Rotation Information

Each MD-PhD student must complete a minimum of two research rotations. While we do not require that students complete a rotation before starting the first year of medical school, this is highly recommended. We have found that those students who do complete a research rotation before starting medical school tend to have a somewhat easier transition into graduate school.

MD-PhD students who have already completed one year of medical school and one research rotation will have the option of completing 2 shorter (i.e., 5-6 week) rotations rather than one longer (10-12 week) rotation.

After you have completed your first rotation, you are expected to turn in a written abstract and give a poster presentation. After your second rotation, you are expected to turn a written abstract and give a 10-minute oral presentation. All of the professors who served as summer mentors will evaluate your poster or oral presentation. In addition, each mentor will turn in a summary evaluation describing your experience in his/her lab.

Computer Science rotation: If you are considering the computer science department for your PhD, you will need to take your first rotation in that department. Computer Science at UNC is a highly competitive department. They reserve the right not to enroll MD-PhD students into their PhD program who they feel are not competitive with their own applicant pool.

Finding Research Mentors

  • The leadership team will assist you in the process of finding a research mentor. They will make suggestions but it is up to you to follow up with the individual researchers.
  • Your fellow MD-PhDs are great resources for rotation recommendations. A list of rotation and dissertation mentors are available from the MD-PhD Program Office. Talk to Alison and she'll send you a copy!
  • The program has prepared a letter for potential mentors outlining our expectations of your rotation experience. The program will send this letter to your rotation mentors once your rotation begins.

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