The lab is always looking for talented researchers to be part of our projects (from a short internship to a full PhD). We value diversity and look forward to backgrounds from Neuroscience, Psychology, Physics, Computer Science, Engineering.
We are located in the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University, a highly interactive and rapidly growing Neuroscience hub.
Our building is across the street from the Scripps Institute and the Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI). The three institutions (FAU, Scripps, MPFI) coordinate training programs at various career levels and organize Neuroscience seminars and events that are open to the whole community.
If interested in joining as a graduate student, there are several programs within FAU and with our partners, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience and Scripps Research Institute. Application deadlines in the Fall.
Contact Carmen for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic Lab Expectations, Tips and Resources
Before joining a lab, it is important to get a sense of the values and culture that motivate the scientific questions they address and how they organize their work and conduct their research. Workplace ground rules influence your daily work and long-term job satisfaction; they are even more important if you are just starting in science, as your first lab experiences help you establish basic habits that can have an impact in the rest of your career. Choose carefully to find a lab with scientific values and culture that resonate with you.
I expect that anyone that considers joining the lab will feel energized by two main interests, 1) a motivation to discover fundamental mechanisms by which thalamic networks contribute to learning and memory; 2) a motivation to gain expertise in systems neuroscience and the methods used in the lab. Training in the lab includes learning about the cellular and network basis of learning and memory and, depending on the project, becoming proficient in the use of rat behavior, optogenetics, electrophysiology, spike and LFP data analysis, programming, signal processing.
Resources: A good place to start for lab members are the several folders inside the lab shared Google drive for ‘Training Resources’.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As a female in neuroscience, an immigrant to the USA, and a first-generation high school and college graduate, I identify deeply with the challenges that minorities face (linguistic, cultural) and I appreciate the different skills and new perspectives they bring to science. I seek to promote a merit-based system that is diverse and inclusive, at the level of the laboratory, institution and beyond. A diverse and inclusive environment enriches the scientific training experience for every lab member. If you join the lab, I expect you to embrace your unique talents, cultural upbringing and scientific background. Likewise, I expect you to appreciate those unique aspects in your colleagues.
Teamwork and Mentoring
Working with a diverse group of peers in a positive environment will significantly enhance your scientific training. A willingness to respect and trust others will give you the foundation to build valuable professional relationships. Being reliable and having a positive attitude will help you sustain those relations through your career. I expect every lab member to contribute to a positive lab environment, to be respectful to others and to behave professionally. I will not tolerate harassment, disrespect or demeaning attitudes to others.
Finding a group of mentors that fits well with your current and future scientific plans should be an early goal at any career stage (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, faculty). Likewise, being a mentor to others will be an important aspect of your contribution to science and will enhance your own skills. I expect that senior students and postdocs will actively seek mentoring relationships within the lab and beyond. Mentorship is driven by the mentee, and so being proactive is key to finding your mentoring team, just as listening to others is key to serving as a mentor.
Time management is a critical skill in any job, but it is particularly important in science, where our schedules are often determined by the constraints of experimental work. No scientific achievement comes without challenges and sustained dedication; however, both working too little or working too much can derail your project. The key is to figure out what works for you to make your time efficient while keeping yourself happy: set clear goals and aim to accomplish them within a specific timeframe. If you need to take a break, take it; if you are making progress and you want to keep going, go for it. Let your project and your sense of accomplishment guide you in determining when it is time to work less and when to work more. I expect lab members to figure out a work schedule that works best for them to perform quality work and lead their projects to success while staying happy and taking care of their personal well-being. Most people find it challenging at first to achieve that balance; talk often with your mentors and peers (particularly those a few years ahead of your intended career path), get as much advice as possible and discuss with me how to balance project goals with your personal situation.
Resources: Great collection of articles on different aspects of work-life balance: www.nature.com/collections/hdgwsjjyjh