Length of pre-M1 lab rotations?

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Full Member
Aug 15, 2020
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I've seen these pre-M1 summer lab rotations range from 3 weeks to 7-10 weeks long, and I'm curious to y'all's thoughts on what the optimal length of these rotations ought to be. To me, 3 weeks seems too short, you can't get much done at all; so that makes me wonder also, what should our primary goal be with these rotations - to get the lab's vibe (so maybe 3 weeks is enough?), or to try and complete a small project? Both??

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Our pre-MS1 lab rotations are ~6-7 weeks, which, depending on many factors, may be enough to generate some data. As you mentioned, another key aspect of lab rotations is to become familiar with the lab environment as you consider the group as a potential lab for your thesis. Ideally, complete both aspects - get a sense of the lab and try to make some progress on a project (which you could even continue on if you rotate in that lab again or end up joining that lab). If rotations are quite short, it is still usually enough time to get a sense of the lab dynamics which will serve you well when thinking about where to join later on.