We believe that it is a privilege to carry out curiosity-driven scientific research that adds to our understanding of the world and informs efforts to alleviate human suffering and disease. As members of the scientific research community, we shoulder the responsibility of communicating our findings fairly and clearly so that others can benefit from what we have learned. We also believe that we should actively engage with our communities and help younger students identify and nurture their own scientific passions. With these goals in mind, our lab employs the following strategies:
To carry out rigorous and reproducible research
- To strengthen and reinforce our conclusions, we approach scientific questions using multiple, independent methods, including genetic manipulations, sequencing, anatomy, and physiology.
- Experiments are designed based on results from pilot studies that inform the sample size and method of quantification.
- Data are collected and analyzed blind to genotype and condition.
- We hold statistical consults with relevant subject-area experts when applicable.
- Sample size, statistical tests, and p values (if applicable) are included when presenting and discussing data.
- Raw data are discussed in detail in a fair and constructive way during interactive lab meetings, where we share a commitment to strengthening our findings and considering alternative interpretations.
- We have lab-wide standards for data management, with standardized file structures and archival lab notebooks. Standards for lab notebooks are communicated directly via the Goodrich Lab Handbook and are reinforced through weekly meetings and quarterly cleanups.
- We maintain centralized and well-documented inventories for lab reagents like plasmids, antibodies, viruses, and research animals.
- Optimized protocols are shared between researchers and archived in a centralized repository to maintain experimental continuity and reproducibility.
- We hold quarterly lab cleanups to ensure that records and inventories are up to date.
To be transparent and effective communicators
- Students and post-docs hone their communication skills through regular lab meeting presentations and are encouraged to share their work at conferences and departmental seminars.
- Lab members are urged to communicate results transparently:
- Graphs should show all raw data points. Bar graphs are not allowed.
- Include p-values rather than stars.
- State the statistical tests used, and N/n on every relevant data slide.
- Statistical tests should not be performed on unfinished datasets.
- Although many factors affect where an article is published, journal titles are commonly used as a shorthand for scientific merit. To counteract this effect, lab members are urged to omit journal titles when citing work in presentations. A First author, …, Last author, year format is encouraged.
- All formal presentations are practiced in front of the entire lab, and there is a lab culture of providing feedback in a positive and helpful way.
- Interested lab members are welcome to engage in public events to communicate information about the nervous system or to teach through other organizations.
To create a lab culture that communicates and reinforces our shared values
- As communicated in lab meetings and upheld by the PI and senior members of the lab, we strive to create a supportive and equitable environment. All are welcome and encouraged to pursue work they find meaningful.
- All lab members are expected to give and receive help. We recognize that everyone needs help sometimes and that it is our collective responsibility to lift each other up.
- Members of the lab are broadly engaged with other projects in the lab, supported by weekly lab meetings and regular small group meetings focused on related topics.
- Questions and comments are encouraged and solicited during all lab meetings so that even the most junior members feel comfortable seeking clarity or sharing ideas.
- Lab retreats serve as an opportunity to think about broader implications of our work, brainstorm future projects, and recognize and appreciate our progress.
- Professional successes and personal milestones are celebrated through lab lunches, birthday cake gatherings*, and outings to many interesting places in the Greater Boston area.
- Because we recognize that lab members have various personal commitments and scheduling restrictions, official lab outings and events are held during standard work hours.
- Members of the lab enjoy taking part in a number of informal lab activities, most of which involve home-made, artisanal baked goods*.
- * Not applicable during pandemics
to meet the needs of every trainee and help them to advance their careers
- The PI participates in mentorship training through HHMI and Harvard University on a regular basis and takes advantage of available resources to help meet the individual needs of each trainee.
- The PI holds hour-long meetings with new trainees weekly and with senior lab members biweekly. The meetings are structured to allow time to discuss both the research project and broader training and professional goals.
- Expectations are communicated explicitly through the Goodrich Lab Handbook and reinforced through one-on-one meetings and formal mentorship compacts that outline shared goals and expectations of both the mentor and trainee.
- Trainees are encouraged to attend conferences and courses to expand their networks and deepen their scientific knowledge.
- Trainees also take advantage of additional opportunities that will advance their individual training goals, such as attending courses, completing secondary fields, and participating in certificate programs and internships that offer additional preparation for diverse career opportunities.. Previous lab members have gone on to successful careers in a variety of fields, including academic research, education, science policy, and art.
To serve as engaged and informed members of our community
- As a laboratory, we donated money to support the Boston chapter of Black Lives Matter, Black Girls do STEM, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
- We hold monthly journal clubs focused on social issues in science so that we can explore interdisciplinary aspects of our work, including topics surrounding equity & inclusion, science communication, and research. A recommended reading list is found here. Papers we have discussed are found here.
- We are happy to host students through the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP)
- Members of the laboratory participate in a number of local organizations, including
- GSAS Science Policy Group
- Health Professions Recruitment & Exposure Program (HPREP)
- Journal of Emerging Investigators (JEI)
- Research Scholar Initiative (RSI)
- Scientific Citizenship Initiative (SCI)
- Science in the News (SiTN)
- Underrepresented Scholars in Neuroscience (USN)