Lab Values Statement

Lab Values Statement

Our group strives to create a multi-disciplinary environment that supports creative endeavors at the interface of the physical, life, and engineering sciences. Collaborations with experimental and clinical biologists are common for members of our group. We believe that every lab member brings a unique perspective and that this diversity is a strength. We strive to create an inclusive environment for everyone and continually reflect on our shortcomings and internal biases, both as individuals and as a group. We also aim to create a community that is scientifically collaborative and socially supportive for all members of the group. Finally, we acknowledge our good fortune in being engaged in the pursuit of excellence in science and technology, and hope that our work contributes positively to society.

Expectations

  • Everyone is expected to take an interest in and to be open to discussing other labmates’ projects, creating an academically stimulating environment, and all are responsible for making sure that our work environment supports mental and physical health of all lab members.
  • Senior graduate students and postdocs are responsible for leading research projects in collaboration with Arup and potential external collaborators, and to help mentor new members of the group.
  • Graduate students and postdocs disseminate their research by writing papers in close collaboration with Arup and submitting them for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Knowledge is also disseminated by attending conferences.
  • New graduate and visiting students are mentored by Arup and senior graduate students or postdocs. This how they learn about the group’s research, which helps them define their own research goals. Mentors are expected to be readily available to help mentees with both specific research problems and general academic life. They are responsible for creating an environment, where the mentee is comfortable reaching out and asking for help. Mentors will be cognizant of the fact that different mentees require support in different ways, and work with their mentees to continuously address these needs. Similarly, mentees are expected to communicate their needs clearly to mentors.
  • All lab members are expected to plan, attend, and regularly contribute to weekly group meetings with research and paper talks. During the lab meetings we have open discussions of science and give constructive critique.
  • The lab administrator is responsible for helping to create a respectful and inclusive environment and works as an integral part of the team. They communicate openly and clearly and in a timely manner in order to help the lab operate smoothly and efficiently. They act as a conduit for lab members when they have questions or need assistance for any administrative issue(s), and thus serves as the “go to”-person with regards to “non-science”-matters.
  • Arup is always available for career advice and planning.

 

Scientific Resources and Conduct

  • Our lab has its own computing cluster space, for which we have specifically assigned a few lab members as internal cluster administrators. The cluster administrators are responsible for bringing up issues with Arup and other lab members, to help others who face cluster-related issues, and for interfacing with organizations that maintain our machines.
  • We use our lab repository on Github to share resources, code, and data within the group, and try to ensure that shared content is updated, once a project is completed.
  • We follow general guidelines of scientific conduct (see https://research.mit.edu/integrity-and-compliance/research-misconduct/best-practices-preventing-research-misconduct ) and aim for best practices for managing data and code (see https://libraries.mit.edu/data-management/ ).
  • Relative contributions by researchers on a particular project are discussed with Arup to amicably decide on authorship. We often write papers in collaboration with experimental labs, resulting in co-first authors.
  • We report all results of a study truthfully and ensure that original research is vetted by Arup, group members, collaborators and the wider research community (wherever possible) to ensure correct presentation and interpretation of data before publication.
  • We make data and code publicly available upon publication to ensure reproducibility of published research.
  • We do not compete within the lab.

Lab Culture

  • We aim to create a collegial, intellectually stimulating, non-competitive and inclusive environment for all lab members.
  • We strive for scientific excellence and rigor. One way to help achieve this goal is to offer meaningful critiques of each other’s work.
  • We respect each other and our differences, making everyone feel welcome as a part of the community, including people in conversations that they wish to be part of, and disagreeing in a professional and respectful manner.
  • We ensure that everyone feels heard and we support each other academically and personally.
  • We will not tolerate discrimination or bias of any kind that is based on race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, religion, and differing backgrounds or experiences.
  • We aim to continually reflect on our shortcomings and internal biases, both as individuals and as a group.
  • Mental and physical well-being of each one of us is a priority.