The group agreed on the following 5 take-home messages:
- Advanced summer courses are uniquely valuable
The courses serve a unique function as capstone courses for the professional development of early career researchers and as critical opportunities for mid and late career scientists who want to explore new directions in their research.
- Advanced summer courses are resource-intensive by nature
These courses are extremely labor and resource intensive and the capacity for offering them is limited in many respects.
- Some challenges are common to all the courses
Faculty support, evaluation, alumni follow-up, outreach, faculty recruitment and fund-raising are challenges faced by all of the courses.
- Impact can be broadened by modularization
New technologies offer opportunities to broaden the courses’ impact.
- There are opportunities for synergy and cooperation
The courses have a number of needs in common. It would be worthwhile to consider developing a systematic means of meeting those needs, and sharing information, ideas and best practices among the various courses.
Accordingly, the group proposed the following recommendations:
- Continue support for such courses.
- Establish a common platform to meet common needs.
- Convene an advisory group to keep track of the mix of courses offered, identify gaps, and facilitate the establishment of new courses.
- Institute an annual meeting of course organizers.
- Take advantage of advances in technology to make course content available to more students.
CitationAnn Reid. 2011. Educating the microbiologist of the future: the role of summer courses.
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