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Lab Culture

What you can expect from me:

  • You can expect me to do everything in my power to find and create opportunities for you that will help you achieve your career goals, whatever those goals may be.

  • You can expect me to push you out of your comfort zone towards greater independence.

  • You can expect me to meet with you regularly to discuss experiments and future plans.

  • You can expect me to help you interpret experimental results, decide on next steps and prioritize those next steps. I will strive to guide your thinking rather than do it for you. 

  • You can expect me to help you prepare grants/papers and edit mature drafts of written work.

  • You can expect me to go over your career development plan with you at least once per year. The purpose of these meetings is to review your progress and set goals for the upcoming year. 

  • You can expect me to send you to one national or specialized conference per year (preferably more if we can afford it or if you get your own funding).


What I expect from you:

  • Your health and safety are more important than your research. I expect that you adhere to all lab safety codes, maintain your physical and mental health, and that you not work when you are feeling sick or are under the effect of drugs that affect your ability to work normally.

  • I expect you to treat all of your lab mates with respect, regardless of their career stage or background. Each person is an important contributor to our team that we can learn from.

  • I expect you to conduct yourself with the utmost scientific integrity. Never manipulate data or plagiarize written work.

  • I expect you to keep a written record of your experiments in a laboratory notebook that is updated preferably as you work but no less than once per week.  

  • I expect you to attend all laboratory meetings and to tell me in advance if you cannot attend. Experiments should be planned around lab meetings.

  • I expect students and postdocs to identify funding opportunities and apply for all relevant/eligible external funding (including travel grants). 

  • I expect you to be present in the lab for most of the hours between 10am-4pm as that is when most of the lab activities and collaborative discussions occur. The remainder of your work time can be whenever you wish and flexibility in schedule is a perk of the job. There may be times when your project requires you to work extra hours, late at night, or on the weekends, but you are not expected to regularly work more than a 40-hour week. 

  • Time off is provided according to Yale policies for your position: 8 University holidays per year (New Year’s Day, MLK Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) and 12 additional business days. Please let me know of any full days missed in advance. If you need to take last-minute time off for personal reasons or are sick, please let me know ASAP; we worry about you if you don’t show up for work. If you intend to be away for >1 week, provide at least 2 weeks’ notice. Postdoc policies: Graduate student handbook: 

  • I expect you to create/revise your career development plan once per year and provide feedback for how I can better support you. 


Adapted from P. Avashti, UIUC

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