Finding an Advisor

Professor Bill Fagan and graduate student Chris Che-Castaldo. (Photo credit: Fagan Lab) 

Professor Bill Fagan and graduate student Chris Che-Castaldo. (Photo credit: Fagan Lab) 

All BISI students have the option to do rotations in research labs to find an advisor.  The length of the rotation varies with concentration area (for example, MOCB does 3 seven week rotations).  Applicants may also enter the program with an advisor already chosen. Even in the latter case, students may still choose to do rotations in different labs. 

Professors in BEES and PSYS expect and appreciate contacts from strong potential students, so definitely launch emails to faculty whose research questions and interests match yours. It’s usually best to send a relatively short message (2-3 paragraphs) briefly describing your interests, background, and goals, and attach your resume. It is perfectly appropriate to ask if the professor is interested in taking new students for the coming year.  Sometimes a faculty member is about to go on sabbatical or already has a full lab so cannot take another student. Don’t take that personally – just look for other good fits and explore those people as well. Networking and building collegial, collaborative professional relationships is part of being a scientist, and initiating these steps to find faculty mentors who will be good matches for you is a great way to start.