Three laboratory rotations are required of PhD students.
The normal schedule for these rotations is:
Rotation #1 Summer 1 Jul - Aug post-rotation talk early Sep
Rotation #2 Fall 1 Sep - Feb post-rotation talk early Feb
Rotation #3 Spring 1 Feb - May post-rotation talk May-Jun
To determine which labs best fit your interests, get advice from the Program Director and contact a few faculty members to discuss potential projects with them. Determine whether or not the faculty member would be willing and able to consider accepting you as a thesis student at the appropriate time (Spring 2). One purpose of the rotations is to learn new techniques and approaches to science. Another purpose is to determine which lab is best suited for you to carry out your thesis research project. A third, and important, purpose is to impress the faculty member with your motivation and interest in science.
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.
It should be noted that rotations are not expected to generate complete projects and that the 'learning experience' of the rotation is to be emphasized over data collection.
Rotations should be looked at as an opportunity for you to convince the faculty member whose lab you are in that you will be an outstanding thesis student.
Guidelines for organizing a talk
Expectation of the post-rotational talk. Following each of the rotations, sessions will be organized during the seminar schedule that allow students to present a short (10-15 minute) talk that summarizes the goal(s) of the research rotation and presents 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. A rough guide for a 10-15 minute talk might be to present 4-9 slides. Most, if not all, of the talk can be focused around the goals of the rotation, the significance and rationale for these 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.