Lab Manual

By Dr. Steven Burgess
Last updated: 2021-07-11 

Code of Conduct 

We are committed to building a supportive inclusive environment where everyone feels able to bring their whole selves to work. 

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. 

Members asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact me immediately. If I am the cause of your concern, please see the UIUC ombudsman

We expect members to follow these guidelines at any lab-related event. 

This code of conduct has been adapted from the original source and credit: http://2012.jsconf.us/#/about & The Ada Initiative. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License 

Joining the lab 

Welcome to the team! We hope this resource will help guide you to find your way. It is a living document so will be continually updated as necessary, so if there is anything that is not covered here that would be useful please let me know and he can add it. 

To help you get your paperwork sorted there is an on-boarding document with information about steps you will need to follow. On your first scheduled day in the lab, you will meet with me, have a tour of facilities, be welcomed to the team and go through some basic safety training.  

There is a lab induction checklist which can help you get orientated. There is also a campus onboarding document which has other relevant links. 

If you are an international, the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website has relevant resources and activities which may be of interest, also please ask around as many of us are international (me included) so have faced similar issues regarding taxes, social security, getting bank accounts etc etc. 

What lab members can expect from me

Taking time to listen 

All permanent members of the lab will have regular meetings with me (weekly or biweekly), this involves a 30 minute time slot to discuss work, celebrate progress and talk through any challenges you may be having.  

I am always open to discuss things that arise and can meet outside these times as and when necessary. I will reserve at least one hour a day as “office hours” where you are free to come and ask questions.

There will be times when I also need to concentrate on getting something done, in these situations I will clearly mark my office door and ask you to consider if it is something that urgently needs my attention or can wait until the next office hours.

I will aim to attend all lab meetings to provide feedback and support, if I am out of town I will try to join in remotely.

Support for professional development

I will aim to support you develop as a person in pursuit of your chosen career, no matter what that may be. If there are courses that would be useful for you to attend I am happy to discuss and encourage you to seek out opportunities to better yourself.

There will be an annual 360o performance review for all permanent members of the lab (me included) scheduled in December. This is a chance to reflect on what went well, what could be improved and to think about stretch goals for the following year. 

Prompt responses 

The most reliable method to contact me will be via email if not in person. I will do my best to reply to all emails within a day, if you have not heard from me in that time, please follow up as it is likely I have missed your message among many others. It is not because I do not care or am not interested, I believe it is good manners to try and reply no matter how short an answer. Equally, I ask you to follow a similar pattern, communication is key to a functioning lab! 

Constructive feedback

It is one of my responsibilities as lab head to provide feedback on your work, applications, manuscripts and to write letters of recommendation etc. All I ask is that you give me sufficient time to be able to do this, the amount of time depends on how much work is requested, but typically a week should be sufficient. If you send me something on a Sunday afternoon for a Monday deadline it is unlikely to get done in time! 

Reference letters 

I commit to provide reference letters for all members of the lab as requested, including undergraduates, grad students, postdocs and technicians. Please let me know ahead of time, what job or position is being applied for and what they are looking for, this will allow me to write the best possible letter to support you. The best approach is to include your CV and a link to the job advertisment when reaching out.

What I expect of lab members

Everything is impermanent

  • Research technician is a training position! 
  • Undergraduate research is a training position! 
  • Graduate research is a training position! 
  • Postdoctoral research is a training position! 

What is meant by these statements is that you are not expected to come into the lab knowing how to do everything, in fact, it is expected you have come here to learn. The type of training depends on your career stage and aspirations, and these can be worked out as part of a personal development plan as well as discussions with me, the ultimate goal is to prepare you to achieve your goals in life. 

Take charge of your destiny 

Every lab member is encouraged to undertake a personal development plan (such as MyIDP) but it is not essential. A PDP can be a useful tool to help clarify your personal and professional goals, identify weaknesses and establish SMART goals to address them. A PDP is distinct from a performance review which is focused on work and publications and to be held with the lab head. 

Consider whether there are courses that might be beneficial for your development outside of day-to-day work and discuss these opportunities with the lab head.  

Grad students and postdocs are strongly encouraged to apply for independent funding, even if currently provided for. The reason is that writing grants and obtaining fellowships is a vital part of career development and can provide a significant boost to your CV. Options include travel grants and research fellowships, you will not be alone in this process and please discuss with the lab head who will provide support and feedback. 

