LAB ROTATIONS

Neuroscience laboratory rotations provide students with valuable laboratory experience during their first year.  Students must complete 3 lab rotations, each lasting approximately 10 weeks, before formally selecting a mentor and being ready to join a thesis lab no later July 1.  Students are only allowed to rotate in the lab of a Neuroscience faculty member. You can find an updated list on the website, and a list of eligible faculty will be provided to you.  Each rotation will allow students to be exposed to various types of research being conducted in his/her potential areas of interest.  It is the student's responsibility to secure a rotation; however, if you need assistance, please contact Dr. Scott Wilson.

For the students entering in Fall 2014, the lab rotation schedule is as follows:

  • 1st Lab Rotation - 25 August through 19 November 2014
    Poster Session - 19 November 2014
  • 2nd Lab Rotation - 20 November 2014 through 27 February 2015
    Poster Session - 26 February 2015
  • 3rd Lab Rotation - 2 March 2015 through 27 May 2015
    Poster Session - 27 May 2015

 

Students are encouraged to talk with any Neuroscience faculty member whose research interests match your own; however, formal commitments can only be made for the dates of the rotations specified above.  This will insure that the student will have the opportunity to make informed decisions about each rotation. Your rotations must be scheduled with faculty who have funding.

As students meet with faculty and secure rotations, students are expected to use a Rotation Line-Up sheet, whereby a faculty person commits to a certain rotation (I, II, or III) and signs the line-up sheet to signify that commitment. This is done at the beginning of the Fall semester.

Note: A faculty member can mentor a student's rotation ONLY if that student works in her/his lab, not the lab of another faculty member. (i.e. Dr Doe cannot mentor Student A if Student A is working in Dr Smith's lab)

---Important---  When you have a commitment from a faculty member to do a rotation, make a formal appointment to meet with the rotation mentor to discuss his/her expectations during this rotation.  You will take a Lab Rotation Evaluation Form with you to this meeting.  Each of you will sign and date the form at the end of the meeting.  Bring this form back to Ms. Matthews.  When your lab rotation is nearing completion, make another appointment to meet with your mentor for an exit interview, and take the evaluation form back with you.  After this meeting, both you and your mentor must sign and date the form again.  Return the form to Ms. Matthews to be placed in your permanent file.

Students are responsible for securing their own rotations and permanent lab. In rare instances, a student may be granted permission to do a fourth rotation, but this can only be done with the Director's permission. If you fail to find a permanent lab with a funded mentor before July 1, you may be dismissed from the Program.


NOTES ON POSTER SESSIONS, POSTER PRINTING, AND LAB ROTATIONS

Poster Session- At the end of each lab rotation, the Program will sponsor a poster session. Students must participate by creating a poster presentation of his/her lab project/research done during rotation --- i.e. During the November 18 poster session, you will have a poster depicting the project you worked on during your first lab rotation.


Poster Printing
- The MSTP Office offers a poster printing service. Posters must be submitted for printing at least two business days in advance of when they are needed, and it is strongly suggested you allow additional time prior to large conferences. Posters are printed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To get a poster printed:
 1. Complete and submit the poster request form 
 2. Email your poster to Randy Seay (rseay@uab.edu) in SHEL 121 between 6:30am-3:30pm, Monday-Friday, and at least two business days in advance of when you need it. When you drop off your poster, leave enough time to review your poster as it appears on our monitor. If no one is available or if he is away from his desk when you stop by, either wait for Mr. Seay or ask someone else in the office to have him contact you.
 3. You will be contacted when the poster is ready for pick up. Rubber bands are provided; poster tubes are not.
 4. The cost to the Program is only $25/poster ($35/poster if using colored background). Neuroscience Graduate Program will pay for your end-of-rotation poster session posters, if you submit them on time to Randy; otherwise, your rotation mentor will have to pay to have them printed at Kinko's.

Lab Rotations - During your lab rotations, you are expected to spend at least 20 hours per week in the lab working on your assigned rotation project, 7 days a week, if necessary.  Students are expected to work in their assigned lab whenever their project demands.  This is not always an 8-5 job.