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Selecting Rotations

Students working in the lab

All basic science students participate in laboratory rotations during their first year. During each rotation, students work on a research project with the aim of learning laboratory skills and research approaches. Students are encouraged to use the rotations to acquire a variety of skills and to gain familiarity with a range of research areas, including areas that they may not have explored before.

The rotations also expose students to the culture and atmosphere in the different graduate programs and help students identify their thesis laboratory. Final lab matches are arranged in May so students will be prepared to begin thesis work in Summer term.

Selecting Your Rotations

Our school works with Student Advisors from each program to facilitate the rotation process. .

The Dean’s Office provides information on faculty who are interested in hosting rotations and on the likelihood that each laboratory will have positions for thesis students prior to each rotation. Students use this information to identify three labs in which they would like to rotate. Final assignments are made by the Student Advisor in conjunction with the deans.

For the September rotation, information about faculty availability is e-mailed in mid-August.

Tips for a Good Rotation Match

  • Use the website to find faculty members who are doing work that is interesting to you.
  • Think critically about your goals – what can you learn in a particular lab that will be meaningful?
  • Reach out to faculty to ask about what sort of projects rotation students typically conduct.
  • Talk with current students about their rotation and lab experiences.
  • Work closely with your Program Advisor.
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