All students are required to take at least three rotations. This can be supplemented with a fourth rotation in the summer after the second semester, if the student has not yet found a dissertation advisor. Three credits will be given for the 3 rotation sequence, which is graded as pass/fail.

Rotation schedule for 2017-2018 (approximate):
       Late September – November 17
       November 28 – March 9
       March 26 – May 18

The laboratory rotations provide students with the opportunity to broaden their scientific experience in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and are the basis for ultimately choosing the laboratory for their thesis research. The CBB Registrar maintains a notebook with short reports about all the rotations that CBB students have done in the past. Entering students are encouraged to consult this resource.

Students should take time early on to acquaint themselves with the science that is being conducted in the labs of the CBB faculty. For example:

  • Visits to group meetings are encouraged. Schedules for group meetings are generally listed on the faculty websites ( has links). After reviewing the work being conducted in the lab of your interest, make an appointment to speak with the P.I. and have ready an idea of the type of work you are interested in.
  • Several BBS departments schedule retreats during the fall to acquaint BBS students with the research being performed by their faculty. All first year BBS students are invited. The CBB Retreat is scheduled for September 7, 2012 in New Haven.
  • The CBB program schedules sessions where certain CBB faculty describe their research interests.

What happens during rotations?

Students are expected to devote non-classroom time to the rotation. This works out to approximately 15-20 hours per week. You will be given space and are expected to join in discussions with the group. Your project should be discussed with the PI or a senior member of the lab at the beginning of the rotation. Although completing a well-defined project may be possible, the short rotation period may not allow this. The most important aspect of the rotation is familiarizing yourself with the work of the lab and participating in meetings, discussions, and seminars. This is the basis on which you and a faculty member will decide on whether you would be a good fit for the lab.

Both student and PI are required to submit evaluations at the end of the rotation. Forms will be sent by the registrar. It is expected that the forms will be returned within a two week period.