Mentorship is a critical component of scientific training that can enrich both the mentor and mentee. The Tsai Lab is committed to ensuring that all lab members receive adequate mentorship and tools for success. As lab members are at different career stages, we recognize that expectations of mentorship will differ between postdocs, graduate students, technical associates, and undergraduates (UROPs). However, certain practices can benefit both mentors and mentees regardless of career stage.
Successful mentorship relies on clear communication and well-defined expectations. Mentors should include their mentees in various aspects of the project at hand, providing a “high-level overview” as well as a plan for achieving the project’s goals. Projects’ endpoints may change due to unexpected findings; therefore, mentors should discuss with their mentees the implications of such findings, and revise hypotheses and action plans as needed. Mentees in turn should be prepared to be flexible in their project commitment, while always being respectful of their mentors’ time. The resulting relationships can be among the most rewarding aspects of scientific research.
Scientific research requires not only an understanding of sophisticated techniques, but also the ability to interpret results, account for unexpected findings, and develop new hypotheses. Acquisition of these skills strengthens and empowers trainees. Because our lab members have diverse areas of expertise, trainees are encouraged to broaden their scientific horizons by seeking opportunities to learn from various lab members.
As we pursue our research and trainings, the Tsai Lab maintains unwavering commitment to broadening diversity, inclusivity, equity and justice within the scientific research community. (Please also see the links below). Diverse perspectives and backgrounds are always respected, and all members of the Tsai Lab are expected to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct; any form of discrimination or harassment is unequivocally not tolerated.