmond, 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, Virginia 23173, USA. E-mail: jbell2@richmond.edu.


Biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) students should demonstrate proficiency in the foundational concepts of the discipline and possess the skills needed to practice as professionals. To ascertain the skills that should be required, groups of BMB educators met in several focused workshops to discuss the expectations with the ultimate goal of clearly articulating the skills required. The results of these discussions highlight the critical importance of experimental, mathematical, and interpersonal skills including collaboration, teamwork, safety, and ethics. The groups also found experimental design, data interpretation and analysiand the ability to communicate findings to diverse audience to be essential skills. To aid in the development of appropriate assessments these skills are grouped into three categories, 1) Process of Science, 2) Communication and Comprehension of Science, and 3) Community of Practice Aspects of Science. Finally, the groups worked to align these competencies with the best practices in both teaching and in skills assessment. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 41(5):297–301, 2013