Biochemistry Department

Selecting a Graduate Research Advisor

Researcher in Liu Lab


Selection of a Research Advisor

It is the faculty's intention that selection of a Faculty Research Advisor occur at
the end of the student's second quarter in residence in the Ph.D. program and the
student begin research at the beginning of the third quarter in residence. It is our policy
to provide the student with as many choices as possible within the limitations imposed
by resources, the availability of laboratory space, and the distribution of faculty
workloads. Students entering the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate
Program will meet with faculty having an opening in his/her laboratory to discuss
research interests and potential research projects leading to a dissertation. The student
is expected to engage in a detailed and comprehensive investigation of each laboratory
within the field of interest that has declared openings for a new Ph.D. student. This
includes visiting the laboratory and meeting laboratory personnel. The details of this
process will be fully explained by the Graduate Advisor to each new student entering
the Ph.D. program. After careful review of the student's choices, departmental
resources, laboratory space, and faculty workloads, the entire faculty will make the final
decision on assignment to a laboratory.
In a few cases, students may enter the program precommitted to a research
advisor and will then begin research immediately.
Following assignment of a Research Advisor, the student in consultation with the
Research Advisor will select two faculty members in areas related to the student's
research to serve as a three-member Advisory Committee. After advancement to
candidacy, a three-member Dissertation Committee is formed which may consist of the
same or different faculty. One member of the Advisory and Dissertation Committee
may be outside of the Graduate Program with an appointment in another department on

General Policy for Graduate Students Wishing to Change Research Advisors

Following assignment of first-year graduate students to faculty advisors, the
students are expected to remain under that faculty member's guidance until the
completion of their research toward the Ph.D. degree. If a situation arises where either
a student or the faculty advisor decides that the student should leave that laboratory,
the Graduate Advisor should be informed immediately. If, following discussions with the
faculty member, the student, and the student's Faculty Advisory Committee, the
Graduate Advisor decides it is in the best interests of all concerned for the student to
change laboratories, the Graduate Advisor will advise the rest of the faculty that the
student is seeking another research mentor. The student will meet with the faculty with
openings and submit a list of possible laboratories in the order of preference to the
Graduate Advisor. The final decision on assignment to a laboratory rests with the entire

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

Department of Biochemistry
1463 Boyce Hall

Department Chair's Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-2364
Email: Biochem@ucr.edu

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