Curriculum / Requirements
(A) Credit Requirement
(1) For students entering with a master’s degree, at least 18 credits (thesis credits excluded) of formal coursework are required.
(2) For students who enter the program with a bachelor’s degree, 30 credits (thesis credits excluded) of formal coursework are required. Students holding a bachelor’s degree require evaluation by the admission committee to advance into the Ph.D. program at the end of their first year of matriculations.
(B) Required Courses
(1) Introduction to Neuroscience (3 credits, offered every Fall)-Students who have taken the credits of Neuroscience related courses at University can apply for credit transfer。
(2) Neuroscience Seminar (1 credit per semester, for a total of 4 credits within the first two years).
(3) Laboratory Rotations(2 credits, at least 2 rotations in the first year)
For students enrolled in NYMU, one rotation should be in Academia and the other in NYMU.
For students enrolled in NCKU, one rotation should be Academia sinica and the other in NCKU.
(4) Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Lecture (1 credit per semester, for a total of 2 credits in the first year)
(C) Elective Courses
(1) Elementary Chinese Course (0 credit; international students from non-Chinese countries are required by TIGP program to take one year course of Mandarin Chinese)
(2) Neural Development (2 credits)
(3) Neuroscience thesis writing and presentation(1 credit)
(4)Electrophysiology Technique(3 credits)
(5)Bioimaging Technique(3 credits)
(6)Introduction of Research Techiniques in Neuroscience(2 credits)
(7) Students are allowed to take courses related to neuroscience as elective courses.
*Students with bachelor degree should take no more then 10 credits for courses that are not offered in English. For students holding master degree, 3 credits are the maximum.
2. Thesis Advisor
Students are required to select two thesis advisors, one from National Yang-Ming University and the other from Academia Sinica. These thesis advisors can be selected from any assistant professors or above who is a member of this program and meet the qualifications under “Guidelines for qualifications as thesis advisors for doctoral and master's students at National Yang-Ming University”.
Students should have completed at least two laboratory rotations for two months each (8 weeks in summer breaks or during semesters). Students should choose their thesis advisors before the beginning of the spring semester in their second year.. Students will be advised by the Student Affairs Committee before they choose their thesis advisors. All students are required to have chosen their advisors before the beginning of the spring semester in their second year.
3. Qualifying Examination
(1) Satisfactory completion of all required courses, including Introduction to Neuroscience (3 credits), Neuroscience Seminar (2 credits), Laboratory Rotations (2 credits), and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Lecture (2 credits).
(2) Thesis advisors must be selected by each student.
The examination for admission to candidacy should take place no later than January 31 of the second year. For students entering with a bachelor’s degree, the examination for admission to candidacy should take place no later than January 31 of their third year (the second year of their Ph.D. program).
(1) First-year students should submit the qualifying examination application with an abstract of their doctoral research project by 5:00 PM on June 1.
(2) Upon approval of the abstract, seven hard copies and an electronic copy (pdf format) of the FULL thesis proposal for the Qualifying Examination Committee should be submitted to the TIGP-INS Office by July 31. Please note that there will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this deadline.
(3) The oral presentation should take place by September 30. This will consist of 40 – 45 minutes of oral presentation by the student, followed by questions from the members of the Qualifying Examination Committee.
(4) Applicants may apply for re-examination due to the following reasons:
i. Failure to pass the required courses in the first year
ii. Thesis advisors have not been chosen in the first year
iii. Failure to successfully complete the qualifying examination on the first try
For re-examination, the student must apply by November 1 of the second Ph.D. year, submit a thesis proposal by December 31, and finish the oral defense by the end of February.
Qualifying Examination Timetable in a Glimpse
1. Submit a qualifying examination application, including the title and abstract of your thesis proposal
Before 5:00 PM on June 1 of first Ph.D. year
2. Submit a FULL thesis proposal to the TIGP-INS office
Before 5:00 PM on July 31 of first Ph.D. year
3. Finish the oral presentation
Before September 30 of the second Ph.D. year
*If you enrolled with a master’s degree on September of 2013, the first Ph.D. year starts from August 1, 2013 and ends in July 31, 2014.
*If you enrolled with a bachelor’s degree on September of 2013, the first Ph.D. year stars from August 1, 2014 and ends in July 31 of 2015.
IV. Qualifying Examination Committee
The Degree Examination Committee will select five to seven experts as members of the Qualifying Examination Committee and appoint one of the members as the committee chair. Thesis advisors cannot be included in the Committee.
V. Standards for Passing the Qualifying Examination
(1) Two-third (including two-third) of all attending committee members must vote to pass AND
(2) The students must receive a grade point average of at least 70 (out of 100 points) on the qualifying examination.
VI. Outcomes of the Qualifying Examination
Grade of Qualifying Examination
The committee feels that the student has met expectations and passed the exam, as determined by the standards described in Section V. The student will now be qualified as a Ph.D. candidate in the program.
