I am looking to work with students plan and conduct meaningful experiments, analyze results carefully, present their findings to the group on a regular basis, and read and discuss papers in the scientific literature. You will work hard in my lab but you will also learn a tremendous amount, and be well situated for success in your continued education plans. There is a direct relationship between how much effort you put in, and how much you will achieve. In general, the main criteria for working in the lab are to conduct good science and be a good team player. The following specific expectations apply:
- Time commitment and professional conduct
- Undergrads are expected to commit to being in the lab 2 years. Exceptions can be made. For optimum success, plan to spend 15 hours/week in the lab. Summers are a great time to work extra hours.
- Show up at your scheduled times, ready to work. If an emergency situation is causing you to be late, inform your colleagues ASAP.
- Students who exhibit a repeated pattern of not finishing experiments/analysis will not be invited to continue working in the lab.
- Communication (written/oral) and evaluation
- In addition to very frequent informal interactions with me, each undergrad will have a formal, formative assessment mid-semester and at the end of each semester. This is an opportunity to discuss your progress, goals, contributions to the lab environment, and troubleshoot as needed.
- At the end of every semester, each student will prepare a written and an oral presentation summarizing what you did, why you did it, what you learned, and what you plan to do next. Detailed instructions are included in the following pages.
- Lab notebooks should contain all the relevant information about what you do in the lab, so that I can understand all the steps of your protocol and exactly what you did by reading your notebook. Do your calculations in your notebook, not on scratch paper. Keep your notebook in the lab always; don’t take it home. Your laboratory notebook belongs to the laboratory and serves as our permanent record of what you did.
- You will also receive regular, short writing assignments regarding exciting scientific publications. The purpose of the writing assignments is so that you can learn neuroimmunology, promote scientific discourse with your peers in the laboratory, and promote your critical thinking abilities. Minimum of one write-up per month.
- Safety and lab environment
- You may not work alone in the lab unless I have given you direct permission to do so.
- Complete the required safety training and use safe techniques always. If something doesn’t make sense, ask.
- Contribute to a respectful, supportive environment where everyone feels valued.
- I’m here to help. Talk to me if you have problems.
- Work hard and have fun! This is the best job ever!
If you are interested in working in this lab and would like to learn more, please contact Dr. Lutz to make an appointment.
Sarah E. Lutz, Ph.D.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
808 S. Wood St., Rm 578 MC 512, Chicago IL 60612
Office Phone 312-355-2499
Lab Phone 312-996-6282