Gribble Lab FAQ

Paul Gribble

October 8, 2018

1 Contact Information

2 Lab Culture

I want everyone in the lab to feel valued and welcome. We have a diverse group of people who bring different skills, personal background, and strengths. We all have different academic backgrounds as well. Some come from a Psychology tradition, some from Physiology, some from Kinesiology, some from Engineering, etc. I am happy all of you are here, I care about you as human beings, and I want you to feel happy to be here.

I am not a perfect person and I make mistakes. If something is bothering you about something I have done or said, or not done or not said, I hope you will feel comfortable bringing it to me.

I expect us all to be respectful of each other. We do not tolerate harassment, belittlement, bullying, or discrimination of any kind. Being respectful means many things, but it includes: not gossiping about each other’s private lives; respecting confidentiality in official matters with the University; being mindful of how other people might interpret jokes differently than yourself; behaving in a professional manner in the lab, on campus, and when dealing with the public in your capacity as a scientist (e.g. experimental participants, patients, visiting speakers, etc).

3 Equity & Diversity

We are committed to supporting and promoting equity and diversity in our lab. Diversity is not a challenge to be overcome or a difficulty to be tolerated, it is a tremendous source of strength1. We are stronger when we embrace different backgrounds, perspectives and approaches, in our lab and in our community. Everyone is welcome in our lab, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. In our lab we are respectful of each other. We don’t tolerate harassment, belittlement, bullying, or discrimination of any kind.

4 Need Help?

The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Society at Western (SGPS) has a number of services available for trainees including Health Services, Housing Services, an Equity & Human Rights office, Disability Services, Indigenous Services, and Pride Western. See this link for details.

The Student Health Services office has a variety of services including medical appointments with Physicians, Birth Control information, Counselling & Psychiatry, Allergy injections & immunization (including annual flu shots), sexually transmitted disease testing, wellness activities (meditation, tai chi, yoga), Sports-Medicine Clinic (the Fowler-Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic, which provides sports-medicine appointments with Physicians & Surgeons, as well as Physiotherapy) and Crisis Intervention. I encourage you to take advantage of the services offered here, as needed. Please let me know if I can help you find the services you need on campus and elsewhere.

If you are in crisis or you are concerned about someone who is in crisis, there are daytime and after-hours crisis services available, please see this webpage for contact information.

5 Emergency Phone Numbers

6 Work–Life Balance

In general I expect us all to be in the lab for normal-ish work hours. Typically I arrive in the lab around 9:00 am and I leave in the late afternoon. I never work on weekends or evenings (and I rarely did as a graduate student). Occasionally there are “crunch” times, like before the deadline to a grant application, or before a big presentation, where it might make sense to work longer hours or get stuff done on evenings or weekends. In general I try to avoid that kind of situation, and I suggest you do as well. Try to be organized and efficient, and plan ahead, so that your work can get done without having to work in your spare time.

I may now and then send you email or contact you on Slack outside normal work hours, usually because I’ve found some free time to catch up on things. Know however that I don’t expect you to respond outside of your normal work hours. I respect and support the idea of protecting non-work time.

In general, being present in the lab and in the BMI counts for a lot. You will bump into people and conversations will start, you will talk about your work, their work, a paper you read, a talk you saw. Ideas will happen. Spontaneous interactions like this are a big part of science and of any kind of creative work. The more you’re present, and interactive, the more this will happen. I’m a big proponent of being present as much as possible. Reading papers? Read them here. Writing a results section? Write it here. Grading assignments? Grade them here.

Statutory Holidays are real. Take the time off. I do.

In the summer I typically take August for holidays, so I won’t be in Aug 1–Aug 31. I encourage you to do the same, but I realize that your schedules and personal constraints may not align with my own holiday schedule. That’s fine. Just talk to me about when you would like to take time off. Be sure to take time off in the summer. It’s important.

When you’re sick, please stay home. Just let me know you are taking a sick day, stay off your computer, get some rest, and get better. If you come to the lab when you are sick, you will likely get other people sick, and there may be people in the lab, or in the building, for whom it’s dangerous to get sick because of chronic medical conditions. Please stay home if you’re sick.

7 My Feedback to You

I will try my best to provide feedback to you quickly—feedback about manuscript drafts, abstracts, presentations, data analyses, etc. I’m always happy to help out when you are having difficulties with your work but do remember that part of your training is to work through these kinds of challenges. Do come to me after you’ve made a solid attempt at a solution, and we can work through it together.

My goal is to get you feedback on short documents within 1-3 days. Short documents are things like Abstracts, or a single section of a manuscript (e.g. an Introduction section). For long documents (an entire manuscript, or an entire presentation) my goal is 1-2 weeks. Typically I am fast with providing feedback.

While you’re waiting for feedback, don’t stop working on your document! When you have new thoughts or time to work on your document again, feel free to tell me you’re going to make some more changes and send me a new version. Don’t consider a document frozen just because you’ve shared it with me. You can continue to work on it. We work on papers in Google Docs so that sharing/collaborating is seamless and so we don’t have to worry about compatibility problems and software version issues.

8 Lab Rooms

9 Mentoring & Supervision

10 Lab Meetings

11 Research Ethics Protocols

12 Travel to Conferences

13 Purchasing & Lab Supplies

14 Software & Computers

15 Research Data

16 Lab RAID Archive

17 Other Information

If there is anything you need to know please get in touch with me, I’m here to help.

—Paul


  1. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Diversity is Canada’s Strength