The onus of action is upon the student, if they require assistance or have questions they should get in contact with the principle investigator (PI). You must be a self-starter.
The PI's duty is to provide mentoring and education in basic and clinical research. As such it is the PI's responsibility to direct projects, review publications, and secure funding.
The student's duty is to educate themselves through class work, research, and self-study. As such it is the student's responsibility to perform the research, prepare publications, obtain fellowships and assistantships, and complete thesis work.
Lab notebooks must be brought to each meeting and must be neat, organized and up to date. Record references. Write down questions and answer them. Imagine if you vanished what someone would need to do to pick up your project with only your lab notebook handy. Remember two important things: (1) nothing loose (except code, see below), only if it is physically attached to the notebook is it part of the notebook and (2) date and time everything. Critical components of the notebook, note that this is based on procedural/imaging framework and that not all these may be appropriate for all projects:
Table of Contents: Date, title and page of entry, use any experimental ID# and descriptors here.
Meeting Minutes: Record ideas, goals, and references cited in group and private meetings.
Experiment Goals: Prior to any work, take 5 minutes to record the goals of today's theoretical or experimental work, the reason for training on a piece of equipment, or summarize a key piece of literature's enhancement to your project. Sketch ideas, reference previous experiments, and make note of future issues.
Preparation: Describe set-up or reference an established protocol. Make note of any key identifiers such as protocol numbers, grant numbers, sample ID#, animal ID#, or treatment ID#. Write any calculations such as dosing or weight. Outline procedure used to prepare for the experiment. Sketch the animal, if used, especially noting abnormalities.
Imaging: Note directory and filenames, note or print parameters, and print scout images. Record any intrinsic or extrinsic factors that may affect the experiment.
Coding: Note directories and algorithm names, record brief description of function, and intent of changes performed on the code. Retain hard copy of code and output on a regular basis in a large binder, referenced to your lab note book.
Tissue Perfusion: Record the method of euthanasia and dosing. Note technical aspects of procedure. Record tissue removed, storage, location, and labeling.
Disposition: Record the saving and back-up of data as well as the disposal of materials. Note the success or failure of experiment as well as comment on how this affects future experiment and what must be done (if anything).
Lab notebooks are the property of the PI and must be turned over at the completion of a project. Copies of data and written work on recordable media must also be included. Students may and are encouraged to retain copies of the lab notebooks and all data. The PI would also appreciate a bound copy of thesis work.
The first author is the one who writes the paper, typically the student completing the project. If the student completes their thesis but does not finish the paper, they become second author.
Both private and group meetings will be held weekly, additional meetings can be scheduled as needed. The goal of meetings is to highlight progress either personal or professional. Science unfortunately does not work on a fixed schedule and meetings will be reflective of constructive and critical assessment of research and educational goals.
At research meetings the presenter will give an interactive presentation on their research using a computer presentation, overheads, and/or chalkboard. This allows practice in presentation and oration skills.
At journal club meetings the presenter will critically review current literature related to their research project. The article should be distributed one week prior to the meeting. The presenter should prepare a one-page document stating the title, authors, and hypothesis of the paper. They should briefly summarize materials and methods, results, and conclusions. They should finish with a critical discussion of the paper both positive and negative citing what the paper adds to the font of knowledge as well as pointing out inherent inadequacies of the paper.
Students are encouraged to attend 1-2 seminars per week.