Personality and Health Psychology Laboratory
Reverend Michael Wm. MacGregor, Ph.D., R.D.Psych.

Laboratory Expectations

Below are some general rules and guidelines for the lab.  They are meant to benefit everyone by letting them know expectations, due dates, time lines, etc.   

We all need to get along and work together             
There is no time or place for gossip or competition.  It is not uncommon for gossip and competition to arise in situations similar to the lab, so we must all be vigilant to recognize and stop it as soon as it starts.  If you gossip it hurts the functioning of the lab, it hurts me, and it hurts others.  If we all work together then we all benefit; I benefit, and the laboratory benefits.  If one of your co-workers needs a hand, help out.  We are a research team and I expect team behaviour.             

I expect everyone to get along in the laboratory.  If you have difficulties with another laboratory member, try and informally work it out.  If you can’t work it out, I will formally address the issue, but you may not like my solution.  I expect that we will all work together and interact collegially.             

I am ultimately responsible for everything (good or bad) that happens in the lab.  If you see a situation developing that concerns you, others, our our research, please inform me.  If you can not find me, then seek out one of the senior graduate students who will take appropriate action.  It is not acceptable to ignore problems and hope they will go away.  Laboratory members are expected to promptly and even proactively address issues that could affect the functioning of the lab.  This means you are expected to bring your lab-related concerns to me, or to a senior graduate student.

We all have jobs in the laboratory             
We all have jobs in the laboratory and they are not necessarily the same.  There will be times when I ask you to do certain tasks.  This may include library duties, copying, filing, running participants, etc.  Every effort will be made to match your interests with the tasks you are assigned, however, this may not always be possible.  It may be that we have pressing needs in the laboratory and you will be asked to complete a task that is outside of your interests.  For example, it may be that you are asked to complete the task for the benefit of the lab.  Every effort will be made to ensure that your interests and future tasks are better matched. My job in the laboratory includes staying on top of several research projects, overseeing budgets, writing grants and papers, etc.  The jobs that I ask of you will help in the completion of these tasks.  As laboratory members, everyone is expected to help me and the laboratory out.  If I benefit, you and the laboratory also benefit.  For example, if I can write a grant then that means we get money to do your research, pay for copying, run participants, etc.

I expect you to be independent             
This does not mean that I expect you to know everything about research.  I do, however, expect you to be personally invested in your own research and in the other tasks you are completing in the lab. As such, if you need something, ask for it.  If you have concerns, let me know.  The clearer you are with your needs, the more likely it is that I will be able to meet them for you.

Use of laboratory space and equipment             
If you need to use laboratory space, computers, or equipment make sure that it is available.  If you need to use a computer for an extended period of time, be sensitive to others needs.  Chances are that several people also need to use the computers.  All computers and programs are obtained and maintained with research funding.  Therefore, research takes first priority.  In general, all equipment including computers is used on a first come first serve basis unless other arrangements have been made.

Use of books, articles, etc.             
If you need to borrow a book article, etc. make sure you sign it out using the sign-out sheets.  Everyone must use the sign-out sheets.  Please do not simply take things.  There are many of us who use the material and we need to know where it is at all times.

There is no insurance for anything in the lab.  If it gets stolen, it is gone.  Make sure the door to the laboratory is locked at all times when no one is present.  Do not invite non-laboratory members into the laboratory unnecessarily.

When you are testing participants, be prepared.  Have all your required materials ready before the participant arrives.  As a general rule you should have all your material ready 15 minutes before you meet your participant.  You should not be putting things together as the participant is waiting.  This makes us all look bad and we depend on the good will of participants for our research and funding.  If you can not attend a regularly scheduled testing time, ensure in advance that a participant can not sign up for that time (e.g., have the slot removed from the schedule before it is posted).  If you must miss an appointment, it is your responsibility to find someone else to take your place.  It is unacceptable to have a participant arrive for a scheduled session and have no researcher present.  We could lose our ethics approval or our funding.  Treat all participants with professionalism.  Be courteous and attentive.  Participants make our work possible and without them we could not do research.

We are in the business of generating data, which generates papers, grant money etc.  As such, there are a few rules surrounding data collection, etc.

