Research Rotations/ Choosing an Advisor

A student in the Harvard Biophysics Program is given the opportunity to carry out an average of 3 research rotations in the laboratories of those faculty members whose research is of interest to the student.  Rotations are arranged in mutual agreement between student and faculty member, and can take place starting immediately with the beginning of the fall semester of the student's first year, or toward the middle or latter part of the first semester.

Biophysics 300, a required first year, fall semester course, is designed to assist students with these decisions by offering seminars by many of the faculty associated with the program, in which the faculty describe their current research interests during one hour-long presentations.  The seminars are followed by, or may be carried out simultaneously with, three laboratory rotations that continue into the spring and summer, and generally last for roughly ten weeks each, although some individual rotation periods can continue for a longer duration.  These rotations provide the student with a good feel for a faculty’s research and should help to determine a student’s laboratory affiliation and advisor for their dissertation research.

Students in the Biophysics Program are able to carry out research rotations up until the middle of the spring semester of their 2nd year in the program, by which time they are expected to have chosen a laboratory and advisor for their dissertation research going forward.