Lab Rotations

First year laboratory rotations

BBS PhD students are required to complete three rotations during their first year enrolled in the program. These rotations are designed to:

  • provide a range of research experiences that will give you a broad knowledge of methodologies and techniques;
  • provide you with the opportunity for more substantial contact with various faculty (and faculty with you) in order for both to make an informed decision about your thesis laboratory and Special Committee membership;
  • provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your scientific abilities and enthusiasm for research to various faculty, with the ultimate goal of finding a mentor who is willing to accept you into the lab and provide your funding for the duration of your research project.

BBS Fall 2020 – Spring 2021
Rotation Dates – Tentative due to pandemic

Rotation #

Start date

End date

1st rotation



2nd rotation



3rd rotation



Students and faculty may start home lab negotiations on May 1st

Typical Year - General timeline to follow for first year rotations
Rotation #1 - Begin no later than September 1st and end sometime in November
Rotation #2 - Begin no later than first week in December and end by February 28th
Rotation #3 – Begin no later than March 1 and end mid-May

DVM seeking PhD students who are eligible to be appointed to the Comparative Medicine NIH T32 training grant must conduct research rotations on an accelerated timeline.

DVM seeking PhD timeline for first year rotations (each rotation is typically 10 weeks in duration and must be at least 8 weeks long)
Rotation #1 - Sept 1 until Thanksgiving break
Rotation #2 - Dec 1 until Feb. 15
Rotation #3 – Feb 15 until beginning of May

DVM seeking PhD students must have chosen their faculty mentor and apply to the Comparative Medicine NIH training grant by April 22nd at midnight. Application instructions can be found on the Comparative Medicine NIH Training Grant page. If you are unable to meet this deadline please discuss with your Director of Graduate Studies and Dr. John Parker, Program Director, Comparative Medicine NIH T32 training grant

Note: A student may request a reduction in required lab rotations if they have extensive research experience and demonstrate a strong rationale for their selection of a Special Committee chair. Students may discuss this possibility with their DGS and petition for a reduced rotation requirement. Approval is at the discretion of the DGS and the chair of the BBS Oversight Committee. Students should be aware that such requests are approved only rarely.