In addition to University norms and rules, members of this research group should be aware of the following evolving expectations for our work.


All members of the research group are required to agree with the code of conduct.

Katy’s Responsibilities

As your PI, it is my responsibility to do a number of things.

  • Be supportive: to the best of my ability or connect you to the support you need. Universities are places of growth and challenge. I recognize that times will occasionally be dark or overwhelming. Throughout your group membership, I will match your dedication to your success with support to the best of my ability. When that is insufficient, I am also responsible for pointing you toward external resources and helping you to formulate a plan.
  • Pursue funding: to support our work on ambitious projects toward the missions of the group. If funding is going to lapse, I will provide fair warning.
  • Mentor: students in their path to becoming independent scientists. I will strive to help you ask questions, engage the scientific literature, and design scientific work.
  • Guide Research: in both large-scale and small-scale ways. I will help students to select PhD or Masters projects at the larger scale. At the smaller scale, I will help to guide short term progress toward those accomplishments.
  • Provide feedback: in a timely manner on your research work, research direction, written products, presentations, software design, data analysis, career goals, and anything else of relevance to our collaboration.
  • Run interference: so that students and staff can be protected from the bulk of administrative and paperwork responsibilities.
  • Sign stuff: On a related note, I’ll sign stuff when you need it signed. Just ask.
  • Help to define and enforce timelines: toward prompt completion of work. That is, while not all researchers want or need externally enforced deadlines and specifically defined goals, many thrive when periodic expectations drive them to complete work on schedule. Unless you prefer a hands-off approach, I expect to help you to define your goals and hold you responsible for them on a timeline that is feasible but ambitious.
  • Provide course guidance: so that students can pursue courses that benefit their research while accomplishing college and departmental requirements.
  • Provide space and supplies: including a physical working space, furniture, necessary computational resources, and virtual resources such as software licenses.
  • Support conference travel: when funding is available and students have work to present, I feel strongly that students should be given the opportunity to travel to technical conferences both nationally and internationally.
  • Connect you to my network: whenever possible. I will connect students to my professional network when it may be helpful to students as they seek out external experts, additional mentors, summer internships, and careers.
  • Direct Publication Efforts: by helping group members to identify and pursue publication-worthy work, helping to write and edit manuscripts, and guiding the submission process.

Postdoc Responsibilities

  • Be present: I expect you to be accessible during normal working hours. Feel free to follow a schedule that works for you, work from home once in a while when you need to, and take breaks when you want to. But, by default, plan to come to the office during the daytime with regularity. I won’t track your hours, but I will worry if I haven’t seen your face all week.
  • Be productive by writing papers and contributing to software toward the missions of the group, the advancement of science in your field, building your career, and expanding your expertise.
  • Provide expertise: I and my graduate students are relying on you to be an expert in your work and to share that expertise during collaboration. This may take the form of presenting at lab meetings, providing feedback to graduate students, or taking leadership in scholarly work.
  • Collaborate: I very much hope that you will involve other members of the research group (myself included) in the work that you do as a postdoc. We are ready to share our effort, support, expertise, feedback, and ideas.
  • Support: both graduate and undergraduate students by providing leadership in collaborative work.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

Students who are my advisees have many responsibilities to themselves, to me, and to one another.

  • Stay in good standing: with the graduate school by meeting graduate school requirements, filling out paperwork on time, registering for classes on time, completing milestones satisfactorily, passing any qualifying exams, and scheduling committee meetings annually.
  • Be responsible: for informing yourself about graduation requirements, departmental deadlines, career opportunities, and anything else that might impact your standing.
  • Have a plan: It is your responsibility to work with Katy to identify a research topic, identify research milestones and goals, plan your timeline toward progress, plan for conference submissions, prepare for manuscript submissions, prepare for your thesis proposals and defenses, etc. Get a calendar, consider a task manager, create a GANTT chart… whatever works for you. If at some point it seems like you don’t have a plan, I will suggest all of these things.
  • Be resourceful: toward your independence as a researcher. You should actively explore the literature in your field, seek out solutions to your challenges, study independently in order to fill gaps in your own knowledge, and take the initiative to try things out when you’re curious to see what happens.
  • Prioritize research: by dedicating time and attention to it as you would a job. Your research support is tied to your research duties just as a paycheck is tied to a job.
  • Graduate promptly: I expect MS students to take two years and PhD students to take less than five years to complete all requirements and thesis defenses. Of course there may be exceptions, but extenuating circumstances should be communicated well in advance. My role includes helping you to formulate a feasible thesis project. Yours, in turn, includes meeting the goals of that project or communicating when those deadlines are infeasible.
  • Submit weekly reports: these brief updates should note your completed progress, insights you’ve gained from reading, tables and charts you may have created, your plans for next week, any challenges to your progress, and anything else Katy should know to interpret your progress.
  • Communicate with Katy: regularly about your progress, your lack of progress, your challenges, your needs, your strengths, your weaknesses, and anything else that impacts my ability to support you in your pursuit of a graduate degree.
  • Communicate with your colleagues: regularly concerning relevant collaboration progress, challenges, and insights that impact the integrated success of the group.
  • Collaborate: with other members of the group. Group members should strive to work collaboratively with one another toward the mission rather than in competition.
  • Attend group meetings: these will take place as often as once a week and graduate students are expected to attend and regularly present their work within these meetings.
  • Be on time: to meetings, because to do otherwise signals disrespect to your colleagues. Consistent lateness will not be tolerated.
  • Be present: I expect you to be accessible during normal working hours.
    Feel free to follow a schedule that works for you, work from home once in a while when you need to, focus on coursework when that needs to take priority, read for exams, and take breaks when you want to. But, by default, plan to come to the office during the daytime with regularity. I won’t track your hours, but I will worry if I haven’t seen your face all week.
  • Participate: actively in the university and the department, attending colloquia, workshops, and other professional, technical, and departmental events when they are relevant to your work and professional growth. Of course, participate within reason, as prioritizing research remains a key responsibility as well.
  • Ask questions: in talks, in meetings, and any time there is an opportunity.

The following are not explicitly required, but are strongly encouraged.

  • Proactively apply: for fellowships, scholarships, and awards.
  • Mentor undergraduates: when they need leadership from you in order to be productive, contributing members of the research group.
  • Be involved: in professional societies, educational efforts, and other service activities that enrich your life as a scientist and improve your professional and technical network.

Undergraduate Responsibilities

Undergraduate students in the research group have a few core responsibilities. For details on each of these, see above for now.

  • learn
  • participate
  • meet college requirements
  • maintain average working rate of 10hrs/wk
  • plan for the future
  • submit weekly reports
  • attend lab meetings when possible
  • apply for scholarships, awards, and fellowships