University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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Major Advisor Assignment

The student/advisor relationship is critical to the student's success. A temporary advisor is assigned to each incoming student to advise them on general aspects of the program, course work, and laboratory rotations. Faculty and incoming students are introduced to each other at the Kickoff held prior to the fall semester. Faculty or members of their research teams present posters that outline the research efforts of the laboratory. Incoming students are free to browse the posters and become acquainted with the faculty, current students, and postdoctoral fellows, as well as their research projects. The MICaB program strongly recommends that first-year students do up to three, 10-week laboratory rotations, after which the students choose an advisor. Graduate student research must be recorded in laboratory notebooks. Since all research is supported by research grants, research notebooks are the property of the granting agency and must remain with the advisor/principal investigator.

Evaluation of Graduate Student Progress

All students in the MICaB program are evaluated in June of each year that they are in the MICaB program.  Yearly re-appointment in the MICaB program is contingent on satisfactory student progress, as assessed during the annual review by the student’s advisor, thesis committee and CGS.

Students in Year 1 and Year 2.  First and second year MICaB students submit a Student Progress Report (provided by the MICaB Program Coordinator) to the MICaB Program Coordinator.  In Year 2, the student’s thesis advisor also submits an independent evaluation of the student’s progress.  The student then meets with three members of the CGS to discuss the reports and his/her progress in the program.  A summary letter is provided to the student by the CGS following this meeting.  If the CGS identifies any student who is not making satisfactory progress, the student will have one year to remedy the situation.  The student will be excused from the MICaB program if satisfactory progress is not made during the probationary period.

Students in Year 3 and beyond.  The student’s advisor and thesis committee are responsible for ensuring adequate progress towards completion of the Ph.D. degree by MICaB students who have successfully passed the oral preliminary examination.  Students must submit a Student Progress Report each June (provided by the MICaB Program Coordinator) outlining their progress in the program.  The student’s advisor and the chair of the student’s thesis committee also submit independent evaluations of the student’s progress.  These reports are reviewed by the CGS. 

Students are required to meet with their thesis committee at least once per year to discuss their thesis research and obtain feedback from the committee. 

Please note that if any MICaB student wishes to meet with the CGS, this can be arranged at any time.  Any confidential issue should be brought to the attention of the DGS

Degree Completion Time Limits.  Students in the MICaB program should be able to complete the requirements for a Ph.D. within five calendar years of entering graduate school.  All requirements for the Ph.D. must be completed within five calendar years after passing the oral preliminary examination.  Additional information is available at

Employment Terms and Conditions

Policy and Guideline information pertaining to graduate assistantship employment is available online at or by contacting the Graduate Assistants Employment Office at 624-7070 or  Students are responsible for knowing the policies and guidelines pertaining to appointment as a graduate assistant.

In addition to the terms and conditions outlined in a student’s appointment letter, graduate assistantships are contingent upon admission to the Graduate School, current registration as a graduate student and satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D.  Students holding graduate assistantships during fall or spring semester are required to be registered for credit (minimum of 6 credits).  Audit registration only is not acceptable.  Registration must be completed by the end of the second week of classes and maintained for the entire semester or the graduate assistantship will be terminated.  Withdrawal from all credits will result in termination of a student’s graduate assistantship. 

Success in the MICaB graduate program requires a high level of dedication and commitment. MICaB graduate students are expected to devote their full effort to graduate work (research, study, teaching) in order to maintain timely progress in the program.  Therefore, seeking or holding other employment either inside or outside the University is strongly discouraged.  Students should consult with their adviser if outside employment is being contemplated.

Stipend supplement.  MICaB advisors MAY supplement a MICaB student's salary up to a maximum of 10% above the current stipend level if the student competes for and receives a peer-reviewed external fellowship for their graduate research (NOT including training grant appointments).  This increase would last for the duration of the fellowship only.  Documentation of the award (i.e., notice of grant award) must be submitted to the MICaB office if the student’s advisor wishes to provide a supplement.




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