Research Talks

Presenting your research is an important part of the work of a scientist. Preparing and delivering a scientific talk is important both to improve your presentation skills and as an opportunity to clarify your own thinking about the direction of your research and its place in the larger context of the field.


As part of the departmental degree requirements, each graduate student in their second or later year is required to present a scientific research talk at least once a year. In the third year, the presentation at the preliminary exam can count toward this requirement. In general, the requirement can be met in many ways:

  • a talk at a scientific conference or collaboration meeting (but not a poster);
  • a research seminar at Duke or another institution;
  • a presentation at the departmental graduate student seminar;
  • a talk at a group meeting in the department.


If you are unsure whether you have met the requirement, discuss this with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The annual report submitted to the committee members and the DGS should mention the research talk(s) presented by the student including the forum at which the talk was given.