Dissertation Advisor Selection

When students enter the program and during the first year, the student’s advisor is the BPH Faculty Director.  The student should plan to meet with their advisor about selecting rotations, fall and spring courses, and any other academic advice s/he may need to be successful in the first year.

BPH students must complete a minimum of two laboratory rotations prior to selecting a dissertation advisor. It is expected that a dissertation advisor will be chosen and dissertation research begun by June 1 of the first year of study. Each BPH dissertation advisor has a BPH 300-level course for enrollment, and students should register for up to 16 credits* equivalent of dissertation research each semester. [*depending on the number of other courses students are registering for each semester]

In order to maintain satisfactory progress in the program, a dissertation advisor must be on record no later than the beginning of the fall semester of the second year. The student-advisor relationship is an important commitment in time and resources. The student should approach the advisor to express interest in working in the advisor’s laboratory. Once the advisor agrees, the student should complete the top portion of the Dissertation Advisor Declaration Form and submit it to the BPH program office. In general, students are financially supported in the first two years of doctoral training by HSPH-based training grants and Harvard Griffin GSAS, with supplemental funding from the BPH program. Beginning in their third year until the end of their training, the advisor with whom the student has chosen to do their dissertation work fully funds the student, with training grants, departmental, school, university and/or faculty grant support. These commitments must be confirmed in writing via the Dissertation Advisor Declaration Form (distributed with an explanatory letter), signed by the advisor, departmental administrative/financial administrators, and department chair prior to recognition of the student-advisor relationship by the BPH program. Note that the Harvard Griffin GSAS guarantees BPH students five years of support, with additional support possible with satisfactory academic progress and confirmation of Advisor funding support.

Please note that the dissertation advisor must be a HILS member.