The committee feels that the proposal only needs improvement in writing. The student will have 2 weeks to rewrite the proposal and resubmit it to the committee for approval.
If the committee feels that the student’s performance is unsatisfactory, he/she may be given an opportunity for reexamination.
*If the student is not offered re-examination, or if the student’s performance is judged unsatisfactory on the re-examination, he/she should withdraw the TIGP-INS program.
VII. Writing your Thesis Proposal
The thesis proposal may consist of the following components in order. The text should be typed in Times New Roman 12-point font and single-spaced. The main text (not including pages of title and references) of your proposal should not exceed 13 pages.
(1) Abstract (1 page): Briefly describe the background that leads to the specific aims to be achieved and any hypotheses to be tested. Briefly mention approaches that are to be used to accomplish the above goals.
(2) Specific aims and hypotheses to be tested (1 page): Briefly describe the background. Summarize the major goals of this proposal and what specific research aims are to be accomplished. State any hypotheses to be tested and briefly describe what approaches are to be used.
(3) Background review and significance (2-3 pages): Briefly describe the background and bibliography of major references of this proposal. Critically evaluate present knowledge related to this proposal and specifically identify the gaps in which this proposal intends to fill. State concisely the importance and significance of the research described in this application by relating the specific aims to the overall goals of the proposal.
(4) Research design and methods (8 pages):
Describe the research design and the procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the proposal. Describe the rationale of why your designs can accomplish the aims of the proposal, including how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Describe any new methodology and its advantage over existing methodologies. This section should NOT be a compilation of procedures and methods. It should be written in a way that original ideas, concepts, hypotheses, innovative strategies, and research design and methods could be readily delineated.
Each aim briefly describes what anticipated results would satisfy the original hypothesis and how these results would be important for planning the next steps in the proposal. Discuss the potential difficulties and limitations of the proposed procedures and alternative approaches to achieve the aims.
4. Thesis Progress Report
(1) After successful completion of the qualifying examination, Ph.D. candidates should meet with their Thesis Advisory Committee every year to assess their thesis progress.
(2) The Thesis Advisory Committee consists of at least three committee members (including the thesis Advisors). Appointments and changes to the committee members will be determined by the student's thesis advisor, along with the academic committee of this program.
5. Degree examination
(1) Degree Review Examination
(a) Ph.D. candidates should submit the application “Degree Review Examination” and submit it along with the application form, 2 recommendation letters from thesis advisors, an initial draft of their complete thesis and other evidence of scholarly achievements.
(b) After reviewing all the supporting documents mentioned above, the candidate will be permitted to give an oral presentation.
(c) Successful completion requires the agreement of 80% or more of the Degree Examination Review Committee members (6-10 members from National Yang-Ming University and Academia Sinica; but excluding thesis advisors).
(d) Candidates who fail the review examination may apply for a re-examination. Only one re-examination is permitted. Students who fail the re-examination will be asked to withdraw from the program.
(2) Degree Examination
(a) Prerequisites for Examination
(i) Ph.D. candidates who pass the review examination should fill out an application requesting the Degree Examination and submit it along with past transcripts, thesis, and proof of successful completion of the Qualifying Examination. After the application is approved by the thesis advisor, the program director, and the director of Institute of Neuroscience within the school deadline, students should submit aforementioned documents, letters of recommendation from the thesis advisors, and a name list of the Degree Examination Committee to the Office of Academic Affairs of the University.
(ii) A draft of the thesis should be written in English and according to the requirement set forth by the University and submitted to the Degree Examination Committee after being approved by the thesis advisor prior to the Degree Examination.
(b) Degree Examination Committee
The Degree Examination Committee will consist of five to nine members, recommended by the thesis advisor. Over one-fifth of the committee members should be from outside of this program. A chairperson will be selected from the committee, and the student’s thesis advisor cannot be the chairperson. Qualifications for faculty members of the Degree Examination Committee will be determined as per University regulations.
(c) Degree Examination
(i) The final examination score is an average of individual scores given by the attending committee members, and a score of 70 out of 100 is considered passing. However, if one-third of the committee members give a score below 70, the student will fail the examination.
(ii) After successful completion of the degree examination, the student will make all necessary modifications suggested by the committee members. If the candidate cannot comply with the suggestions, reasons why such changes cannot be made should be provided. The revised thesis must first be approved by the chairperson of the Degree Examination Committee and then submitted to other committee members for final approval and signatures.
(iii) Candidates who fail the thesis exam can apply for a re-examination, provided their time-to-degree limits have not yet expired. Re-examination is limited to one opportunity only. Students who fail the re-examination will be asked to withdraw from the program.
The affiliation of TIGP students in their published work should be listed as followed,
1.For students enrolled in NYMU, the affiliation should be listed as "Taiwan International Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan", followed by the primary affiliation of the advisor".
2.For students enrolled in NCKU, the affiliation should be listed as "Taiwan International Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, National Cheng Kung University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan", followed by the primary affiliation of the advisor".