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Finding Your Lab, Research Advisor, and Mentors

Three laboratory or research rotations are required for all Ph.D. students in this program, and each rotation is typically eight to ten weeks in duration. The first rotation occurs in the fall semester, while the second and third rotations are during the spring semester, which begins mid‐January. In some cases, a student may wish to do a rotation in the summer preceding the fall semester. Planning such a summer rotation should be coordinated with the Program Coordinator and Director, and would begin on July 1. A student also may do a fourth rotation during the summer following the spring semester of the first year if needed. The Program Director may waive one rotation for students with substantive prior research experience who are ready to choose their lab(s). After each rotation, the faculty mentor must provide a Rotation Evaluation (Faculty) and the student will provide a Rotation Evaluation (Student); both forms will be sent to the TBS Program Coordinator who will then submit to the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. These forms will be sent no later than 5 days after the listed rotation end date.

Rotations begin and end as follows:

Begin End
October 1 December 15
January 1 March 15
March 16 May 31
July 1 August 31

Research Mentor and Mentor Development Core

Research Mentor

At the end of the first year of graduate study, each student chooses a primary research mentor. If the student starts in July, they need to have a mentor in place by June the following year. If they start in September, they need to have a mentor in place by August the following year. Students may choose any faculty member within the School of Medicine and Dentistry as their primary research mentor so long as the student has rotated in the lab, there is an appropriate research program, and the mentor has a funding mechanism to support the student. The Program Director will make the final determination as to whether the research program and mentor meet the requirements of the program. Official decisions will be made no earlier than May 1st. The faculty have adopted the date of May 1 as the earliest date on which any faculty member is free to give any student assurance (overt or implied) that the student will be accepted into the faculty member's laboratory.

The newly selected mentor and the student will inform the Program Director and Coordinator of the match by submitting a Mentoring Responsibility and Designation Form.

CTSI Mentor Development Core

Once the student has chosen a primary research mentor and passed their Qualifying Examination, both the student and the mentor are assigned to a member of the University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute (UR CTSI) Mentor Development Core (MDC) program. The MDC's goal is to ensure that the student is making meaningful progress after their Qualifying Examination, while also creating a neutral space for students to discuss their mentor-mentee relationship. The student and primary mentor will develop an academic career development plan for the student to then be shared with the assigned MDC advisor. The student will meet with their designated MDC member and primary mentor at the beginning of the academic year, and then meet with just their MDC member at the end of the year to make sure that the student has stayed on track with their academic career plan.