Prince:Lab Expectations

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Lab Philosophy

Working philosophy:

Fail like a Champion: Fail Fast, Fail Hard.

(Failure is merely information about what does not work. Great problem solvers fail the most) Dweck, C. S. (1975). The role of expectations and attributions in the alleviation of learned helplessness.   Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 674-685.

  • Work smart, work hard, or both.
  • Work on exciting projects.
  • Help others around you, including non-lab members.
  • Take initiative: become a master of your art and solve your own problems.
  • Ask for help when you need it.


  • As much as possible, be in/around the lab between 8:30am - 5:30pm. (work will tail either side, of course)
  • To promote good science and lab aesthetic, keep things clean and organized.
  • Undergraduates: apply for ORCA in the Fall and URA each semester
    • expected for salaried students
    • recommended for volunteers
  • Graduate students: TA the equivalent of a 20hr semester per year.
    • allows the lab funds to go further
    • gives the student valuable experience


Familiarize yourself with BYU's Chemical Hygiene Plan, particularly the section "General Safety Guidelines for work with laboratory chemicals".

Lab Notebooks

Consider the following addendum to the article "Engineering and characterization of a superfolder green fluorescent protein" from nature biotechnology:

Retraction: Identification of genes that function in the TNF-α-mediated apoptotic pathway using randomized hybrid ribozyme libraries.

Hiroaki Kawasaki, Reiko Onuki, Eigo Suyama & Kazunari Taira Nat. Biotechnol. 20, 376–380 (2002)

Although the gene discovery technology described in this paper has been demonstrated to have practical utility by several independent researchers, the first author of the paper failed to maintain a proper data notebook to support the results presented. As this constitutes nonadherence to the ethical standards in scientific research, and in accordance with the recommendations from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), R. Onuki, E. Suyami and K. Taira respectfully retract this paper. H. Kawasaki declines to associate himself with this retraction and maintains that all the data contained in the paper are valid (emphasis added).

To ensure all experiments can be published with full confidence, to help organize samples in the lab, and to create a sort of lab history, a specific wet lab sample and lab notebook "style guide" is used:


For example, Bartholomew Simon Pinkerhoffer might label a sample: BSP2.36.AL.DIT.7, signifying that the initial information for sample 7 of the Direct Injection Test for the Asthma Lipidomics project is in Bartholomew Pinkerhoffer's second lab notebook on page 36. Therefore, on all lab notebooks, write your full name on the front cover in ink; number all pages in your notebook; and clearly mark the sample number, name of the experiment, and name of project (along with their initials) to which your sample pertains.


  • Doctoral Candidates
    • One 1st author publication in a top-tier journal (Nature, Science, Cell or PNAS)
    • One or more 1st or 2nd author publications as needed to graduate
  • Undergraduates (Salaried)
    • One 1st author publication or two 2nd author publications
  • Undergraduates (Volunteer)
    • 1st or 2nd author on a publication

* 2nd author means any authorship besides 1st author

See Also

See Prince Lab Practices