Joining the Lab

[under construction]

Lab Philosophy:

I (Floyd Reed) am a strong believer in self-motivated, authentic, research interests. Graduate students are not simply handed a part of a preexisting lab project and told what to do with it. They are expected to develop their own independent projects. My job is to try to keep up with them. Because of this the lab cannot have more than a few graduate students at a time. Graduate students are not expected to wait for "permission" to plan and communicate, and are expected to be proactive in searching for funding, attending meetings, contacting potential collaborators, and in publishing. I also do not automatically add my name to lab publications just because I am the PI; all authors on a publication must have made a nontrivial scientific contribution to the manuscript and grad students are encouraged to actively collaborate and publish independently of myself. General lab policies are that everyone should teach at least once to get teaching experience and then, if possible, minimize additional time spent teaching in graduate school. We should remember that "every talk is a job talk", every presentation is ultimately, in some way, a presentation that can help you get a future job, and get as much practice making presentations as possible. You should make a formal presentation about your work at least once a semester. Do not work nights or weekends unless it is necessary for the experiment or work at hand; we do a better job if we take breaks. Academic snobbery is not tolerated and an environment where respect for people, patience, curiosity, attention to detail, taking data seriously, identifying what is not understood, and communicating ideas is cultivated. We should not be afraid to think about and study 'x' if we are not trained in 'y', or work on 'z' (we should not self limit our interests even if they at first appear to be too far outside of our prior experience). Other graduate students are one of a graduate student's most valuable resources, make a point to communicate with them across a variety of labs and do not be afraid to attend other lab meetings (with their permission), journal clubs, workshops, etc. Lab members should also minimize reliance on "black boxes" and seek to understand relevant aspects of a research project from first principles to the most recent literature, which is a never-ending process.