Rotation question

<p>For those of you who has experience about rotations in a research PhD program, I need your suggestion.
I am about to start my program this fall. I was asked by secretary to contact 5 faculty via email to secure 3 rotation positions in case some labs can't offer a spot. After email, all 5 faculty promised me an opening in the lab. How am I gonna say no to 2 of them? I don't wanna hurt anyone's feeling. Any suggestion?</p>

<p>I don't think anyone's feelings are going to be hurt. Just tell them you can't rotate in the lab, as you can only choose three but e-mailed five to make sure you'd get three openings, as the secretary suggested.</p>

<p>Agreed, no one is going to have hurt feelings. (Do professors even have feelings? I'm not sure.)</p>

<p>Just don't burn any bridges -- thank the two professors with whom you choose not to rotate, and let them know you'll consider them for a fourth rotation if need be.</p>

<p>The reason I started this thread~~~well, one of the professors was recruited recently and his tenure status has to do with having somebody stay in his lab as student, in my opinion. That's one of my concerns. I also heard that some tenured professors would like to have all the spots in the lab filled completely (students, postdoc, or tech). I am not sure if e-mailing to express my interest to do rotations is a big deal of commitment. That's why I said "don't wanna hurt anyone's feeling".</p>

<p>Yes, but ultimately this is your career too. Hopefully you are not the only one asking to do rotations with them anyway, and at the end of the year you will have to pick one of those three anyway. I would base it on where you will be happiest and not worry about how it might effect the PI as much.
Doing a rotation is not a commitment on your part at all, in fact, it is not always a commitment on the PIs part either. You may not get a spot in your top choice at the end of the year, so why would you start off with someone who is not in your top three to begin with?
You narrowed it down to five and got spots with everyone, now pick the top three for you and hope that at the end of the year you can pick your top one. It is ok to be a little selfish in this.</p>