Our research group spans diverse research interests, scientific approaches, and career stages. As such, we have worked together to create (and annually revise) a list of our collective values and expectations for group behaviour.
Values list (Last revised September 2022)
The research group we seek to build is:
- Equitable: We respect and value all members of our community regardless of race, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic background, religion, or other dimensions of identity. At the same time, we recognize that historic and ongoing social and political constructs limit opportunities and participation, including in our scientific communities. We seek to counteract and dismantle these constructs through our research, teaching, and outreach.
- Egalitarian: All lab members are valued for their contributions of ideas regardless of background, academic preparation, or career stage. Regarding career stage, we acknowledge that hierarchy exists (e.g., different levels of academic training and degrees of experience with specific subject matter) and seek to use this hierarchy to empower our team of scientists across career stages. For example, more senior scientists serve as mentors, and should explicitly value trainee ideas and contributions. And when discussing projects, we emphasize that all group members, including those with less familiarity with the subject matter, bring valuable perspectives. We also foster collaboration and communication across all career stages (e.g., undergraduates can collaborate with faculty members).
- Collaborative: We work together synergistically, not competitively. We strive for collegiality not just amidst our group, but also with colleagues from around the world. Our group works on an eclectic set of scientific questions, which presents amazing opportunities for collaboration. We strive to find synergies and commonalities across our research, to serve as sounding boards for one another and cultivate curiosity, and to offer our help and expertise where available. We respect one another’s work and provide thoughtful, high-quality feedback to one another. (Indeed, another advantage of our diverse research is that we can stand in for audience members with varying levels of expertise!)
- Direct: We communicate frankly and honestly. If we notice a potential problem, we let our labmates know. We provide positive feedback, so we know what things are working well. We value asking for help and asking for more time when we need it. We admit our mistakes, and we accept others’ mistakes gracefully and in a spirit of collaboration. To make this lab a place where open communication can occur, we strive to listen non-defensively and communicate respectfully and constructively.
- Considerate: We work together to build a community where all members feel safe and supported. We respect one another’s work, ideas, equipment, and space. We take responsibility for our actions, follow through on commitments that we make, and are accountable to each other.
- Healthy: We recognize that we are whole humans in and outside of our scientific lives. Toward this goal, we aim to build in and encourage healthy habits and boundaries among our research group. This includes, but is not limited to, caring for our physical and mental health. Things like taking the time to eat food that makes us feel good, interacting with others in the lab, and taking space from our work so that we may return rested and reinspired.
- Ambitious: Together, we strive to do exciting, transformative science. We believe that the pace and innovative nature of our science is fostered by a collegial atmosphere, where collaboration and critique improve experimental design, model formulation, and the presentation of ideas.
- Outward Facing: We are mindful of our position as scientists in a broader academic and social environment, particularly in how we interact with individuals and groups not affiliated with the lab. We strive to positively represent the lab and its values, as well as the university and the scientific community more generally, in all social and professional situations.