Expected MCB Student Activity by Department
Assumptions

Students distribute themselves in laboratories in proportion to the number
of available slots.

Total student slots are constant

Basic science departments support an average of one student slot per faculty
member (overandabove MCB slots)

Slots and students associated with nonMCB faculty do not affect the dynamics
of students accessible to MCB faculty

All laboratories are equally attractive
MCB faculty by department and the number of departmental slots
Department 
Faculty 
Departmental Slots 
Anatomy 
5 
5 
Biochemistry 
10 
10 
Cell and Molecular Biology 
8 
8 
Chemical Engineering 
1 
1 
Chemistry 
3 
3 
Clinical Departments 
15 

Environmental Health Sciences 
5 

Microbiology 
5 
5 
Parasitology 
2 

Pathology 
7 

Pharmacology 
5 
5 
Physics 
1 
1 
Physiology 
4 
4 
Primate Center 
6 

Psychology 
1 
1 
Tropical Medicine 
5 

Total 
83 
43 

Total MCB student slots = 52

Total student slots accessible to MCB faculty = 52 + 43 = 95

Total MCB student rotations = 30/yr
Example: Biochemistry
Expectation value for the number of students in the department = (10/83)(95)
= 11.4
Expectation value for the number of MCB students in the department
= 11.4  10 = 1.4
Since basicscience faculty are obliged to take departmental
students first, MCB students fill only those slots not occupied by departmental
students. On the basis of faculty representation alone, Biochemistry
would expect to have six [(10/83)(52) = 6] MCB students. However,
that analysis does not take into account the facts that a lab can support
only a finite number of students and that labs in nonbasicscience departments
have more vacancies available only to MCB students.
My informal poll finds that Biochemistry trained 5 PhD students from the
MCB Program during the period 19931999, and there was an average of three
(3) MCB students in the department at any one time.
After reducing expectations to account for occupancy of
departmental slots, Biochemistry has recruited more than twice the expected
number of MCB students.
Expectation value for the number of MCB student rotations per year = (1.4/52)(30)
= 0.8
My informal poll finds that Biochemistry trained 13 rotation students
from the MCB Program during the period 19931999, that is, an average of
2.2 students per year.
Biochemistry has trained more than twice the expected number
of rotation students.
Why doesn't a basicscience department recruit MCB students to the level
of its faculty representation in the MCB program?
Each lab would have to support more students. Departmental fellowships
might be expected to support higher occupancy of basicscience labs.
However, like MCB fellowships, they typically support only the first couple
of years of training. Thus, the number of students per lab may be
limited by extramural funding. Other factors that potentially limit
occupancy include the number of available projects, faculty contact time,
and laboratory resources.
Will unification of recruitment and 1styear training of graduate students
reduce the number of students in the Biochemistry department?
Yes. The number of students in the department should drop to the
total expected [(10/83)(95) = 11.4], as opposed to the current level (10
departmental + 3 MCB), a loss of two (1.6) students.