Lab Policies

Some general policies and guidelines:

– I expect you to work well with the other members of the lab. Although members of the lab have their own projects, we are a team and we might at times be called upon to help each other out.

– Communication is key. Know what is going on in the lab. Keep your PI in the loop about your ideas, your projects, and your collaborations. While collaboration is encouraged, it is also important for graduate students and postdocs to have a line of research that is their own. I can help you find a balance. A related issue is intellectual ownership. You may sometimes have original ideas, but may be unsure how to proceed. Or you may feel like an idea or line of research in the lab is “yours”, but it may have a history you don’t know about. So communication is extremely important in order to avoid unnecessary conflict. Your PI can guide you in developing your own line of research within the lab. (see Research Integrity and Ethics).

– You are expected to treat everyone with respect. This does not mean that you must be best buddies with everyone. But you are expected to be courteous and fair.

– There will be zero tolerance for bullying, malicious gossip, harassment, discrimination or disrespect based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, etc… It is very important that the environment in the lab is not uncomfortable or hostile for anyone.

– I usually do not pay too much attention to which specific hours you work unless we have agreed on a schedule, or you are running experiments at specific times. I do however pay attention to your progress. However, I expect you to let me know if you are not coming to work at all (e.g., if you’ll be out of town or sick).

– Be a good lab citizen. Clean up after yourself. Do not leave mess around. Do not eat or drink in the testing rooms or while using the shared computers. Be considerate when working in the lab. Do not hog computers to surf the web or watch movies. Wear headphones if you’re playing music. Do not make lengthy personal phone calls when others are trying to work. Report any malfunctioning equipment or software. If you use the last consent form, make copies. Leave testing rooms the way you found them.

– Please be considerate about using resources of the lab/department/university/earth. Do not print documents you can read on your computer. Recycle.

– Keep an orderly lab notebook. When someone teaches you something, take notes. Details are on the Lab Notebooks page. This is not optional.

– If you are collecting data, you must follow all guidelines under Human Subjects and Data Collection. You must book the experiment room you are using (beatles and stones have google calendars). After testing, you must enter the subject’s information in the lab database right away and file away the consent and information questionnaires.

– You must talk to your PI about anything involving materials, data, ideas, or equipment from the lab. You may not take, share, talk about, tweet, facebook, email, remove, or otherwise do anything with any items, data, materials, or documents from the lab under any circumstance unless instructed to do so by the PI. In addition to lab policies, we also operate under university policies as well as the regulations imposed by the funding bodies that support us (e.g., the federal government). Any physical or intellectual property that has anything to do with this lab belongs to this lab and must be used in careful consideration of all regulations as well as research ethics. As a member of the lab, you cannot possibly know all the regulations and constraints concerning the lab operations, so no matter how obvious or mundane it may seem to you, you have to consult the PI on any and all matters related to the lab’s work. Any action or communication regarding the lab’s work, must always be discussed with the PI first.

– Observe the human subjects guidelines and safety regulations in the lab and at the MRI Center. You must also be careful to keep any data files or consent forms that contain personal information secure. See Human Subjects and fMRI.

– When it comes to data, backup, backup, and backup again!

– You should attend the weekly lab meetings, the relevant weekly project meetings, and participate in any other lab activities. In addition I will meet with you weekly or bi-weekly to review your research progress, talk about data and any other issues as they arise.

– Friends or family cannot come to just hang out with you at the MRI scanner. You also must not give your lab access code or computer account information to anyone.

– Remember that you are representing your lab, your department, and your university when you go to conferences and seminars, when you talk to other professors, researchers or students, when you interact with research participants… You should strive to be professional and courteous at all times.

– Similarly, remember that your success is my success. I want all my trainees to get all the guidance, support, and mentoring they need. If in doubt about something, talk to me. If you need help, ask for it. Don’t suffer in silence. I may not always be able to solve the problem, but we’ll work on it together.

See also: Computers and Software, Human Subjects, Data Collection, EEG, fMRI, Joining the Lab, Research Integrity and Ethics, Lab Notebooks