Lab Rotations

  • Rotation 1 – Thur., Aug. 22 – Thur., Oct. 17

    • Presentation week 10/14-10/17
  • Rotation 2 – Mon., Oct. 21 – Fri., Dec. 13

    • Presentation week 12/9-12/13
  • Rotation 3 – Mon., Jan. 13 – Fri., Mar. 7

    • Presentation week 3/3-3/7

Research Rotations

During the first year, students undertake up to three, 6-7-week research rotations with BMS faculty. The rotations must be with three different BMS graduate faculty, unless the student fast-tracks with a faculty member after either the first or second rotation. In this situation, the student would continue subsequent rotations with the same faculty member.

The purpose of the rotation is to determine if the mentor, research, and laboratory environment are a good match for the student’s Ph.D. studies. During the rotation, students have the opportunity to interact with their rotation mentor and laboratory personnel (i.e., other graduate students, postdocs, and research staff), assess potential research opportunities, learn new techniques and skills, and gain important insight that will help them in determining if this is the right fit for their scientific interests and development. The first and second rotations take place in the first semester, and the third rotation is at the beginning of the second semester.

First-year students must conduct rotations with graduate faculty in the BMS concentrations. Available faculty members are identified on the BMS faculty search page. Given the large number of potential mentors available among the graduate faculty, the mentor selection process requires careful organization and assistance, provided by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and the concentration coordinators. Lab rotations should be arranged with BMS graduate faculty who have funding to support a graduate student. The Graduate Education Office conducts a periodic survey of the graduate faculty designed to identify principal investigators who will have funded positions available for students. Students are encouraged to line up their first rotation prior to the beginning of fall semester. Subsequent rotations should be confirmed one week prior to the start of the rotation.

*Note: Students can only rotate in the same lab if they have decided to fast-track and have completed the mentor contract.

Please submit your rotation information here:

Rotation Oral and Written Presentation Requirement

At the end of each rotation, students are required to: 1) submit a scientific abstract summarizing their research, and 2) give a 10-minute oral presentation on their rotation research. The abstract must be submitted to the rotation mentor and concentration coordinator organizing the rotation talks several days before the rotation presentation. The final version of the abstract must also be uploaded to the following website by the end of each rotation:

The abstract should be between 150-250 words and include the following information:

  • Introduction (background/relevance, statement of hypothesis)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion (conclusions, future directions)

The oral presentation is given in either the journal club or data discussion course of the rotation mentor’s concentration. The student should discuss with the rotation mentor the most appropriate journal club/data discussion for the presentation.

At the end of each rotation, the mentor provides a grade for the rotation and completes a standardized rotation evaluation, which is kept in the student’s file. Students who do not successfully complete both the written and oral component of their research presentation will receive an unsatisfactory grade.