Provide regular updates

In order for me to best support you in your work, you will be expected to provide regular summaries of progress to be discussed in the biweekly meetings. The most helpful format I have found so far is to create a one or two page powerpoint presentations. Please bring these ready to the meetings and send me a copy so this can be refered to in the future.

Prepare for a pitch

Suggesting new ideas or directions is encouraged! In order to help us come to a decision about whether to pursue it, please prepare some slides giving an overview, starting with a higher level before diving into details. Finally, if the idea involves purchasing reagents, DNA or equipment, please try to get a quote ahead of time so we can discuss the cost benefit ratio. By following this approach it helps me understand (1) where the idea has come from and (2) if we have the means to pursue it so we can come to the best decision together.

Celebrate all things big and small 

Cake (or fruit)! We believe in celebrating all successes no matter how small. Following a tradition I encountered during my postdoc one the rule is a cake for every manuscript published, to be made by the first author (or bought 🙂 )  

Find your go time 

Unless you are an undergraduate, you are expected to work a 40 hour week. You are welcome to do more, but I want you to take care of yourself. I expect you to be smart in knowing your limits and needs, overworking is counter-productive and can be detrimental to your health. 

There may be odd days, particularly during the summer growing season, when it may be necessary to work a few days with unusual hours (such as getting up at 4AM for pre-dawn measurements), but these are rare. 

Try to find your “Go time”, the hours you keep are flexible to accommodate your schedule and working preferences. However, you are urged to work semi-normal hours, as it is vital to interact with colleagues to bounce off ideas etc. So working from 6PM-3AM could be problematic! The only reason this is stipulated is that discussion is important. 

One thing it might be helpful to know is that you are protected by the One Day Rest In Seven Act (ODRISA) in Illinois, which entitles you to paid breaks and at least (!) one day off a week – (despite the name you are not expected to work 6 days a week!). Here’s a quote from online : ‘A mix of federal and state laws governs wages and hours. Federal law doesn’t require meal breaks, but Illinois law does. If you work at least 7½ hours a day, it entitles you to a 20 minute meal period. That meal period must begin “no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period”’ 

Link to complete list of academic employment policies at UIUC (see here

A refreshed mind is a productive mind 

You should take all your annual leave, it is rarely done in academia, but making time for yourself is important. You typically garner 2 days leave a month and a total of 24 days a year plus days given by the university. Visit your family, go travelling, chill out at home – whatever you wish! But take time to do something that will refresh you for work. 
 
Link to information about campus holidays including gift days at UIUC (see here

Collect collisions  

Networking is a key part of your personal development as new connections can spark new ideas, and growing your professional network is a powerful means of opening up future possibilities. You are strongly encouraged to reach out to relevant people to discuss work, skills, ideas or career development.  

If you are undergraduates, think about issues such as “are there techniques I would like to learn?”, “are there types of research that I would like to gain exposure to?”, “can I find out more about what it is like to do grad school or careers in industry?”. It may mean talking to other students or researchers in the lab, or if you are thinking about internships or grad school it may be relevant professors, irrespective of your goal, you are encouraged to talk to me about this for help.  

Social media is another way to grow your network and increase your visibility and influence. Running a social media account such as Twitter or keeping a blog is encouraged, (Twitter can be a great source of new ideas and way of keeping up with the literature), although not necessary – it is not everyone’s thing.  

Attending conferences and symposiums is encouraged for grad students and postdocs. Days spent at a conference are considered working days so you do not need to take annual leave to participate. Technicians can attend meetings if they have a strong desire to do so and are encouraged to discuss with me.  

Meetings are a great way to get out there and share your research, establish collaborations, see new techniques or find your next job. If you are applying for a meeting, it is best to aim to either present a poster or give a talk in order to get maximum benefit and exposure out of attending. You might consider trying to attend one large conference or one or two small symposia a year. It is the responsibility of grad students and postdocs to identify opportunities and to bring these up although occasionally opportunities may be suggested. Applying for funding to attend is important, as funds may be limited in the lab. On some occasions it will be suggested that everyone attend the same meeting. 

Make your colleagues proud

Whether attending and presenting at meetings, or commenting on social media, you are representing the public face of the lab. Please remember to do your colleagues proud by bringing your best self. Unprofessional or abusive behavior will not be tolerated and will result in a meeting to determine appropriate actions moving forward.

