I view the members of my research group as collaborators. I have just as much to learn from them, as they have to learn from me. In addition to helping my students and post-docs learn the content necessary for their research interests, I also want to help them learn how to live the life of a researcher – and manage their minds through all the ups and downs that accompany discovering new knowledge. A favorite quote of mine from Einstein hangs in my office: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.” To do research, one must be prepared to not know what you are doing most of the time.
I want my research group to feel that they are part of a community, but I also know that community cannot be forced or dictated. I give members of my group the opportunity to get to know one another – and luckily they have naturally formed lasting friendships.
I tell my students that my job as their advisor isn’t done until they have the job they would like. I try to be sure to introduce my students to future collaborators and always want to know what kind of position would be their ideal job after they graduate or finish their post-doc. I feel good that most of my students have landed positions that they are very happy with.