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Laboratory Rotations


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I'm beginning my PhD in Molecular Biology this Fall and my first lab rotation begins in July so I have been thinking a lot about what labs I want to do rotations in. 


From your experience, is it acceptable to reach out to PI's and ask them if they will have openings for new grad students in their labs or is this a later part of the process that I haven't gotten to yet? 


Any other advice in this area would be greatly appreciated! 



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Some programs may have a list of PI's that have available slots for rotation. Either way contact the program DGS or email potential PI's - the worst they can say is no.

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I say ask them, especially professors you interviewed with or otherwise spoke with during the recruitment process. Some professors may not yet know if they will or will not be able to take you on (depending on if they've gotten feedback regarding recent grant applications or if current rotation students want to join their lab), but showing interest isn't a bad idea. I wouldn't say you should commit to any lab yet, but reaching out and seeing what is currently available is good. Maybe in May the professors will know if they will be taking on a graduate student as well as some better information about funding. But, July will creep up fast so I do think it's a good idea to be proactive.


It may not be a bad idea to get others set up, but may not be essential yet. At least in my program I didn't have the second rotation selected until midway through the first rotation and I set up my third rotation in the middle of my second rotation. Other people got everything organized in the first couple weeks.

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