Turn up for the team 

It is essential that grad students, postdocs and technicians attend all lab meetings and are on time ready to start on the hour. Lab meetings are expected to be lively affairs with everyone (that means you!) involved asking questions. We have a duty to lab members to be engaged and offer feedback and show interest in their work. No reading on phones or doing emails while this is taking place please! Undergrads are not obliged to attend, but can do so if their schedule allows and they have sufficient interest.  

As members of the wider research community at Illinois, grad students and postdocs are expected to turn up to all Photosynthesis Research Unit (PRU) Seminars held in collaboration with members of the USDA groups on campus. These talks are typically given by postdoc and grad students to showcase work in progress and gather feedback. Grad students and postdocs from the lab are expected to volunteer to give a PRU seminar once a year, this is great practice to hone your presentation skills, obtain feedback and promote work of the team. Even if talks are out of your immediate research area, it is a good opportunity to broaden your knowledge. PRU seminar series runs during semester, 12-1 PM on a Friday. 

Similarly, as members of the Plant Biology Department, grad students and postdocs are expected to partake fully in activities of the department, such as the Plant Biology Colloquium and turning up for thesis defence seminars as well as helping out at recruitment day, so long as these do not clash with family requirements. 

A common practice is for researchers to hold practice talks for job interviews, please attend these for members of the GEGC where possible, these are a vital part of your professional development and you can learn a lot from watching others. Further, your feedback could make all the difference, and when your time comes others will turn up to help you. 

There are a lot of talks going on campus, everything outside of what is mentioned above is optional unless your attendance is specifically requested by the lab head. You are encouraged to attend some talks outside your research area while being sensible about fitting this in with your lab work.  

Your voice could be the difference 

Your voice is valued, irrespective of your career stage, and you have a responsibility to the team to speak up. If you notice something could possibly be improved you must say, don’t assume others know better. A good analogy is to take the same approach as you would if a friend steps out on the road without seeing an onrushing car, what would you do?!  

If there is something you don’t understand, you have an obligation to the team to ask for clarification. If you don’t understand, it is likely that someone else doesn’t either, and to progress as a team we must all be . There are no stupid questions and if something is unclear it is likely due to a failure in explaining something rather than your intellect, you are also providing someone with a useful chance to develop their skills of explanation. We are all bright people here and that includes you, your intelligence is a gift that you should use. Nobody has all the answers. Science is a collective effort and there is plenty of evidence that small, homogeneous teams can make unwise decisions. 

Two minds are better than one, a team mind is best 

What we are aiming for is psychological safety at work, which means a safe environment where everyone feels empowered to give constructive critical feedback. This is essential for all high functioning teams, a great example of this is Pixar, whose managing director openly states that the first version of each of there films is terrible, it is only through having robust discussions in something they call a “brain trust” that they are successful. 

During lab meetings we will run reflections on individual’s work and how this interacts with the lab’s performance as a whole to look critically (in a positive sense) at experiments and data. The point is not to pull apart someone’s approach, but to build a shared mental model of how the experiment progressed so that the knowledge is shared and we can learn from each other about best practice.  

Things will not work perfectly the first time you try, and it can be a long hard process of modifying and repeating things until you get it right. Sometimes things may not work out at all. Whatever you do, please, please don’t suffer alone in silence. If you are encountering an issue please share, when we work together we are much more effective. 

Own your work 

Grad students and postdocs are expected to develop their own research ideas and projects under the general area of engineering photosynthesis and plant synthetic biology. My role is to provide the higher level vision, and to be a sounding board to help hone your ideas. 

Each grad student and postdoc is expected to have a project they will lead independently, although they may have additional projects they work on collaboratively. The reason for this is to ensure you gain sufficient recognition for your work to complete degrees, obtain fellowships or new positions.  

When starting in the lab, grad students and postdocs are encouraged to spend a couple of months researching, discussing and planning, to identify a research question which is important and exciting to them (see article by Ron Milo in which his lab bans people from working for the first 3 months! The rule in the lab won’t be that strict but the principle is there), and you are not expected to jump straight into the lab. If unclear, one good strategy is to do informational interviews with people in the department/wider research community, finding out “What is the most important question” or the biggest challenge in your given research area. I encourage you to look at and to think about how to move beyond it. 

