PWiGS Special Event

Fri, May 17, 2019, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Guyot 155 and other locations

Growing Healthy Labs:

A healthy work environment is fundamental to good science, but we rarely discuss strategies for how to create and maintain one.  Despite measurable and empirically-supported benefits associated with effective leadership, management, and mentorship for both advisors and trainees, most faculty are rarely trained in these skills.  As a result, academic teams can lose time to unproductive interpersonal issues, lack of motivation, and unnecessary conflict.  These problems can lead to high costs in terms of money, productivity, mental health, and retention of talent, and often disproportionally impact students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields.

In response, PWiGs is pleased to offer a workshop on effective lab and personnel management for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.  The goal of this workshop is to help future principal investigators (PIs) become more effective at managing their research groups and creating inclusive spaces that develop excellent science and scientists.

In this workshop, participants will

  •  about recent research on the impact of leadership and lab culture on productivity and overall group well-being
  • and discuss common evidence-based "best practice" strategies for effective personnel management 
  •  ideas and practice strategies for good supervision of trainees with other participants
  • leave with additional resources for future self-education and formal training

Due to the interactive nature of the workshop, it is currently limited to 30 attendees. Priority will be given to members in the GEO and AOS Departments. To sign up, please fill out this Google form by this Friday, May 10.  

We hope you will consider this opportunity to learn more about managing healthy, happy, and productive research groups that enable people of all backgrounds and identities to succeed.  For more information, feel free to reach out to the Workshop Facilitator, Christine Y. Chen (  


Christine Y. Chen is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.  She serves as a graduate student mediator through the Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (REFS) program at MIT, in which students provide low barrier, informal, confidential services to their peers in conflict management.  In this capacity, she has undergone extensive training in conflict management and mediation through the Conflict Management@MIT program and has created and facilitated workshops on creating healthy research environments in academia.  For her dedication to empowering her fellow students to develop as leaders and being an active mentor and coach to peers within the MIT community, she was awarded the MIT Larry G. Benedict Leadership Institute Award in 2019.  When she is not busy serving as a REFS, Christine can be found pouring over tufa deposits as part of her geological research studying ancient lake basins in the western United States and central Andes.

To request disability-related accommodations for any of our events, please contact The Office of Disabilities Services at or 609-258-8840, at least 3 working days prior to the event.