Graduate Research

MICROBIOLOGY #298: Seminar (1 cr.; S or U) 

MICROBIOLOGY #400: Dissertation Research (1 to 9 cr.; S or U)

Selection of a Major Professor by the New Student: The emphasis of the doctoral program is research, and time available for research will increase each year. New students will be introduced to ongoing research projects during the first two weeks upon entering the Program. After these meetings, each new student will select three faculty members for laboratory rotation. These rotations will allow the student to gain first-hand knowledge of the research in these selected laboratories and serve as a basis to choose his/her Advisor.

The selection of the Advisor will be made after the student completes the laboratory rotations by mid-December of the first year and provides the Department Head with a letter in which his/her choices for the faculty Advisor are listed. Every effort will be made to place the student in the laboratory of his/her choice provided the faculty member is agreeable and space and funds are available to support the student's research.

Faculty members who accept the responsibilities of having graduate students enter their laboratory and serving as the student's Advisor are expected to make every effort to obtain financial support for the student. Faculty members directing research grants will be expected to provide support for students working on the funded project. This support should be at least equal to the present level of Graduate Student Stipends provided by the Dean and cannot exceed the maximum stipend level set by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Department Head. Tuition is waived for students supported by research grant funds, stipends, or assistantships.

The student is expected to devote a considerable amount of time to research at the bench and in the library even though course work is in progress. A key part of developing into a biomedical scientist is for the student to learn how to partition his/her time so that progress can be made in research while courses are in progress. 

Formation of the Advisory Committee: The Advisory Committee is established early in the Spring semester of the first year. The Advisory Committee should be faculty members who have expertise in areas of research that may relate to the student's area of experimentation. The major functions of the Advisory Committee are to provide advice and support regarding the student's research and to help monitor the development of the student into a productive, careful, and competent investigator. The Advisory Committee also helps the Advisor evaluate the student's progress in his/her research and advises the student of the elective coursework best suited to his/her needs.

The Advisory Committee must be comprised of at least five faculty members who are eligible to serve according to the rules of the Graduate School. One member is the Advisor, three other members must be on the Department Graduate Faculty, and one member must be from outside the Department, usually from the minor area such as Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The composition of all Advisory Committees will be discussed and reviewed by the Department Head and the student's Advisor before establishing the Advisory Committee. Before inviting the individual faculty to serve on the Advisory Committee, the Advisor must complete the form "Request To Establish Advisory Committee" and have the Department Head approve the Committee.

Meeting of the Advisory Committee: The Advisory Committee is expected to meet periodically, at least once per year, and as needed. The Committee will meet at the following times: a) in the Spring semester of the first year to review the student's planned research and progress in coursework, b) after the first Research Seminar presented in the Spring of the second year, c) for the selection of the topic of the Preliminary Examination, d) for the Qualifying and Preliminary Examinations, e) for review of the Personal Research Proposal, f) at least once each in the third and fourth years to review the student's progress, and g) for the doctoral Dissertation Examination. After each meeting, a brief report of the Advisory Committee's recommendations must be prepared in writing by the student's advisor and provided to the student, the members of the Advisory Committee, and to the Department Head and placed in the student's file. The progress of each student will be discussed by the entire faculty at Departmental faculty meetings.