A provisional model for research is that students and postdocs will have two projects, one related to the core program of the group, often linked to a specific objectives on a research grant, and a second independent project take with you  

Research technicians are the real powerhouses of the lab, they often have the most expertise in given procedures and will be given autonomy over processes. One responsibility of technicians is to consider ways that processes can be improved and ensure things are running smoothly. 

Undergraduates will initially be trained in techniques and can progress to small independent projects to gain experience and are encouraged to discuss this prospect with me. 

A mistake is a gift towards mastery 

Mistakes are inevitable and serve as vital learning experiences. I have probably screwed up every step, of every procedure, during my training and you probably will too! This is totally acceptable and to be expected, the important thing is to learn from your mistakes. If you repeatedly make the same mistake over and over, it is worth sitting down and talking it through with someone to consider what might be going wrong. If you are having trouble, don’t be shy, it can be helpful to discuss with others so we don’t fall into the same traps. 

Success is in the eye of the beholder 

The Burgess lab is a strong believer in creating your own definition of success if you can come up with a way to measure it. This can be tricky when things come to applying for future jobs, but so long as you can clearly explain what your values and goals are and how you were successful in achieving those it is encouraged. For example, if you decide outreach, teaching or mentoring are things of vital importance to you, please discuss further with me to see how this can be quantified. 

Contributing to lab output

We are all judged by our output. For better or worse, in academia, that normally means publications, but can also include patent applications among others. So an important responsibility of all members is to contribute to the scientific output of the lab, and our work should be considered in light of potential outputs.  

Recognition where it is due 

We follow the guidelines of McNutt et al. 2018 about what constitutes authorship on a publication: 

“Each author is expected to have made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work; or have drafted the work or substantively revised it; AND to have approved the submitted version (and any substantially modified version that involves the author’s contribution to the study); AND to have agreed both to be personally accountable for the author’s own contributions and to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work, even ones in which the author was not personally involved, are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature. “ 

And will aim to use CRediT taxonomy when possible in recognizing author contributions. 

Writing papers 

Writing the bulk of most papers will be an opportunity for grad students and postdocs. I will help initiate and guide this process and will give feedback, revisions and input. Feedback is encouraged from the rest of the lab as well. However, you are given agency over the process, it should be mainly your own words, and it is my responsibility to ensure that you are getting papers for the next step in your career not to dictate or overwrite what you have done.  

If you have no experience with writing papers, do not worry! You are not expected to know, and learning how to write papers is part of the process.  

Finally, we will aim to publish all manuscripts as preprints prior to submission, and will choose open access options. This is because there are a whole host of benefits to pre-printing, from increased exposure and higher citations, to providing open access versions of work and scoop protection (read more here), and we believe in making publicly funded work publicly available. 

Dealing with revisions and what happens if you have left the lab? 

Finding ways to collaborate and include team members as co-authors on publications is recommended, so if there is an experiment that can be added quickly and simply consider ways to include others.  

To facilitate coordination between lab members when writing manuscript drafts you are encouraged to save references in Zotero reference manager. We have a lab reference list which you can download and contribute to. 

Assume ignorance 

In the lab we aim to maintain the highest standards of scientific integrity, publishing and working ethics. The reason for this is science is built on the ability to repeat what someone else has done, if this is impossible, either because of poor reporting or poor practice it reflects badly on us as researchers and is a failure of responsibility to our funders (such as tax payers).  

To fulfil this pledge, we aim to abide by FAIR data principles and follow the COPE ethics in publishing. Properly documenting your results and data is time consuming, but this is important and time well spent. If you are on the RIPE project, contact data manager Cindy Chan to find out about standards for the project. 

To facilitate tracking materials and data across different platforms, each project will have a dedicated ID number (e.g. P001..Pn). To obtain a new number simply add a line to the lab inventory (here). See the section below for more details.

All lab members are expected to keep an electronic notebook on Benchling, keeping monthly logs which are shared with other lab members. For best practice on maintaining lab books see here and here, although I am sure there are lots of awesome guides out there too. 

The lab has a shared folder on Box. Each lab member will be given an individual subfolder, you are expected to maintain all your data here on the cloud rather than remotely through the use of the Box sync app. The reason for this is that in the event of computer failure you will still have a backup and no data will be lost. 

