Advisor Selection

To aid first year doctoral students in selecting a research advisor(s), the Department offers a series of research presentations during the fall term to inform students about faculty research interests. All first year doctoral students are encouraged to attend these presentations.

First-year doctoral students are also encouraged to pursue direct interactions with faculty members of potential interest. Students may get gain first-hand experience through laboratory rotations and attending research group meetings. Students should begin exploring research areas early on in the Fall Semester; the Graduate Committee and Department leadership are available to be helpful in catalyzing these interactions.

Each student should select two advisor preferences (1st and 2nd choices) at some point between the beginning of December and the beginning of February, and indicate this selection on the advisor selection form, which is due to the BE Academic Office (16-267) by Registration Day of the spring term. The Department Chair will make every effort to grant each student his/her choice within funding and space limitations.  Students will be notified of their research advisor(s) assignment as swiftly as is possible.

Should a student wish to consider choosing a research advisor from an MIT department other than Biological Engineering, he/she would be required to identify a formal co-advisor from the Biological Engineering faculty. Approval of non-Course 20 faculty advisors will generally be given only when it is clear that a suitable BE faculty advisor cannot be found. Due to logistical challenges and a desire to continue to strengthen our BE community, advisors outside of MIT are not allowed.

Occasionally, a research project does not proceed according to the expectations of the student, the research advisor(s), or both. Early recognition of the possibility of switching topics and/or research advisor(s) is an important factor in successfully managing this process. Any student contemplating a change of research advisor(s) should contact the Graduate Officer for consultation and assistance; such contemplated changes must be discussed in depth with Course 20 Graduate Program Chair for consideration of approval. If the change in research advisor(s) has been approved, the BE Academic Office must be notified.