MSTP students are required to complete three separate research laboratory rotations with three different mentors prior to selecting a Thesis Mentor.  The laboratories are chosen by the student and are based on the student's area of interest and information provided by each faculty on his or her research program.  Information on faculty research programs can initially be found on the MSTP Faculty Finder and GBS Pages: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/mstp/research; however, students are expected to get further information from one-on-one meetings with potential rotation mentors.

Goals of the rotation experience are as follows:

  • To help MSTP students make better informed decisions regarding research advisor selection
  • To give students a first-hand experience in research culture and mentoring styles of different laboratories
  • To expose students to multiple areas of biomedical sciences and new laboratory techniques.
  • To help the student to begin to think like a scientist particularly in the areas of experimental design and data interpretation

Rotation Mentors are permitted considerable flexibility in assigning rotation activities to MSTP students, but are expected to adhere to the following criteria:

  • Design a project for the student (students should not function as technicians) and discuss expected lab activities.
  • Involve students in all seminars, journal club activities, and laboratory work-in-progress activities during the rotation period
  • Meet weekly with the student to discuss goals for the rotation
  • Explain all laboratory guidelines and/or policies to be followed by the students
  • Ensure that all necessary training is completed (i.e. biohazards, animal handling, human studies, etc.)
  • Provide background reading for the project
  • Complete an evaluation of the MSTP student within 2-weeks of the end of the rotation and submit to the MSTP Office for processing
  • If required, provide information for review to obtain an MSTP faculty appointment