Research Rotations

One of the most important goals of the first year is to identify an academic advisor and laboratory to join for conducting Ph.D. research, which will occupy the bulk of your time in the program. To assist with lab selection and to gain exposure to a range of research activities in the field, you will participate in three ~4-7-week long research rotations in groups studying computational and systems biology during the fall, winter and spring of your first year. It is encouraged (but not required) that the rotations together include computational/theoretical as well as experimental research. The rotation project may involve a substantial component of reading and discussion. Students should discuss potential rotations with the proposed faculty research advisor in advance and will be asked to present their choice to the CSB program office approximately one week before the start of each rotation. The Graduate Committee will make final rotation assignments, taking into account student and advisor preferences and lab space constraints. In the past, students have almost always been matched to their first choice of rotation laboratories. The goal of rotation research is less to achieve a specific set of results, and more to absorb a way of thinking and a class of problems and approaches and to assess your level of interest in a research program. You will also develop contacts and gain a sense of the people and style of individual research groups. Attending group meetings and talking to group members are both extremely important. 


To aid in choice of rotation laboratories, faculty who are interested in hosting CSB PhD students in their labs give short presentations about their research interests and groups in several afternoon sessions in late September and October. These talks are a good opportunity to get to know faculty and their research interests and to ask questions about research directions, lab organization and philosophy, etc. Attendance at these sessions is limited to and expected of all first year CSB PhD students. 


The three rotation periods are scheduled for:


Rotation 1: Nov. – Dec. 2023

Rotation 2: Jan. 2024

Rotation 3: Feb. – Mar. 2024


The January rotation is shorter because it occurs during the Independent Activities Period (IAP) during which regular courses are not in session, so there is more time to spend in lab/doing research. 

First year CSB graduate students will register in fall and spring for 12 units of CSB.110 Research Rotations in Computational and Systems Biology