All entering Bioinformatics doctoral students are required to complete three research rotations during their first year in the program. Students are expected to rotate with a different Bioinformatics core faculty member each of the first three quarters. Students are expected to contact and make arrangements with host faculty members. At the end of the three rotations, students are expected to select a thesis advisor for doctoral research from among these faculty members.
The purpose of the three rotations is three fold: First, to provide students with an opportunity to look closely at the laboratories that they are seriously considering joining for their thesis research. At the same time, rotations are an opportunity for the faculty to get to know the students and to assess their appropriateness for their laboratory. Second, to provide a training opportunity for the student, to learn a new set of research skills. And Third, to provide an opportunity for the student to develop an ecosystem of potential collaborators, committee members, and recommendation letter writers.
To accomplish these goals, students are expected to behave during the Rotation as though they are a graduate student in the host laboratory. Rotating students are expected to engage in a research project. Rotating students are also expected to participate fully in the intellectual life of the lab, including attending group meetings and taking part in the give- and-take discussions of the lab’s research. Rotations are not simply a period for rotating students to observe a faculty member’s group. Students should enroll in Bioinformatics 596 under the faculty member with whom they are rotating for the quarter of their rotation.