Project Success 2018 Manual

Congratulations on being accepted to the Project Success program class of 2018! We are so excited to learn and grow with you this summer. Below, you will find some helpful information about expectations and criteria of our program.


  • Attend every day of lab unless sick w/doctor’s note or documented extenuating circumstances w/two days notice
  • Hand in time sheets every Friday before 1pm
  • Submit every progress point when due Friday
  • Write a research abstract and manuscript
  • Be timely to final presentation dress rehearsal and presentation (arriving by 10am); schedule and venue noted in Timeline
  • Be timely to Friday seminars (arriving by 12:45pm)
  • You are required to work until the end of the program Friday, August 18th

Because we have limited time to complete everything, we have to be strict with submission deadlines. We outlined a support network for you to complete the Project Success products, including proofreading your assignments over the weekend. Submitting assignments on time gives you the ideal amount of support for your project. Remember, some very important people will be viewing your final products, including the Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership, other PI’s leading in fields you may be interested in (and ones that could help you start your career), and your family. Doing a good job impresses them and shows them your effort during the summer, and also brings confidence that you made a significant difference in medical knowledge. The difference between a good and great job is collaboration on the project.

If you are in a lab that you do not want to be in, or you aren’t interested in your research topic, understand that you are here to learn the most you can and you should take full advantage of all opportunities. Remember that you made a commitment to the program and no matter your placement you will learn important lab skills and have other valuable experiences. In the rare chance there is a problem in your lab, please contact me or Dr. Nutt if you feel the matter is more urgent; we’re here to support your growth and success.

Lab Culture

Ask Questions! The most important part of this summer is learning and being respectful. Asking questions will allow you to better understand experiments, the research, and learn about how your mentor wants you to conduct yourself within their laboratory spaces. Your mentors want you to learn, so do not be afraid to ask them when you are unsure of something.

Be respectful of other people’s belongings. Do not take anything from anyone else’s space without asking, including but not limited to instruments or reagents. If it is not yours or you did not sterilize it, you need to ask if you can use it. This includes items in a perceivable common area. If you have a question about a particular protocol, ask your mentor or your PI (if your mentor is busy with a process and they are not busy). If both are busy, wait respectfully if it looks like they’re almost done with their process; if they’re not try to look up the answer or try to work on a different protocol or project until they're not busy.

Stay clean - do not touch items without gloves, if you have to cough or sneeze do it away from people as well as your/their benches. Do your best not to cough or sneeze in the direction of reagents or lab equipment. It is always good practice to sneeze into your elbow. Contamination could result in a flawed run and thus wasted product (which can be very expensive depending on the reagents used). This also includes keeping your area clean and organized. You can organize it in your own fashion, as long as nothing is on the desk when you leave. Make sure that your instruments and reagents are organized while you are working as well. Your PI’s and mentors can be very picky about how you keep your space! Remember - sloppy scientists typically get sloppy results.

If you make a mistake, don’t stress about it. Making mistakes is how we learn, but your lab mentor needs to know there was a mistake so you look out for it next time and so they can tell you where to go from there.

Work Ethic

Our standard hours, the typical “nine to five”, means being ready to start work at 9am and starting to prepare to leave after 5pm. This means you should be getting to work a little bit before 9am. You will need time to get your instruments and reagents ready if you are in a wet lab (including time-dependent tasks like letting samples thaw) and time to start your computer in a dry lab.

Keep in mind that although you are paid seven hours (time for a lunch break) you are expected to be there as long as it takes to get your planned results for the day done. Working in a lab is “results oriented” rather than “time oriented” work - it’s a job where you have to complete a minimum list of tasks and you leave whenever you finish them, rather than being paid to do as many tasks as you can within a scheduled time frame for the day. If your supervisor asks you to stay for longer or do something to get the necessary results for the day, then do it. The disadvantage to this is you will sometimes need to spend more time there and will not get paid for extra time - “results oriented” work is not always nine to five. Although this can sometimes cause you to stay later, the advantage to this is often your PI or mentor will tell you that you finished the work you for the day and you can leave early or come in later the next day.

If you find yourself without things to do, ask for a paper to read or ask a colleague if you can watch what they are doing. You can also work on your weekly assignments. Do not spend time on Facebook, playing games, or anything that is not related to your research. The exception is if you have established a lunch break with your supervisor. You may only use your phone if it is work related - letting your family know you’ll be late that night, using the calculator, communicating with your PI or mentor if their primary method of communication is not their email, etc. However, you must do this with an ungloved hand to avoid getting reagents or biological agents on your phone.

Be pleasant to work with. Smile, introduce yourself to the people that you work near, and say hi when you see them. Use every opportunity to make connections with those around you- you never know who you may meet during your time here. Be willing to be social with people around you and get to know the staff with your Come with the attitude that you are ready to learn from your mentors and peers. Remember that they are sharing their time with you, so you should appreciate the time that they are giving you. Remember that they are also willing to possibly hire people from Project Success, and they are far more willing to hire positive, outgoing, driven people.

Show up to events on time. Often, researchers will . If you don’t know where the location is, either leave early to make sure you can find the workshop, or, go find the location the day before so that you know how to get there. Google the location, use the map on our website, or ask someone!

Dress Code

Dress appropriately in the safety gear outlined for your particular lab. If you are in a wet lab, wear clothing down to the ankles and clothing down to the end of the arms, as well as lab coat, goggles, and gloves. You’ll have further safety training protocols to follow as well. If you’re in a dry lab, dress the dress code of your location. You can ask your mentor (assigned by the lab) about the dress code underneath lab coats or in the dry lab, or you can dress as everyone else does as long as they are following the safety protocol. Dress as if you are going to an interview for your first day (June 27th), and remember it is always better to overdress than underdress!

For the final presentations, business professional is expected. The PI's as well as DICP faculty will be in attendance and it is important to put your best foot forward.

Best of luck!