Faculty Resources

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Faculty Trainer Responsibilities

The CMB Graduate Program represents a community of scholars who train highly qualified graduate students to conduct research within various disciplines under the umbrella of cellular and molecular biology. This collaborative effort enables the CMB Program to remain successful in its endeavors.

Faculty trainers are expected to be actively involved in the CMB Program. Faculty trainers should participate as a member on the various committees (Admissions, Advising and Orientation, Coordinating, Curriculum, Diversity, and/or Recruiting), serve as a member on Thesis Committees for students in the process of earning their PhDs, participate in the functions of the affiliated focus groups, and support program-sponsored activities such as seminars, retreats, and recruiting events.

Recruiting of Prospective Graduate Students:

  • Recruit new students during prospective recruiting weekends held in February of each year
  • Meet with visiting prospective students who have expressed an interest in the faculty trainer’s research area
  • Participate in recruitment events, Friday focus group luncheon, and/or Saturday faculty trainer dinner
  • Periodically update website, research description, contact information, and focus group affiliation to adequately keep the CMB Program website and promotional materials up to date

Advising & Orientation: Faculty Trainer Talks and Lab Rotations

  • If a faculty trainer will be accepting new students in their lab, it is expected that they present a faculty trainer talk to new incoming CMB students during Advising and Orientation Week
  • Giving a talk implies that the professor has funding and space to accept a student(s) after fall lab rotations are completed
  • After the talks, first-year rotating students will make appointments with at least six faculty trainers in order to identify appropriate lab rotations
  • Faculty trainers may not make commitments to students as a Thesis Advisor until the last week of the third lab rotation

Annual Assessment

  • The Graduate School requires each program to submit an annual assessment report to support the goals of the university’s Institutional Plan for Assessing Student Learning. In order to do this, we ask that each CMB Thesis Advisor complete a Faculty Advisor Questionnaire each year for each of their CMB students and return it to the CMB Office.


  • The University holds faculty and students to a high standard of integrity.

New Trainer Application

  • If a UW-Madison faculty member would like to become a faculty trainer in the CMB Program, they must submit a CMB Faculty Trainer Application. Please fill out the application completely and thoroughly.  Applications lacking detailed content will likely be returned with a request for additional information.
  • The CMB Faculty Trainer Application form consists of:
    • An NIH biosketch
    • Brief summary of current research interests
    • Brief summary of publications, both current and pending
    • Availability to serve on the CMB Program subcommittees
    • Availability to train graduate students
  • The faculty member must apply to be a faculty trainer during the specified faculty trainer application period.  Please note that this takes place once per year:
    • For review at the first Fall Coordinating Committee meeting, please submit all application materials by August 1st.
  • Submit all application materials to the CMB Office (cmb@bocklabs.wisc.edu)
  • The faculty trainer application will be reviewed by the Coordinating Committee and the faculty member will be informed of the committee’s decision

Trainer Review

  • The CMB Program reviews 1/5 of the current affiliated faculty trainers each year based on the first letter of their last name
  • All current faculty trainers will be reviewed once every five years, as an ongoing process
  • Recently admitted faculty trainers may be reviewed sooner than five years based on where their last name falls in the rotation
  • The faculty trainer review usually takes place in May or August/September at the Coordinating Committee meeting
  • The Coordinating Committee will review the completed form and consider the following:
    • How appropriate the current research area of the faculty trainer is in relation to the CMB Program
    • Research quality, as judged by a continuing record of productivity and extramural funding relating to cellular and molecular biology
    • Participation in various CMB Program functions
    • Track record of training graduate students and the training environment provided in the lab
  • Faculty trainers will be informed of the Coordinating Committee’s decision within one month of when the Coordinating Committee meeting takes place
  • Faculty trainers whose research focus, research quality, or CMB Program participation is determined to be unsuitable for the CMB Program will receive a letter from the Coordinating Committee stating they have been removed from the CMB Program as a faculty trainer
  • Faculty trainers may challenge their removal by submitting a timely appeal to the Coordinating Committee
  • A removed faculty trainer may also apply for reappointment at any time following removal
  • The reappointment process is similar to the original review process, however, the Coordinating Committee may request supplemental information if necessary
  • The Coordinating Committee will apply somewhat more rigorous standards for reappointment than for the initial appointment of a new faculty trainer
Lab work from Small World WID Event