You’re here! How amazing is that! Welcome to the lab! In this guide, I want to collect some guidelines for working together. In particular, the guide is supposed to lay out some values and code of conduct around the C3, Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment, that I see as central for good research and good growth:
Communication is key. You are a person! And so are your new colleagues in our lab. Since knowledge and thoughts are different, always go for:
- Communicate appropriate information and communicate proactively.
- Communicate appropriately for your audience. Thus, make sure to always take care of the background and situation of each person and use the channels that work best.
- Communicate assuming best intentions. Seek first to understand and to be understood second. Harassment, discrimination, and sexism are never an option. Instead, choose consideration, kindness, and empathy.
Great research is always a team effort. And great ideas come from the interplay of different minds. To get there, choose collaboration in all major steps and aim for:
- Be inclusive! There is enough cake for everyone! And you might be surprised how much you can gain and learn by including others. Thus, always consider: who would be beneficial for your aims? And who would benefit from your aims?
- Organise and coordinate your collaborations well! So, communicate early on, break down the collaboration project well into manageable pieces, and take over responsibility where you can.
- Respect and plan-in everybody’s time and obligations. Thus, try to be on time for agreed appointments and plan in enough time for necessary steps. For example, if you want to submit a paper, then plan-in two weeks for all authors to review the final draft.
- Organise your work time flexibly as it works best for you. Ideally, a few of your work hours will overlap with the other lab members every week to foster exchange and to stay in touch. Yet, you are a self-motivated adult, and all reasons for your own schedule are valid. Everyone is even welcome to send work-related messages or pull requests late at night or during the weekend, but you are not required to reply to those outside your typical work hours.
- But then again, do not be afraid to do things your own way, e.g. by leading your ideas, beliefs, and goals into the collaborations.
Research is hard. But we can do it! This needs your commitment, though. And in return, the lab and I commit to you!
My commitment to you:
- I aim to be honest, direct, and open.
- Work with you in-depth on the important problems, concepts, and methods.
- Support you in selecting the best approaches for your research problems.
- Provide feedback and work hard with you on posters, papers, talks, and proposals. As these are our interface and currency with the research community, we need to make most of it.
- Share with you important information and help you with exciting learning, jobs, and funding opportunities.
- Support you in navigating academia and growing your network.
- Support your professional growth and help with difficult or awkward situations.
- Provide guidance and professionalism in difficult academic issues such as conflict of interests, fairness and equity, and ethical research.
- Again, you are a person! You have your own goals, thoughts, and opinions. At all times, I will take them seriously and support them as I can. In fact, I need your feedback and opinions to grow myself and improve the lab to fit you as well.
The commitment I would ask from you:
- Aim to be honest, direct, and open!
- Pursue research that overlaps with the expertise and interests of the lab. Only in this case the collaboration and advice can fit, while we always can find solutions for the other case.
- Be resourceful! Don’t be afraid to work through a problem first and then grab all the help you can and ask all the questions. Make it a habit to read much.
- Remain critical, think carefully about scientific problems, and get back with questions and ideas.
- Use and grow your own judgement! Seriously consider advice from me and others but follow your own way if you honestly think differently.
- Keep your curiosity and playfulness. Think the other way, research the unknown, and ask as many questions as possible. Asking at least one question in every talk that you join will give you unexpected insights but also will train your communication and collaboration skills.
- Meet me (and your collaborators) regularly, keep agreed schedules, and come prepared.
- Teach as much as you learn and pay forward: same as taking support and advice, give back support and advice to those who need it. Just keep it balanced for yourself.
- And again, communicate and collaborate as described above.