Graduate Program in Neuroscience

Lab Rotations

Rotations

First-year Neuroscience students do rotations in a different lab in Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters. Upon completion of a lab rotation, students are required to present a short talk on their project. The Rotation Talks are held on the last day of the quarter. The titles for the presentations are due the Monday of Finals Week. Since we prepare handouts and web access to this material, we need all students to meet this deadline. We will provide more details approximately one month before the talks. Students are evaluated at the end of each lab rotation.

Students are expected to choose and to be accepted into their dissertation lab by the end of their third rotation, and students must complete all three rotations, even if they decide to join their first or second rotation lab. In rare cases, students may petition the Directors to do a fourth rotation; generally, failure to join a lab at the end of the third rotation will be considered unsatisfactory progress.

Each student must work with his/her rotation advisor to make sure that all lab safety and training procedures are completed at the beginning of the rotation; students working with vertebrate animals should talk with their advisors about being added to the rotation lab’s Animal Protocol before starting any work with animals.

How to Choose a Rotation Lab

Here are some things that should be considered:

  • Rotation labs do not need to set up rotations before arriving at UW.
  • We have 140+ faculty members, so you have many choices.
  • Ask direct questions – do they have funding for grad students? Do they have room for a grad student? Do they have time for a grad student?
  • Don’t assume that because they said they had money and they had room, that you have a slot in that lab. (Some faculty like small labs.) If you want to enter that lab – ask them directly and honestly.
  • Work with your assigned faculty mentor from the Graduate Training Committee to facilitate the process; he/she can have those peer-to-peer conversations you might not be able to have.
  • Finally, talk with the Directors about your rotations if you are uncertain or see that you might be having some problems. Don’t wait until the deadline.

Once a dissertation lab is chosen, the Neuro Program Office will generate an advisor letter that will be signed by the student, by the dissertation advisor, and by that advisor’s department chairperson. The advisor (and his/her department) will take fiscal responsibility for the support while the student works on his/her Ph.D. course of study. This support will include not only the salary, but also benefits and tuition waivers. At the point a student joins a lab, responsibility for the student’s payroll will transfer from the Neuroscience Program Office to the advisor’s home department.

Rotation Talks/Posters

Upon completion of each lab rotation, students are required to present a short talk on their project. The Rotation Talks are to be held on the last day of the quarter.

The titles for the presentations will be due the Monday of Finals Week. Since we prepare handouts and web access to this material, we need all students to meet this deadline. We will provide more details approximately one month before the talks.

First year students are evaluated at the end of each lab rotation; each student may review his or her rotation evaluations in the Program .

Dissertation Lab Selection

NEURO Students who start in Autumn Quarter 2016 must submit their dissertation lab choice to the Program Office by  June 1, 2017.

Once a dissertation lab is chosen, the Program Office will generate an advisor letter that will be signed by the student, by the dissertation advisor, and that advisor’s department chairperson. The advisor (and his/her department) will take fiscal responsibility for the support while the student works on his/her Ph.D. course of study. This support will include not only the salary, but also benefits and tuition waivers. At this point, responsibility for the student’s payroll will transfer from the Neuroscience Program Office to the advisor’s home department.

 

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