Laboratory Rotations

Laboratory Rotations for First Year Students

Entering Ph.D. students are required to rotate through three laboratories during the first two semesters in residence. The aim of this program is to introduce students to a variety of research approaches, techniques and projects, and to aid students in making an informed choice of an advisor for their dissertation research. The rotation periods are long enough to allow the student to accomplish some research and to learn the culture of the laboratory. Students are expected to work in the laboratories, attend group meetings, and make every attempt to accomplish original research while learning the techniques and approaches of the different disciplines.

Students will choose the first laboratory following an orientation program where faculty interested in having rotation students will give short talks about their research. The selection will be done in consultation with the Program Director. Students will begin the first rotation shortly after classes begin. By November 1, they will choose a second laboratory for rotation and will switch to it about November 15. They will choose a third laboratory by the end of January and begin the final rotation about mid-February. Near the end of the spring semester the student will choose a lab to complete their thesis research. Students should enroll for a variable number of credits of CM595 or CM795 (Independent Study) during the lab rotations.

In order to facilitate the students’ decisions on laboratory rotations, during the first few months of the fall semester faculty interested in having rotation students will give short talks to the students about their research.