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Laboratory Rotations and Minisymposium

Laboratory Rotations

After learning general techniques and methods in their first 4 months of practical courses, students work actively at the "bench" during 3 rotations of 2 months each in departments of the MPI, the University of Bremen, the AWI, and the JUB. Students work closely with a senior graduate student or postdoc (rotation advisor) on a defined project. This exposes the students directly to state of the art research and help them in their choice of a thesis subject. To learn how to keep reliable and complete experimental records, students keep a laboratory notebook that will be regularly checked by their project advisor. At the end of each rotation students summarize their project in a written paper (with Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion) to gain experience in evaluating their results, putting them into context, and learning scientific writing. These are evaluated by the project advisor and a faculty member of the IMPRS.
Before the first rotations begin, students attend a two day workshop in which they are introduced to the concept of the rotations. The workshop instructs students in how to keep their laboratory notebooks, write final research reports, and give oral presentations of their research.

Rotations Minisymposium

At the end of each 2 month rotation, all students attend a common workshop in which they report on their projects and discuss these with other students, advisors, and faculty. Formal presentations are held to practice oral skills and prepare students for giving talks at meetings.