Lab Mentoring Philosophy
Lab Mentoring Philosophy
In the Schrader lab, individualized mentoring of trainees promotes their growth into independent scientists. Expectations of the PI student relationship are established early, with students agreeing to abide by lab bylaws to provide a safe, inclusive, and collaborative scientific workspace. In return for the student’s best effort, Prof. Schrader has the responsibility to ensure that students have funding to perform their research, are trained in rigorous reproducible science, are exposed to many career options, and have a training plan that incorporates their short-term and long-term career goals. The lab trainees will maintain high priority for Prof. Schrader's time and attention as a sign of his respect and commitment to their success. Typically, trainees will meet individually with Prof. Schrader once a week to discuss progress on their project. Additionally, the entire group meets weekly to discuss any issues in the lab, and one of the lab members will present their research to the group to solicit feedback. This helps ensure that students can present clearly and can learn to respectfully critique the scientific findings of others.
Graduate students and postdocs are expected to write at least one manuscript during their time in the lab, and undergraduates are expected to contribute to ongoing manuscripts. Overall, this avenue allows students to experience making an impact on science, even in a short time period such as an undergraduate thesis project. This process is one of the key aspects of scientific training, and helps a trainee to determine whether they want to continue at the bench or choose a different career option that better suits them. Graduate students and postdocs will work together with Prof. Schrader to write research papers, which involves a four key steps. 1) Trainees will write a detailed outline and discuss the overall structure with Prof. Schrader. This stage includes generation of all the figures of the paper and placing ideas in order to generate a logical progression of data. 2) Trainees will then write a first complete draft of the paper. 3) Prof. Schrader and the trainees will go through multiple rounds of revisions to generate a solid draft. 4) Once close to publication, the manuscript will undergo a final round of peer review from all members of the lab to give everyone the opportunity to learn to respectfully review the scientific findings of others.
In summary, the Schrader lab seeks to build an inclusive atmosphere where trainees, regardless of their background, can better themselves as scientists and find a long-term career plan that will enrich their lives and their community.