All original data is owned by me and will remain in the laboratory in an organized fashion.  What this means is that I own all data that is generated in the laboratory.  You may have co-ownership of it for dissertations, etc. but it is data collected under my auspice and I am responsible for it.  I expect all data to be organized and easily accessible.  You may not take original data home for any reason.  The data do not go anywhere other than the laboratory.  This also includes relevant computer files.  There may be computer files of data that can be removed from the laboratory (e.g., for your dissertation analyses, etc.) but this may only be done with my permission. It is your responsibility to learn how to analyze your data and to learn to use SPSS.  I will assist you, but you should not rely on me for your data entry, analyses, etc.  This includes learning how to appropriately set up data files with variable names, labels, etc.  Of course, my expectations will be different depending on your level of experience (e.g., first year undergraduate student, honours student, graduate student, etc.).             

The purpose of doing research is to generate knowledge.  If we do not publish this information then we have not been successful at our job.  As such, it is my expectation, as well as your right, that you will be involved in publishing data.  All data that have not been turned into a manuscript within one year of collection is ‘fair game’.  That is, subject to my approval, if you do not work to writing up your data I will encourage someone else to.  You will still receive appropriate credit for your work, but so will the person who wrote it up.             

All laboratory members are expected to make reasonable contributions to the research production of the laboratory.  Each laboratory member volunteers time, and each laboratory member is busy.  Because of the large scale of the projects run in the lab, many volunteer hours are needed.  Because it is more efficient to have 10 people commit 10 hours a week than it is to have 50 people commit 2 hours per week, there may be a minimum number of hours per week required to volunteer in the lab.  It is generally expected that all laboratory members will commit to 5 hours per week.  While all offers to volunteer are valued, practicality sometimes requires that we ask for a minimum number of hours per week to ensure the tasks (or projects) are completed efficiently.

When starting research projects it is my intention to publish the findings.  There are two main avenues for publication:  Articles or chapters, and conferences.  You are eligible for authorship on a research project if:
     1 It is your thesis
     2 You were instrumental in the development of the research idea and design
     3 You wrote the paper

Laboratory members who performed the majority of the testing, coding, and analyses of the data may also be included on publications.  This is not automatic and will depend on the degree of independence with which you performed the tasks, the degree of complexity of the tasks, etc.  These factors will also determine order of authorship if appropriate.  Authorship should be discussed as early as possible to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities.  Final decisions regarding authorship on projects rest with me.  If there are any questions regarding authorship, I expect that you will address them with me directly.  I will be able to provide you with an explanation for the order of authorship.  I expect that this will be done promptly (preferably before the project is begun), as there is often limits on the ability to change authorship late in the preparation stage.  Typically if it was your project/thesis, and you independently designed it, then you will receive first authorship. This assumes, however, that you write the bulk of the manuscript and take the lead in this.  Keep in mind, converting a thesis/dissertation into a publishable article often involves extensive rewriting and re-conceptualization.  I reserve the right to make these decisions because all research carried out in my laboratory is ultimately my responsibility.  Furthermore, all research carried out in the laboratory is conducted with ethical approval under my name and is directly or indirectly supported through research grants awarded to me.

Expectations of graduate students             
I expect you to be performing your own research and reading relevant literature.  I also expect you to be independent and to take initiative.  I should not have to tell you everything you need to do for your research (e.g., reading, writing, etc.).  You should be aware of deadlines, how long it takes to collect data, how to access the participant pool, etc.  I will help you, answer questions, etc. but I do expect you to become independent over time and to figure things out for yourself.  In other words, I will do my best to guide you through the process, but ultimately it is you that is responsible for your own progress.  Your independence should increase as you are in the laboratory for a longer period of time.  As a member of the laboratory, I expect you to be involved in research that does not constitute your thesis.  The purpose of this laboratory is to generate research, and to train researchers.  This is in addition to the training expected and given in your program.  In return for the work in the laboratory, you will have the opportunity to publish material from the laboratory in the form of articles, chapters, or conference presentations.  It is expected that you will take the initiative to take advantage of these benefits.              

It is my expectation that you will work to support me and the research that is being conducted in the laboratory.  That means that I expect you to encourage others to become involved in the laboratory, help those who are in the laboratory, support me and my research, support my decisions, talk to me personally if you have concerns (and not talk behind my back or others), bring problems to me or to senior graduate students who can bring them to me, not undermine me, my decisions, or anyone in lab, act as a mentor to those less experienced, help those who are less experienced by reading drafts of papers, helping with stats, etc.  In other words, I expect you to be a good laboratory citizen.  I expect you to be collegial.  You do not need to be friends with everyone in the laboratory but I do expect you to be civil and respectful.  I hope that I will not need to become involved in personal disputes.  I will act, however, to maintain the integrity of my lab.             

