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Launching a Research Team

One of the most important and enjoyable jobs of a faculty member is training and working with graduate students and postdocs. They bring huge enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and genuine passion to their research. Helping such trainees progress through their chosen careers is a pleasure and a privilege. But, they are people - each one is unique and they all have different needs.

As a faculty advisor, we serve as both mentor and manager since the research our trainees are doing is often within a team and supported by external grants on which we serve as principal investigator. This makes their and our success fully intertwined and the job of being a PI sometimes more than a little challenging, especially if we are just “winging” it with little or no specific training on how to perform this crucial aspect of our new role.

In these two workshops, we will provide some very concrete guidance as we talk about how to create a research environment where the full potential of every trainee can be realized and where we as faculty can enjoy all aspects of our jobs. In the first session, we will focus on how to establish a team culture and how to provide the right level of guidance, including establishing and communicating your expectations - of them and of you! This is key to preventing the stress that comes from people not understanding what is expected of them and guessing wrong, to the frustration of all involved. In the second session, we will focus on the next most important step in managing a team: giving people feedback that helps them develop their full potential. We will also talk about how to solicit feedback on our own performance so we can develop and improve these all important skills as mentor/manager and team leader!

Launching a Research Team – Session 1: The Art of Creating the Right Team Culture and Setting Expectations without Micromanaging 
October 22, Noon – 1:30 pm

Focuses on how to establish a team culture and how to provide the right level of guidance, including establishing and communicating your expectations.

Launching a Research Team – Session 2: How to Give Effective Feedback to Pre- and Postdoc Trainees 
November 21, Noon – 1:30 pm

Focuses on giving people feedback that helps them develop their full potential. In addition, how to solicit feedback on your own performance to develop and improve as a mentor/manager and team leader.

John Boothroyd, AVP for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs, Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Microbiology and Immunology