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A productive research experience that results in at least several high quality publications is the benchmark objective for all MCLS students. MCLS students are expected to develop the necessary skills to become creative, thoughtful, critical, and independent scientists. In addition, MCLS students will acquire practical and marketable skills and a functional knowledge base to facilitate future success at the postdoctoral, academic, and industry levels.
Rotations: Creative scientific exploration kicks off immediately with rotations in faculty laboratories of the students choosing. Students will carry out four eight-week rotations during which time they will sample diverse research settings, while learning universally valuable techniques in the molecular and cellular life sciences. Near the end of the fourth rotation (early spring), students will chose a lab for future dissertation research, with the consent of an academic advisor and the curriculum committee.
Dissertation research: Students will typically carry out the bulk of their research in a single laboratory, although collaborations between two or more laboratories are also feasible and encouraged, if appropriate. Although dissertation research is largely defined by individual effort on the part of the student, a number of mechanisms will aid MCLS students throughout their tenure including a handpicked dissertation committee, the committee on curriculum, and numerous student and faculty colleagues. As stated above, the primary emphasis will be on helping students towards the completion of well-defined, high-impact projects that result in publications in quality peer-reviewed journals.