Lab Policies

Contact & Communication Policies 

The key to successful research practices is open communication. Here are some general expectations:


Best practices: The best way to get in touch with Nadia or Sifana will usually be email. If it is an urgent matter, don’t hesitate to reach us by phone (office and cell phone numbers are listed in the Lab Staff Contact Information Section).


Keep in touch: You should check email regularly, at least once a day unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. travel). Being part of a successful research team requires all members to be readily available. If you can’t address another lab member’s request or question right away, respond with a short note, even if it’s just to say that you won’t be able to respond properly until sometime in the future. This will give the lab member the option of requesting help from someone else if the matter is urgent or let everyone else in the group email know that the matter remains unresolved.

If there’s an issue: Try to resolve them as openly and quickly as possible. If any problems arise during testing or recruitment, let Sifana know regardless of whether you were able to resolve the situation or not. Some issues might be a one-off and others might be indicative of a bigger problem. Once we know about them, we can take the correct steps to fix them!

General Lab Policies 

Meetings: Lab members must attend weekly meetings. Project leads in lab should plan to present at least annually.


Lab Security: If you are the last person in lab, make sure that all lights are turned out and that all doors lock behind you.


Keys: Any borrowed keys must be returned to their usual locations immediately after use. When borrowing keys for other lab spaces, keys must be signed out and returned as soon as possible.


Computer and Web Security: When leaving the lab, log out of any computers you have been using. If you are the last person in lab, make sure that all computers have been logged off. At the end of the day on Fridays and weekends, if you are scheduled to be the last person in lab, shutdown all computers.

Social Media & Email: All web security procedures apply to lab social media and email. Only access the lab social media accounts from lab computers and log out as soon as you are done. Do not sign in to lab email or social media accounts from your personal device.


Lab computers/printers: Passwords for all lab computers and accounts are included in the passwords section here. Please consult Sifana before downloading any software onto the computers. Printing on the monochrome printer is allowed, but please keep all personal printing to a minimum. If anything needs to be printed in color, please email Sifana or Nadia with the document attached.


Other lab equipment: Sign out lab equipment using the sign out sheet on the equipment cabinet. Keys to the equipment cabinet are in the first drawer of Sifana’s desk. When borrowing equipment, please return it in a timely fashion. No more than two cameras may be signed out of the lab at the same time. The tripods in the testing room must not be removed from lab; off-site testing tripods can be found in and signed out of the equipment cabinet.


Materials for off-site visits: Materials for off-site visits are stored in the secondary lab spaces in SST Rooms 440 and 441. Ask Sifana for the keys to these spaces during usual lab hours. During after hours and on weekends, keys to these spaces can be found in the first drawer of Sifana’s desk.


Mistakes happen! Most mistakes are minor and can be fixed, but not if no one knows about them. If you think you’ve made a mistake, let Sifana know as soon as possible and we can work on getting it fixed. When conducting experiments, always take detailed notes so we can easily distinguish useable data.


Respect, always: Respect each other’s boundaries, work spaces, technology and right to share ideas. We want to build the best work environment possible, which means making sure we stay critical, but positive and constructive.


Representing the lab: While you’re a member of the lab (and even after!), your actions reflect on the lab and on Nadia. This applies especially—but not only—while you are participating in lab activities both in lab and in the field, or wearing your lab t-shirt. Remember: doing research in the community means maintaining a positive and respectful relationship with the community. Be kind, be courteous, and conduct yourself with responsibility.