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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 duration. The first rotation occurs in early 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 one of the Program Co-Directors 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. The Program Co-Directors may waive one rotation for students with substantive prior research experience. After each rotation, the faculty mentor will 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. 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

Choice of Research Advisor and Mentor Development Core Committee

Research Advisor

At the end of the first year of graduate study, each student chooses a primary research advisor. 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 as their primary research advisor any faculty member on the School of Medicine and Dentistry Interdisciplinary Graduate Program faculty of designated mentors with an appropriate research program and funding mechanism to support the student. The TBS Ph.D. Program Director will make the final determination as to whether the research program and research advisor 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 purpose of setting a specific date before which no commitments can be made is to ensure that each student has ample time for this kind of exploration without "losing out" to a student who might be more prompt or forceful in seeking an early assurance of acceptance.

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

CTSI Mentor Development Working Group

Once the student has chosen a primary research advisor, both the student and the advisor are assigned to a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Mentor Development Working Group (MDWG). The MDWG, chaired by Dr. Vivian Lewis, meets every other month to develop a flexible set of activities to expand, promote, and sustain mentor development. The student and advisor will develop an academic career development plan for the student to then be shared with the assigned MDWG member. The student will meet with their designated MDWG member at the beginning of the academic year and then meet with their advisor and the MDWG member at the end of the year to make sure that the student has stayed on track with their academic career plan.