Research Rotations

The purpose of research rotations is to learn new techniques and approaches to science, to determine which lab is best suited for you to carry out your thesis research project, and to impress the faculty member with your motivation and interest in science.

Convince the faculty member whose lab you are in that you will be an outstanding thesis student.

Students are required to take three rotations. Following each rotation, the student will give a short post-rotational talk that summarizes the aim of the project and presents any data that were acquired during the rotation. 

Rotation Schedule

Rotation #1
Summer 1: July – August
Post-Rotation Talk in early September

Rotation #2
Fall 1: September – February
Post-Rotation Talk in early February

Rotation #3
Spring 1: February – May
Post-Rotation Talk in May or June

Students are not expected to generate complete projects. The learning experience of the rotation is to be emphasized over data collection.

To determine which labs best correlate with your research interests, contact the Program Director for advice and connect with faculty members to discuss potential projects. Students need to identify a lab by the spring of Year 2 of the program. If a student is still hasn’t identified after the third rotation, a fourth rotation is possible.

Following each of the rotations, Post-Rotational Talk sessions will be organized during the Annual Seminar for students to present a short (10-15 minute) talk summarizing the goal(s) of the research rotation and present any data acquired.

While these talks should be thoughtfully prepared, they are not meant to be the equivalent of regular seminars given by more advanced students. There is no expectation that substantial new data will be generated during the rotation.

Guidelines for the Post-Rotational Talk

  • 10-15 minute talk
  • 4-9 slides
  • The talk should focus on the goals of the rotation, significance, rationale for the goals, and the experimental approaches used to begin to achieve these goals.
  • If new data have been generated, the presentation of these data will be most welcome (but not required).
  • Send the bulleted Specific Aims and a title of your rotation talk to Bob Yasuda at least 10 days prior to your talk.

Pre-Rotation Form

Students should complete this form prior to the start of the rotation

Pre-Rotation Form

Post-Rotation Form

Students should complete this form and submit via email to the Program Director within one week of completion of each rotation.

Post-Rotation Form

Oral Presentation Skills

When organizing a post-rotational talk or an annual seminar, use this organization and consider each of the points listed.

Oral Presentation Skills

Faculty Post-Rotation Form

Faculty should complete this form after the rotation.

Faculty Post-Rotation Form