Who we are
How we roll
My job as a mentor is to help you do the best science you can by providing the necessary resources and guidance, while advocating for your interests and success, as defined by you. Below are some of the core values that I strive to promote within our group.
We are people first. Scientific research is a marathon, not a sprint. I want everyone in the lab to make good work-life choices that promote their personal and mental well-being, while allowing them to meet their professional goals in a timely manner. This is not easy, but it is possible, and I am always available to help in any way I can to make this happen.
We are inclusive. We welcome and value diversity of all kinds. The lab is a supportive and inclusive space – there is no place for rudeness, one-upmanship or microaggressions. We vow to identify and tackle our implicit biases head on (we all have them!) and to help each other grow as scientists and good citizens. We engage in healthy debate to facilitate personal growth, but we do so with mutual respect. We DO NOT tolerate harrassment of lab members in any form. We are nice to each other. We watch out for each other. We ensure that everyone belongs. We are a team.
We define our own success. There are many ways to succeed in science. Even the definition of success and failure is different for different folks. We all started at different places, walked different paths to get here and our destinations are unique to each of us. I am honored to share this ride with you and want to help you on your way to your success - whatever that may be.
We pay it forward. I encourage everybody in the lab to engage in scientific communication with the public and mentor URM scientists at the high-school and college level. If you believe that these activities are affecting your timely progress towards your professional goals, I am eager to work with you to get you back on track and be more efficient with your time.
Here is what you can expect from me as your mentor:
- A fierce advocate for you, your work and your future.
- Equal access to my time (I will meet with you one-on-one for 30 minutes every week). You can schedule additional time as needed, but I expect you to take the initiative to make that happen.
- Transparent access to resources such as reagents, equipment and services.
- Paid attendance to one conference a year, as long as you have something to present. This does not apply if you are in your first year in the lab and just want to go to a conference to get to know the field.
- $1000 of fun monies per year to pursue an experiment you want to do outside the purview of lab vision.
I expect the following from all members of my group:
- Be curious: Curiosity is hard to teach. The rest is easy enough.
- Be rigorous: Do proper controls for your experiments (ask if you are not sure what they are), document all the details, and be intellectually honest - with yourself, and others.
- Communicate: This includes communicating with me to convey your needs, communicating with other lab members to ensure the smooth running of the lab, as well as communicating your research to the wider scientific community in the form of talks and papers.
Lab Meeting format
The Jagannathan lab meetings has the following format:
Start with admin issues and any anonymous matters-arising issues.
Week 1: Short updates by ½ the lab
Week 2: Journal club
Week 3: Short updates by ½ the lab
Week 4: Flex week for discussion of a timely/relevant topic or for lab fun/diversity/outreach activity
In addition, we also participate in a joint lab meeting with the Mukherjee and Taliaferro labs that offers an opportunity to practice giving long-format talks to a wide(-ish) audience.
A note on publications and grants
Whether or not we like it, publications and grants are the main currency of academia - both for me as a PI and for you as a trainee. We will work together to have a steady stream of both. There may be times when we struggle. But remember: you are more than your papers and grants. You are more than your work.