Research Group Selection & Assignment

section II, article 3

Your research group will comprise a large part of your network at Emory. Other important professional relationships – whether with student organizations, rotation advisors, committee members, and beyond – will also have an impact. Thinking of the entire “network” you are seeking to build can help with your group decision.

Advising before you join a group

Prior to research advisor selection, the Director of Graduate Studies is your primary academic advisor for questions and concerns, including about the rotation experience.

Finalizing group selection

You should indicate the group that they wish to join by emailing the Graduate Program Coordinator (Fall 2023: Sarah Stein is the acting coordinator in Laura Hilado’s absence) and copying the requested primary research mentor no earlier than the first day of the discernment period and no later than noon on December 1.

Group assignments are not finalized until the Director of Graduate Studies has reviewed all placements with the faculty. The DGS will work with scholars who do not “match” to facilitate additional discussions with faculty so that the scholar may seek an alternate group placement or an additional rotation assignment.

Options for scholars who do not match with a group

Faculty may accept a scholar seeking a fourth rotation either as a rotator or as a lab member, even if the scholar has not yet rotated with their group. Scholars who do not secure an additional rotation or lab placement OR who are not offered a lab placement following the completion of an additional rotation will be asked to leave the program by the end of the Spring semester.  

Chemistry mentoring agreement

Following DGS approval of group selection, the scholar and the primary research mentor must complete chemistry’s mentor/mentee agreement. The completed agreement should be filed as soon as possible after confirmation, but no later than the end of the Fall semester. Scholars must ensure that the completed agreement is submitted to secure an “S” in CHEM 597.

Role of the primary research mentor

When a scholar joins a group, the PI of that group is agreeing to serve as the primary research mentor and the chair (or co-chair) of the chemistry committee and the dissertation committee.

Post-rotation request to change groups

If a scholar is considering a change of group at any point in their career, they are encouraged to begin by discussing options with any member of the graduate admin team. To formally initiate a request to change groups, scholars must submit a petition. The petition should include written support from the new proposed primary research mentor. The petition, once approved, is finalized with the submission of a new mentor/mentee agreement.

The graduate scholar is not required to inform the current mentor of their plans until the mentor/mentee agreement is finalized. However, they must continue to complete research effort in the current group until a change is approved and are not prohibited from discussing an intended change with the current advisor.

Group placement requirement

A primary group placement is an ongoing requirement for all scholars in the chemistry graduate program. Any scholar who does not have a primary research group assignment at the conclusion of a given semester will be considered out of compliance with program requirements, resulting in probation and possible termination from the program. The chemistry PhD program cannot accommodate students working independently or working with an advisor who is not a member of the chemistry graduate faculty or associated faculty.

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