Selecting an appropriate research advisor is a key component of success in the Ph.D. program. In order to assist students, we have a formal three-fold approach for advisor selection.
Entering students participate in an orientation session that details the process of advisor selection and provides an opportunity for incoming students to ask questions of current faculty and graduate students. This typically takes place in the week prior to the first week of classes of the fall semester.
CHEM63603: Research Perspectives in Chemistry & Biochemistry
This required course meets for 2.5 hours weekly in the student's first semester. Faculty members present short talks about their research and project opportunities in their groups.
Entering graduate students participate in three different one-month laboratory rotations. These are designed to expose students to the research and culture of a laboratory and to provide an opportunity to interact with current members of the lab. Laboratories for the rotations are selected by the incoming student, and they may include any chemistry and biochemistry faculty members that are accepting new students. While selections are not guaranteed, every effort is made to accommodate student preferences.
After completing the above steps, graduate students submit their advisor preference, and the Department Chair and Director of Graduate Studies initiate the process of assigning students to advisors. Generally, all students have selected an advisor by the end of their first semester and begin active research in their second semester.