It is safe to say that there are almost as many laboratory designs as there are laboratories, and all principal investigators have different perspectives on the makings of a successful laboratory. I view my laboratory like a NCAA basketball team, and I am its the head coach. It is my responsibility to ensure the long-term success of the program, and to make sure that we continue to compete at the highest possible level. It is up to me to motivate the lab, provide its direction, and serve as a mentor to all of its members. I need to balance the needs of individuals against the needs of the team, and sometimes make difficult decisions to ensure the lab's long term success. I need to be sensitive to the aspirations of all members of the group and work with them to achieve their goals.
In return, what do I expect from my 'players'? I can diagram experiments like a basketball coach designs plays, but ultimately the responsibility of execution rests with the player. Members of the lab must work hard, sometimes even obsessively, to execute their experimental plans. What does this mean? In basketball, practicing free throws in the gym for 2 hours each day can make it much more likely that you will make a free throw in the waning seconds of a close game -- or not, depending on how focused you are in practice. To quote John Wooden, "Never mistake activity for achievement." The same is true in my lab. Experiments are the lifeblood of a research lab -- the more you do, the more likely it is that your work will prosper. However, simply spending lots of hours at the bench without critically evaluating your experiments and thinking about your work is a self-defeating habit. To borrow another quote from John Wooden, "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." This is what I demand from all members of my lab team, nothing less than a complete commitment to doing their absolute best, coupled with a strong sense of personal investment and responsibility in the work that they are performing.
With that lofty pontificating out of the way, there are four general employee categories within the lab:
1. As per university requirements, all research technician positions (full-time, with B.S. in Biology or equivalent) are posted through the University's HR department.
2. I am not taking undergraduate students in the 2018-2019 academic year because I will be on sabbatical in Australia. I apologize in advance, but I will not respond to undergrad inquiries during this time.
3. I am not accepting rotating graduate students matriculating in fall, 2018 on account of the sabbatical.
4. I do not anticipating accepting post-doctoral researchers in 2018-2019. Emails inquiring about postdoc work will not be answered while I am away.