Lab Policies and General Information

Stuff everyone should know.


Please see our lab's statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and DEI Action Items on our website.


Slack is the main way we communicate in the lab. During your shift, you should have Slack accessible at all times and be able to notice new messages within a few minutes. This is important so that staff and other students can contact you if needed. Consider signing in through the browser on your lab/personal computer, or getting notifications on your phone. Be sure to also check Slack somewhat regularly (suggested at least once per day) when you are not in the lab!

In fairness, the lab manager and other staff will try to answer requests on Slack as soon as appropriate.

Hybrid work environment

Students work remotely and in-person. Just because a seat is empty doesn't mean the computer is available. Use the computer schedule to know which computer to use; it's available in the KB sidebar, and often on the bulletin board in 544.

If your remote shift ends at 1pm and someone's in-person shift on that computer starts at 1pm, be timely when wrapping up your work. Again, the computer schedule is your friend here.


If you feel sick or think you may be contagious, please show respect for your labmates by staying home. Our lab is set up to work remotely, so let's take advantage of that.

Message the lab manager on Slack to notify them that you will not be in person. If you feel well enough to work remotely, you may do so. Otherwise, please let the lab manager know that you are not able to work due to being sick.


Most students do not receive keys to our offices. Instead, they get KeyWatcher access, which is a way to temporarily borrow a key, connected to your WisCard. This temporary key can unlock any of the SMNG office doors (415, 483, and 544) and must be returned within 15 minutes of checkout. The lab manager will set up your KeyWatcher access during your first week.

Staff and post-docs get keys to SMNG offices but still use KeyWatcher for conference rooms.

Security: Doors

If you are the last person to leave one our offices (no matter what time of day), do the following:
  • Make sure the door is locked
    • On the side of the door, there are little buttons by the knob that lock/unlock the exterior knob.
  • Turn off the lights
  • Close the door behind you
You may leave the room unattended with the door open for brief periods (water, bathroom, etc.).

Security: Computers

You should not leave the Waisman computers signed in and unattended. This is both generally a good idea, and an expectation when working with protected health information.

If you need to leave your computer for a short period of time, you may lock it by pressing Windows Key + L. You aren't signing out, so all your programs will remain intact -- you will simply need to enter your password to unlock it.

Students who use a shared computer must sign out at the end of their shift. Staff who are the sole users of their computer can lock it instead.


If you have completed some assigned task but aren't sure what to do next, the Default Tasks KB doc can help. Otherwise, your PI, lab mates, or the lab manager can help.


We want to celebrate your birthday! If you'd like your labmates to help you celebrate, send a slack message to the lab manager; they will set a reminder in Slack.


You may bring food into the lab. There is a mini fridge in 483 and one in 544. There is a microwave in 544 which is pretty slow, but reliably available. The 4th-floor conference room has a microwave; the 5th-floor conference room has a microwave and sink.

You may eat in the lab. Be respectful to people and equipment; don't make a mess; clean up after yourself.


Various awards, scholarships, etc. are available to UW-Madison students who do research. See our KB doc here with a list of some of these awards, particularly if you are a sophomore or junior, as there are more options available to you. Talk to your PI if you think you might qualify for a scholarship or want to apply.

Supplies (Masks, scissors, post-its, ...)

Office supplies are stored on the bookshelf in 483 and on the wooden shelves above the couch in 544 (or next to the experiment computer). You may, for example, take a couple post-it notes if you need them for class, but don't take a whole stack. Use good judgment.

Spare face masks are also in 483 and 544.


Wondering about something else? Ask your labmates or the lab manager.

Keywords:general, procedures, housekeeping, clean, keys, maintenance, policies   Doc ID:113879
Owner:Chris N.Group:Speech Motor Neuroscience Group
Created:2021-09-23 14:10 CDTUpdated:2022-04-08 15:54 CDT
Sites:Speech Motor Neuroscience Group
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