There are 4 principal activities in the course: lectures, SP lab presentations, guided activities and assignments. Since the course is divided in modules, all activities will be thematically distributed. Additional activities include: poster sessions, field trips and round-tables.
Lectures make up the expositional part of the course. Speakers will follow the program, talking about relevant issues in modern evolutionary biology. You should prepare yourself by reading the required literature, and taking the opportunity to expose your questions directly to the researchers.
There are 3 discussion sessions in the first two modules, and two in the last (due to final presentations). Each session will be divided in 40 minute rounds. Students will be divided in 10 groups, the composition of each group is a balanced selection of students. In this manner, each speaker will spend a 40 minute round with a group of 10 students, and at the end will rotate to the next group. Check the time-table here! There will be rounds when a group is not supervised by an instructor, these moments should be used to work and discuss your assignments. At the end of a module, each of the 10 groups will have had the chance to individually discuss the issues raised by lectures and literature with the speaker. Students should at this point use the intelectual material as a guide for the discussion, but should also be aiming to generate ideas for their assignments.
The final assigment has two components: a written essay and a presentation. However, some milestones need to be completed during the school in order to achieve the final objective.
Format - the assignments will take place in a virtual environment, creating thus an online resource that is readily available for the community. This means that your final written essay will be a communally contributed webpage in a wiki environment. We will have an initial tutorial to guide you through the process of establishing and contributing to an online wiki initiative.
Themes - although the groups are pre-defined by the organizing committee, you will have full liberty to decide and define which topic you will want to work on. As you add content to your group's wiki page, you can and should define terms in the School's glossary. Adding words and definitions to the glossary, and especially interacting with other groups in order to generate more meaninful, precise definitions, is highly encouraged. Do avoid editing wars.
We have made available a list of keywords extracted from your own applications to the course, in order to inspire your search for an exciting theme.
Specific goals that should be achieved by the end of the first week (Saturday the 6th) are:
1 - the group's name
2 - the focus issue
3 - definition and background of the issue, relevance, and identification of your proposed work within an area of evolutionary biology (basically, the introduction to your essay)
4 - addition of terms to the glossary
Presentation and final essay
There are no constraints on the type of essay you can write up. Given time constraints and impossibility to perform non-virtual experiments, some options are:
1- an essay in the form of a pre-submission enquiry, in which you propose some type of analyses, but gives enough detail of possible outcomes
2 - a research proposal for a granting agency
3 - the presentation of an actual research paper, performing statistical analyses or meta-analyses (anything in-silico that can be done during the course)
4. a short review or opinion paper on a relevant, exciting subject
Limitations and requirements:
- 3500 words.
- up to 4 figures, tables or graphs (any combination of each).
- you must link to other online resources, such as the glossary or direct links to references.
- we request that you do not use empirical data generated by yourself or your research group and not yet published. If you do decide to produce an analysis paper, please consult with us regarding which data may be used and how.
The essays are due on the night of the 29th, and presentations start at 14:30 on the 30th. Editing to the webpages will be locked at midnight, and presentations in pdf format strictly should be uploaded to a yet to be designated place by that time as well. There will be absolutely no extensions to this deadline.
SP lab presentations
These are supposed to be a more relaxing moment, in which another objective of the school will be accomplished: you will familiarize yourself with the research, resources and opportunities present in Sao Paulo state institutions. The presenters are PIs at varying levels of experience, and they will also be present for other moments in the school, and will participate in discussions and round-tables.
To promote interaction between you and your colleagues, we request that you bring a poster in the format of 120x90 cm. There will be three poster sessions (session assignments).
We will collect questions that arise during the module to be discussed at the final round-table. The round-table will be composed by speakers within the module, lab presenters and other faculty members present.
Leisure time and independent studies
These are really only suggestions. You should use this time at your will to either relax or work on your assignments.
Visits and field trips
Extra course activities include visits to Universidade of São Paulo's (USP) Center for Marine Biology (CEBIMar) and USP's "Alpha Crucis" oceanographic vessel. More information on these will be available at the meeting.