Students usually participate in three laboratory rotations before selecting a thesis mentor. Rotations can range widely and may even cross programs. Research rotations are designed to expose the student to new research approaches and different laboratory environments. Significant research accomplishment is not required for a successful rotation. Typical rotations last two to four months. Students who have already conducted research in a laboratory at Washington University are normally prohibited from conducting rotation research in their former lab.
Assistance with identifying appropriate rotation laboratories is available from academic advisers and program steering committees. Students wishing to rotate with a faculty member who is not affiliated with DBBS must receive approval from their program director prior to starting the rotation. Students write a brief description of the rotation project and their objectives prior to beginning the rotation, using page one of the Rotation Report Form. After each rotation, students meet with their rotation adviser to discuss their performance during the rotation. The adviser writes an evaluation for the student’s record, and the student completes the second page of the rotation report form, which evaluates their experience in the laboratory.