Exploration of novelty and establishment of new knowledge requires curiosity, diversity, understanding, and scientific integrity, which are the four main foundations of our lab culture.
Curiosity is the driving force of exploration, discovery and science. In our lab we will nurture and follow our curiosity even (or especially) if it takes us on unforeseen pathways. We will always keep an open mind and be free to wander "off-road". Disruptive innovation will be supported as well as encouraged. Only a well rested mind can be free enough to wander off the beaten path which is why our lab will protect the right of every lab member to a healthy work-life balance. Your PhD and your research may be a big part of your life, but it doesn't have to be the only thing that defines you. Just like it is the fuel (and outcome) of evolution, diversity enriches our scientific as well as everyday life and is not only the main research topic, but a fundamental aspect of our lab's culture. It pushes us to acknowledge and learn from each other's experiences and understand and embrace different points of view. Whether it is our hobbies, lifestyles, heritage, culture or background, our diversity helps us reach a more wholesome understanding of the world. This will undoubtedly have a positive effect on our science from having more diverse and fun project ideas, forming more informed hypotheses, designing cooler and better experiments or coming up with creative solutions to problems. Due to the current state of societal evolution, lab diversity also comes with diversity in privilege and bias. We must acknowledge and understand these biases and actively work to ameliorate them. Our lab will strive to be the source of beneficial variation in the societal evolution. It is the duty of all lab members, especially the group leader, to actively work on extinguishing explicit biases, making themselves aware of and actively curbing implicit biases, and helping each other in reaching equitable opportunities for all. As a PI, I will actively work on providing a safe and discrimination-free space for all members of our lab, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, parental status or creed, in no particular order.
Scientific progress and success of our lab as a unit heavily depends on the scientific integrity of each lab member. Scientific misconduct of any kind, but especially data fabrication and plagiarism is explicitly forbidden. Accidents will happen, some experiments will unavoidably fail, equipment will inevitably break and get damaged, and some results will surely be negative - such is the reality of treading into the unknown and working hard on our ideas. But no failure, damage, accident or negative result will ever excuse scientific misconduct. Equipment can be fixed, experiments re-done, accidents can be learned from, and negative results can point us to new directions and even be published! Honest reporting of such instances will always be cherished as well as rewarded. It is the ultimate duty of every lab member to strictly uphold the scientific integrity of the lab's research.
Finally, the lab culture will always be freely discussed and can always be updated as we learn and evolve.
As a group leader I will work tirelessly to be a helpful, present and caring mentor with a strict policy to keep my doors always open. You can expect me to generally follow the Picard Tips as the standard management framework (see: https://twitter.com/PicardTips), as I am yet to see an advice I do not agree with.