Oral Presentation Requirement

The ability to make an effective oral presentation is an essential skill for every Ph.D. chemist, and this skill is best developed through experience. To ensure that Ph.D. students have a sufficient range of such experiences, the department requires that each graduate student give at least two formal, public scientific presentations, with at least one of them oral (as opposed to a poster presentation), during their graduate career. These two required formal presentations are in addition to presentations at group meetings, to the shorter and more focused presentations given to the examination committees at the preliminary and propositional examinations, and to the public seminar given at the Ph.D. defense. It is hoped that together these various presentations will expose students to the range of presentation types they will encounter in their professional careers.

You should provide the Director of Graduate Studies office with appropriate documentation of these presentations. For example, such presentations might be given at local, regional, or national meetings of the American Chemical Society or other appropriate professional organization, or as part of a seminar program at Duke or other academic institution.

Conference Travel Support

To help defray the expense of attending professional meetings Conference Travel Awards are available through the Graduate School to students who have passed the preliminary examination, once per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).

Details can be found at:

Learning to Present

Students may find the various workshops offered by Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology or the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Writing to be of help in developing aspects of their presentation skills. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the departmental seminar series, not just to hear about science, but also to learn by example the art of giving an effective presentation.

Poster Printing

The poster printer will be operated by Charles Hendrick ( for academic year 2015-2016. Contact Charles directly to discuss use of the poster printer.