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The Carnaval Lab Community Agreement


Our Ethos:

  • We are kind – to ourselves and to our colleagues.

  • We are a team – we watch out for ourselves and our colleagues, we are advocates and allies.

  • We respect each other: we listen, we are honest, we show up on time, we come prepared, we acknowledge each other’s identities and pronouns.

  • We are better for our differences – we welcome them, knowing that everyone has much to contribute and yet that no one is perfect. 

  • We reflect on our biases and acknowledge the need to constantly educate ourselves.

  • We take care of our physical and mental health - we don’t exhaust ourselves, and we reach out for help.


As your advisor, Ana (she/her) will:

  • Be here for you (that’s what she is here for, really).

  • Meet with you regularly to help define and pursue your research, academic, and professional goals – she will help you identify strategies and a timeline to achieve them, working with you on a meeting schedule that *you* define.

  • Provide guidance on your research project by having you clarify your study questions, helping to identify new ideas or methods, relevant papers to read, and potential collaborators. 

  • Ensure that you are ready to perform your field and laboratory tasks, providing guidance and access to necessary permitting processes, lab safety or other relevant training.

  • Help you seek and provide support for your stipend, research supplies, training, and research-related travel.This includes identifying suitable awards, revising proposal drafts, and liaising with potential collaborators.

  • Provide hands-on training in written and oral communication skills. She (and other members of the lab) will read your publication drafts and research talks and aid you with article submission.

  • *Not* be a micromanager, or patrol your daily or weekly activities. You are ultimately responsible for your own advances (with her help), and for being a good lab citizen.

  • Be an ally, open and supportive to discuss professional or personal matters.

  • Advocate for you, your academic, and your professional growth while you are in school and afterwards (a mentor is for life).

  • Assist with your professional development: help you identify your strengths and areas to improve, discuss career options, review job application materials, provide letters of recommendation, provide feedback on job talks or mock interviews, and connect you to others.


You will strive to:

  • Be your best advocate – search for opportunities, ask for clarifications, reach out whenever you need.

  • Be organized. Keep your timelines, identify and follow a routine that is most efficient and gratifying given your personal needs and interests.

  • Search and apply for career development opportunities, including workshops of interest, classes, seminars, grants and awards.

  • Be an advocate for scientific integrity. Do *not* fabricate or copy data or conclusions – keep your conference abstracts honest, clean your data and keep a record of them, do not eliminate data points. The data are what the data are.

  • Keep your data and code organized and backed-up. Students who leave the lab with unpublished data must save them, along with a ReadMe file that explains what the data are, in a common repository or a lab Dropbox.

  • Attend and be an active participant of our weekly lab meetings. Use it as an opportunity to ask questions, establish new collaborations, improve your science communication skills, and learn; we review our lab meeting date and time every semester.

  • Maintain a friendly and supportive lab environment. If you have a conflict with someone in the lab, reach out to Ana. If you are not comfortable with this (or if you have an issue with Ana), contact Ms. Christine Klusko in the Biology Department (if you are an undergraduate student), Prof. Amy Berkov (if you are a M.S. student), or CCNY Graduate Deputy Chair Shireene Saleque (for Ph.D. students).


Housekeeping rules. We all will:

  • Be respectful of our shared lab space and lab members by maintaining our common spaces organized, by being aware of noise levels when others are around, and by striving to make our lab a positive, productive space for all.

  • Be respectful of people’s time, while acknowledging that our working hours may differ.

  • Inform each other of equipment or reagents that may soon need replacement, so that we are always prepared.

  • Help the lab keep our computational resources available to all by sharing access, working with the IT department when needed, and suggesting additional hardware or software when needed.

  • Be responsive on email or Slack.


Lab expectations:

  • Undergraduate research apprentices in the Carnaval lab are expected to dedicate a minimum of 8 hours per week to lab-based research, and to participate and present their work in local meetings, in the form of a scientific poster. They often initiate their research apprenticeship by shadowing a more advanced student or by joining an existing project. Senior undergraduate lab members often have their own independent project and can apply for paid summer internships.

  • Master’s in Science students are expected to define a scientific question, to collect and analyze novel data, and to produce a publishable unit that reflects their research efforts. They are strongly advised to participate and present their research in local and national meetings, and are able to recruit and co-mentor undergraduate students. Master’s students are expected to graduate within three years.

  • Ph.D. students are expected to develop at least three scientific publications that reflect their research interests and novel research, and attend one local, regional, national or international scientific meeting yearly. They are expected to submit research and travel grants to support their independent work and are strongly advised to recruit and co-mentor Master’s or undergraduate students. Ph.D. students are expected to graduate in 5 or 6 years, depending on the amount of field work involved in their projects.

  • Postdoctoral fellows are expected to lead one independent research project and to work closely with Ana or any other lab members on a second publication. Postdocs attend one local, regional, national or international scientific meeting yearly and are strongly advised to recruit and co-mentor Master’s or undergraduate students.  

  • Ana’s views on authorship. In the Carnaval lab, we acknowledge and include, in our publications, all of those collaborators without whom our work would have been impossible. This includes local and international collaborators who worked in data collection, data analysis, code development, writing, and who meaningfully contributed to the work - be it with ideas, information, resources, or funding.  

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