All code should be annotated and deposited openly online in the lab Github repository, this ensures you and future lab members can rerun analysis quickly in the future and provides a starting point for creating new code rather than reinventing everything from scratch. Investigating the use of rmarkdown, Juypter notebooks and Docker is encouraged, although this has not yet been established in the lab.  

All plasmid sequences should be shared internally via Benchling, and at time of publishing, genbank files should be uploaded to NCBI and deposited at Addgene

All sequencing data should be fully annotated and deposited in the Sequence Read Archive. Field specific best practice should be followed when reporting data, this will depend on the exact data time being created. 

All qPCR data raw data should be exported and saved as .RDML file format. This is a universal format that allows for processing with the software qbase+ and allows for reprocessing of data and maximum transparency in research. 

Extended protocols should be produced and shared for each procedure routinely used in the lab. These are created and shared with the lab group at protocols.io obtaining a digital object identifier (doi) that can be referenced. The reason for this is it not only helps you, and your lab members repeat what you have done, but also serves as a basis for the wider scientific community to progress from. Further, putting your work out there increases the likelihood you will be able to form new collaborations. 

When creating a protocol include CAS numbers for all chemicals and product numbers for supplies. The reason is vague reporting (details such as hydration state etc) will impact upon chemicals and increases the chances of mistakes in the future. 

Part of the family 

When it comes to leaving the lab, all members will undergo an exit interview to review their time and to provide a space for feedback (I will also welcome this too as a chance to improve mentoring skills). There is a checklist. A version of all resources (plasmids, strains, notebooks etc) should be left behind in the lab, but members will be welcome to take copies of any of these with them to their next position if they desire, so long as it is possible given UIUC intellectual property. We hope that all members of the lab become “part of the family” and look forward to welcoming you to the Burgess lab alumni network! 

Communicate often and early

We want everyone in the lab to have an awesome time, there may be occasions (although hopefully very rare if at all), when substantial disagreements arise between lab members or between me and team members. If you have an issue, or see others facing them in the lab please raise them immediately so they can be discussed openly rather than letting things linger, problems can lead to a toxic work environment which is extremely damaging to all involved.  

If you think problems between team members can be solved between yourselves you are encouraged to do so, however, the next step will be to contact me to discuss issues in person then together with all parties involved.  

If the disagreement is with me, please raise this, I will do my best to be sensitive to these issues and open to critical feedback, however, if you feel unable please reach out to your faculty mentors if you have them, or head of the Plant Biology Department (currently Prof. Andrew Leakey). 

Lab Administration

Finding space to grow plants 

In the event you need to grow plants there are several places you may be able to do this, please discuss with me if necessary or you need to be connected with someone. This is important particularly for field trials or larger phenotyping experiments. 

In the event of doing field experiments, all RIPE experiments should be discussed with David Drag up to six months in advance of starting a project. RIPE currently has facilities to grow plants in the summer in Illinois (typically June-September) and in Puerto Rico in the winter (November-March).  

Lab ordering 

If items are running low or you use the last of a reagent or kit, please re-order a replacement, basic supplies can be purchased in the storerooms of MCB, or RAL and a list of general supplies can be found here

I would like to be consulted about all orders above $500, this ensures that we have the means to buy items and stay within our budgets.

For the RIPE project you will need to contact Josh Capili about obtaining access to the Quartzy ordering system, for Plant Bio the ordering system is iBuy and discuss with me for access.

Lab stocks 

Verified plasmids are to be kept in communal freezer and accompanied by a E. coli glycerol stock in the -80 oC. We are a collaborative lab and a centralized system not only facilitates sharing and re-use of parts between lab members it ensures that important stocks are not lost when members move on from the lab. This is critical to the mission of the lab to promote good practice and reproducibility.  

Naming conventions 

There are few things that are to facilitate reproducibility and understanding each other’s work the lab adopts a common file naming system. 

When in doubt, it is advisable to use printed labels for tubes or pots (make sure to use cryo safe labels). Problems interpreting handwriting and ink rubbing off labels can cause headaches later on! If you are so inclined writing on a tube and using a label is the safest option, but this is not particle if taking a large number of samples.  
 

