The goal of graduate/postdoctoral training is for the students/fellows to become independent professionals as researchers, and to learn how to write and speak about science.

Professionalism, Honesty, and Ethics

The graduate student/postdoctoral fellow will:

  • Perform research and other educational activities conscientiously, maintain good research records, and catalog and maintain all tangible research materials that result from the project.
  • Respect all ethical standards when conducting research, including compliance with all institutional and federal regulations.
  • Show respect for and work collegially with co-workers, support staff, and other individuals.
  • Do his/her best to satisfy all project deadlines outlined by the advisor.

Time Commitment Expected in the Lab

The minimum hours required to spend in the lab is 40 hours per week, excluding time in the gym, eating lunch, etc. It is likely that you will need to spend more than 40 hours in the lab to make good progress towards graduation. You are expected to take advantage of and to actively participate in journal clubs, data clubs and research seminars. (Active participation is expected to include asking questions, joining discussion, and reading papers; mere attendance is not enough). In addition, you should take advantage of opportunities to have lunch with and to interact with visiting faculty (e.g., Bortree speakers).

Vacation and Sick Leave

Full-time graduate students and postdoctoral fellows must get permission for all absences from the laboratory. Vacation leave should be approved by Dr. Cantorna in writing before purchasing tickets to alleviate any possible confusion, and copied to the lab manager, Veronika Weaver. Two (2) months' notice is desirable. To reiterate: Students must formalize their vacation dates in writing and in advance. Dr. Cantorna will allow or disallow the vacation request in writing within 72 hours of its submission. All other reasons for leave (i.e., sickness, maternity/paternity leave, illness of a family member, etc.) also require approval from Dr. Cantorna in writing. It is the student's responsibility to contact Dr. Cantorna and Veronika Weaver when he/she is absent from the classroom or laboratory due to illness. A phone number where you can be reached must be provided. If your U. S. phone number won't be active, please provide an alternative.

Maintenance of Laboratory Notebooks and Electronic Files

Prior to leaving the laboratory for any amount of time lab notebooks must be updated, indexed and shown to Dr. Cantorna. All notebooks and files need to be backed up and the original files need to be in the laboratory. Electronic files should be backed up at least once a month. You may take copies home with you, but the originals need to stay here. You can expect to be asked periodically to show Dr. Cantorna where and how complete your notebooks are, and to confirm that you have backed up all files.

Course Work

Students must post a current schedule that includes contact information on the bulletin board. Students' post-comprehensives are not allowed to take additional course work. Students that sign up for additional courses, will be asked to leave.


Failure to meet these expectations may result in the end of your assistantship. You will be warned verbally and in writing. Leaving on vacation without prior approval will result in immediate dismissal.

Contact Us

Margherita T Cantorna, Ph.D.
  • Distinguished Professor of Molecular Immunology