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It is the responsibility of all students to seek and obtain approval from a member of the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics to serve as his/her research and dissertation advisor during the beginning of their second year. The Director of Graduate Studies can assist students in selecting an advisor. Students may also wish to change advisors; the Director of Graduate Studies can also assist in this decision, and must approve the change.

The Department draws on the teaching and research talents of a broad group of faculty with primary and secondary (joint) appointments. It is from this faculty pool that students completing their first year of graduate study are expected to select their thesis advisor. However, selecting a member of the primary faculty offers students opportunities for daily contact and exchange of ideas with faculty, postdoctoral researchers and other students within the Department. To foster this important part of the educational process, the Department encourages students to perform their graduate work in one of the laboratories of the primary faculty during rotations.

Selection of a research advisor holding a primary appointment in another department as well as a “research” academic appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics is also possible when the research is co-sponsored by a primary Department faculty member and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Selection of such a co-advisor should be sought after consultation and approval from the selected major advisor. The majority of the student’s research guidance committee must consist of primary and joint faculty with the Department.