This is inspired by Emma Chory, Angelika Feldmann, and others.

Welcome to Maslon Lab. We are a new team of researchers based at the Centre for Advanced Technologies, University of Adam Mickiewicz Poznan, A204, A240, A259. This document is to help you understand how our group works, what is expected from each of the group members, including a PI and what you can expect from being part of the group. The handbook is expected to help the group thrive.

We ask that every new member of the group reads this document within their first month in the lab. This is not a finished product. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, to let us know and we can try and improve it.

Section 1: Expectations of all of us

All group members are expected to create a welcoming environment for all members of the group, regardless of their role in the group. Bullying, harassment, victimisation, or discrimination will not be tolerated. If you witness or suspect someone is being subjected to inappropriate or unwanted behaviour, discuss it with them confidentially or raise it with Magda or another trusted colleague.

Section 2: Expectations of Magda

  • Mentoring – I am always here to advise on your career. I don’t know everything, so you might benefit from seeking other advisors too.

  • I have an open-door policy; you are welcome to drop by and ask anything. I encourage a regular, one-to-one, weekly meetings. I will schedule them in the lab calendar in advance. If you are not able to attend, please suggest alternative time.

  • I will be annoyingly picky about the experimental detail (see below). On the flip side, I will give you hands-on guidance on a new technique.

  • I will give you honest feedback. I want you to give me feedback too.

  • I will set some deadlines to monitor your progress (see below).

  • I will respond to your emails within 24 hours during the work week. Remind me, if I don’t respond.

  • I will correct your reports, papers, write letters of recommendation, but please acknowledge that I have other commitments too and I need enough notice to do so.

  • I will work hard alongside you to succeed, the harder you try, the harder I will push to help.

Section 3: Lab Members Expectations

  • Knowledge: I expect everyone in the team to follow the relevant literature, critically assess where the field is going, keep track on new methods being developed. I would suggest 3-4 hours as a guideline.

  • Experiments: The experimental detail matters, so please stick to the protocols, or if you plan to change them, discuss prior: WHY. Keep a note of all the details, to assure reproducibility (see section 4). This is very important, in particular for differentiation experiments and molecular biology work.

  • I expect short (1 week), mid (1 month) and long-term (6m-1year) plans for your project. This helps you focus and see where you are going with the project.

    • Weekly plan – to be discussed during a weekly meeting

    • Monthly plans – to be discussed during a weekly meeting, but should be written down

    • Long-term plan – write half a page, we will agree on a deadline during a weekly meeting

  • Time Management: quality time in the lab and engaging with your colleagues builds the lab culture and presents ample learning opportunities. I do not enforce strict working hours and I recognize that flexibility is required at time, but I expect that you will work five days a week and I do expect to see progress matching working a full working week. To ensure that you have a chance to interact with your peers, I expect you to be in the lab within core office hours 10 – 3, unless agreed otherwise.

  • Time off: Timing for your holidays is generally up to you. To facilitate the coordination of lab work, as well as for safety and emergency purposes, please update lab calendar with your planned holidays. If you are not going to be in the lab, let me know and update the calendar too. To assure transparency, I will share my schedule as well. Please note that the travel scheduler will not be used for “tracking” your holidays or to evaluate your performance. The goal is to stay organized and informed.

  • Attending lab meetings: If you cannot attend, please notify in advance. Be prepared. Engage in discussions and provide feedback. It is collegial, and vital for your personal and professional growth.

  • Learning and Collaboration: Take ownership of your learning by seeking help when needed and remaining open to feedback. I expect that you try find answers yourself first. If you are stuck too long, seek advice (from me or your peers).

  • Lab citizenship: alert someone when things are not right, the freezer not at –20C, water bath not working, electronic pipette not charging, do not leave empty tubes, do not take last aliquot of something without alerting a lab manager, do your lab jobs in a timely manner

  • Let me know about any concerns in a timely manner.

  • I expect you to represent the lab withing the institute and externally, this includes participating in seminars.

  • I expect the honesty: mistakes happen, but they need to be communicated.

  • I expect postdocs to develop into experts in their project and to be involved in students’ supervision.

Section 4: Research integrity expectations

Maintaining accurate and well-organized lab notebooks and data deposition is important for ensuring reproducibility, knowledge-transfer, and the integrity of our research. In the Maslon Lab, we use Onedrive account and Onenote for sharing protocols, plasmid maps, and other important experimental details.

  • Lab Notebooks – I will create a notebook file for you, when you join – this will be your lab-book. You are welcome to keep a traditional “paper” lab-book, but digital notebooks are compulsory.

  • Data Deposition and Storage - please upload all your data in dedicated folder. Save raw data in clear and accessible way.