Glossary: 

  • PNUM: refers to project number 
  • YYYYMMDD: The date. This format is used to enable chronological sorting in computer folders or tracking back to lab notebook entries 
  • Initials: Researchers initials (e.g. SJB – Steven James Burgess). This is included to allow for tracking, so any future questions can be directed to the relevant person 

Naming electronic records 
All raw data should be kept and stored in an appropriate box folder. Files will be named: 

PNUM-YYYYMMDD-Initials-xxxx 

e.g. P001-202010205-SJB-Immunoblot-PsbS 

Where: 
Xxxx – descriptive title e.g. immunoblot-PsbS 

Naming Lab Notebooks 

PNUM-YYYYMM-Initials 
e.g. P001-SJB-202102 

It is advisable to start a new notebook each month on Benchling. Notebook entries should be project specific to allow for grouping of relevant information. Naming each notebook entry with the project number, your initials and date will allow for tracking between samples and lab notebooks. 

Naming Freezer Boxes 

PNUM-Initials-B# 

e.g. P001-SJB-B1 

Where: 
B# -”B” for box “#” for number 

Naming biological samples 

YYYYMMDD-Initials-S# 

e.g. 20210205-SJB-S1 

Where: 

S# – “S” for sample, # for number. Included to allow for matching back to lab books. 

Note: If collecting biological samples from an experiment such as a field trial, use printed labels with a barcode. This ensures there is no confusion over hand writing. 
 

Naming plasmids 

PD###### 

e.g. PD00001 

Where: 
“PD” is for PlasmiD###### is for a number from 0-99,999  

Note: Plasmid numbers should only be used after a plasmid has been verified either by sanger sequencing or whole plasmid sequencing. For plasmids in progress stick to the convention for naming samples. Metadata for every new plasmid is entered into the lab plasmid list (here

Naming E. coli glycerol stocks 

E###### 

e.g. E00001 

Where: 
“E” is for E. coli###### is for a number from 0-99,999 

Note: for glycerol stocks printed labels should be used with a barcode, this ensures  

Metadata for every new E. coli glycerol stock is entered into the lab list here (here).  

Naming Agrobacterium glycerol stocks 

AGR###### 

e.g. AGR00001 

Where: 
“AGR” is for Agrobacterium###### is for a number from 0-99,999 

Metadata for every new agrobacterium glycerol stock is entered into the lab plasmid list (here

Naming Algal glycerol stocks 

ALG###### 

e.g. ALG00001 

Where: 
“ALG” is for Algae###### is for a number from 0-99,999 

Metadata for every new algal glycerol stock is entered into the lab plasmid list (here

Undergraduate employment 

If you are aworking in the lab for credit as part of a class, you are given more creative freedom over your work and an independent project to pursue. However, you will not be paid, this is in accordance with department conventions.

If you are working as a paid hourly, your role will be in support of a postdoc or a technician to complete their tasks. You will be given appropriate training in techniques and assigned tasks according to requirements.

During the summer months the lab often recruits students for paid work to assist with either lab or field experiments. If you are intersted please contact me directly. In these instances, to be in accordance with university policy, you must either not be taking a class, or work less than 20 h a week, in accordance with university policy.

For paid undergraduates, timesheets need to be filled bi-weekly and sent to hr@igb.illinois.edu, copying in your immediate supervisor (initially this will be me). Accuracy is expected when claiming time in the lab.  

Postdoc employment

There is a university salary scale that is dependent on years of experience, these have set limits to ensure parity between employees of the university. Annual increases will occur according to the salary scale

Institutional and Local Resources 

UIUC counseling center 

Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning 

Accommodation service UIUC, often have housing on Orchard Downs for postdocs. 

Illinois Leadership center 

UIUC Postdoc Alliance, Cross campus postdoc social group 

UIUC campus police, Many useful links, including for how to sign up for security updates via text 

UIUC Title IX Coordinator, Office responsible for dealing with sexual harassment claims 

UIUC ethics compliance office, Place to find out about regulations and report concerns 

UIUC office for Diversity Equity and Inclusion 

IGB Committee for Diversity Equity and Inclusion 

Laboratory Safety Plan (in progress) https://drs.illinois.edu/Page/Programs/PlanOverview 

Dealing with material transfer agreements Submit requests to SPA 

Other useful resources 

Up-GOer Five writing tool, writing anything with the ten hundred most commonly used words 

Guide to pipetting  

Difference between TC and TD pipettes 

How to Choose a Good Scientific Question

Productivity tips for grad students 

Lab management talent McKinsey 

One on one meetings  

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