Lab Expectations

Dr. Kat takes mentoring very seriously. Therefore, whether you are a high school student, undergraduate, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or lab tech, these are the expectations Dr. Kat has for you and you should have of Dr. Kat.

Lab philosophy

Dr. Kat is a strong advocate for creating spaces in which people from all backgrounds are allowed to embrace their pursuit of research. Lab are dynamic spaces in which people of many different backgrounds will work together to answer questions important to move our scientific knowledge forward. The best way to answer scientific questions is to have diverse voices contributing to the questions that are asked, the way they are answered, and the interpretation of those results. Thus, people who join the Kat Lab (including Dr. Kat) are expected to:

  • Be kind to yourself. Be mindful of your limits, and do not exhaust yourself. (Thank you Poisot lab for this wording)
  • Be kinds to others. Listen respectfully to each other, learn from each other, and contribute as you can. We will all bring different life experiences to the research lab. You are expected to be respectful of those different experiences, learn from them when appropriate, and contribute when you can. Do not insult or put down people who share their experiences.
  • Recognize that every person will bring strengths and weaknesses with them to our space. Highlight each others strengths, and help each other overcome our weaknesses.
  • Self educate about: Microagressions, white supremacy, euro-centrism, racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQAI movements, and other exclusionary actions. I have papers in our shared drive about these, and there are many references on the Other Resources page on women and URM in STEM. Harassment, sexism, racism, or exclusionary comments are not appropriate and prevent people from participating in science.
  • If you find that you have created a negative environment, listen, offer a genuine apology, and commit to learning and doing better.

Academic/professional expectations

Although you joined the lab to do research, students are students first, and postdoctoral fellows are postdoctoral fellows first.

  1. You will:
    1. Students: Maintain a 2.5 GPA or better to remain in my lab.
    2. Postdoctoral fellows: apply to grants and professional development opportunities
    3. Technicians: apply to professional development opportunities
    4. Let Dr. Kat know when you are struggling in class/personal situations and need to cut back on lab work
  2. Dr. Kat will:
    1. Provide guidance on maintaining a balance between research and classes/professional development
    2. Adjust expectations of time devoted to lab based on amount of academic work and personal needs you have

Research expectations

  1. Dr. Kat will provide:
    1. Open communication
    2. Supplies for projects
    3. Access to a shared drive with protocols, data, and other resources you will need to be successful in the research lab and in creating your career plan
    4. Time for discussion/consultation/guidance
      1. Regular weekly or bi-weekly 15-30 minute meetings to review lab work
        1. Undergraduates and high school students will meet with Dr. Kat for 15 minutes every other week. This can be increased as needed, or you can schedule an appointment for a longer discussion as needed. You are highly encouraged to meet more frequently with your direct mentor in the lab
        2. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians will meet with Dr. Kat for 30 minutes every week. This can be increased as needed, or you can schedule an appointment for a longer discussion as needed
      2. Available for drop-ins and appointments for other discussions.
    5. Project guidance, including help planning, designing, and establishing a timeline for when projects will be completed
    6. Provide training in written and oral communication skills, lab management, animal research policies, ethical research practices, and professionalism
    7. Editorial services (grant applications, papers, etc)
    8. Lab and field safety training
  2. You will:
    1. Provide Dr. Kat with an updated schedule every term, and keep her informed when you will be away via our shared calendar
    2. Students: maintain at least 6 hours/week for volunteer time, 3 hours per week/credit if working in the lab for class credit
    3. Attend weekly lab meetings
    4. Help plan, design, and conduct research projects, including establishing a timeline for when projects will be completed
    5. Maintain a legible and thorough lab notebook. For each experiment, please write:
      1. Objective
      2. Background
      3. Methods, including deviations from established methods
      4. Results
      5. Conclusion
    6. Compliance with institutional policies, including lab safety and animal use
    7. Be a good lab member, which includes helping with shared responsibilities, careful use of resources, maintenance of a safe and clean space, and demonstration of respect
    8. If we agree to publish results, help writing and/or editing the manuscript
    9. If taking research for credit, prepare: outline of project -> abstract -> presentation rough draft -> final draft

Professional development

  1. Dr. Kat will provide:
    1. Career guidance
    2. Editorial services (CV, applications for conferences/funding opportunities, papers)
    3. Letters of recommendation
    4. If requested, help create a career development plan
    5. Introduce you to others in the field at conferences, social events, in the field, etc
  2. You will:
    1. Create rough drafts of presentations for Dr. Kat to review at least 2 weeks before presentation/poster is due
    2. Incorporate Dr. Kat’s suggestions as needed
    3. Provide Dr. Kat with final version prior to printing/giving presentation