I expect you to apply for external funding each year that you are eligible and to put a full effort into your application.

Expectations for undergraduate students             
My expectations for undergraduate students are similar to those for graduate students, except I expect less in the way of independence in research.  I still expect undergraduate students to be actively involved in the laboratory and in research that is taking place, to be collegial, to apply for scholarships when appropriate etc.
Time Lines
I expect everyone to be aware of time lines that may impact on them.   While people are often able to complete tasks much earlier than the times listed below, there will be times when these are as fast as material can be turned around.  Individuals have multiple responsibilities of varying priorities.  If you have deadlines you must meet, ensure you allow for the maximum suggested time to have the material turned around.  It may not be possible to rush others because you are behind.  Some of these time lines include:
     1 It takes 4 to 6 weeks to get ethical approval (or even longer if it is submitted during the summer)
     2 If you give me something short to read I will try to return it to you as quickly as possible but it may take 2 weeks for you to get it back
     3 If you give me something long to read I will again try to return it to you as quickly as possible but it may take 4-6 weeks for you to get it back

The first two weeks at the start and end of each semester are busy for me and others so you should not expect to schedule meetings during these times, should expect it take longer for me and others to read things, etc.    

All faculty take holidays, including me.  As such, you should not expect faculty to be available for meetings, etc. over Christmas or over the summer.  I am usually unavailable over the four months of the summer

Laboratory meetings             
I expect everyone to attend weekly laboratory meetings.  These laboratory meetings are typically 1-1.5 hours long.  Unless you have a class or some other pressing commitment you are expected to attend and participate in laboratory meetings.  In the situation where you have to miss a laboratory meeting I expect you to contact me ahead of time and talk to me.  When scheduling laboratory meetings, you are expected to be as flexible as possible with available times.  Indicating you are unavailable to meet at 9:30 a.m. because you don’t like to get up that early, or that you are not available on Fridays at 3:00 because you like to leave early on weekend trips is not acceptable.

I expect you to keep your appointments with me.  I will make every effort to be on time, I expect the same from you.  If you can not make an appointment please let me know ahead of time.  I also expect you to be prepared when you come to your meetings with me.

Although I am busy I am always willing to meet with you.  You do, however, need to ask for a meeting.  You can not assume that I will know that you need a meeting or that you want to talk about something.  Similarly I cannot be expected to know if something is going wrong, if you need help, etc.  My psychic abilities are not always up to par.  If you find yourself thinking “he should know …” it is best to just clearly tell me or remind me.  If you have already told me, it may be that I have forgotten.  If in doubt, tell me again.  I am busy and can easily forget things.  I will assume everything is alright unless you tell me otherwise.  As such, it is your responsibility to seek me out when you need something.  Be independent and be proactive.

Other things             
If you need something ask.  If you are unsure ask.  I am very busy but I am also willing to meet with you if need to meet.  Most problems can be easily addressed or avoided by talking to me. Other people (e.g., associated graduate students, honour students, friends etc.) are welcome to visit the laboratory but if people are working every effort should be made to not disrupt them.  If others are clearly working and you are being disruptive, it is your responsibility to stop being disruptive.  The laboratory is primarily a work space, and we must respect those working in it. Do not play music during working hours as it may be disruptive to laboratory members (wear headphones).  Also, no music if others are working after hours.
     1 Respect the computer use and printing rules                          
     2 Keep other doors in the laboratory closed if people are working in the rooms                          
     3 Individual coding should be done in the coding room                          
     4 If group coding is being conducted ensure that noise is kept to a minimum to not disturb the coders                          
     5 All personal and groups meetings (e.g., coding) must be attended unless absence has been approved prior to meeting                          
     6 All graduate and honours students will present during laboratory meetings (other presenters are also welcomed and encouraged to present)
     7 All graduate and honours students may be asked to present at the 'annual conference' sponsored by the department.  Part of being a researcher is presenting the research, and you are expected to participate.
     8 All laboratory members must sign a statement of confidentiality
     9 Keep the laboratory neat, tidy, and organized (e.g., wash dishes, wipe out microwave, put files, books, etc. back where they belong, do not leave papers around etc.)
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