Supportive relationships with your lab mates can facilitate your studies and lead to friendships and professional contacts that will support you for the rest of your career. These relationships are only possible in a civil laboratory environment. Of course, we all know that not everybody gets along all of the time, but a culture of lab civility can help smooth over rough patches so that we can all work together effectively. Toward this end, our department has developed a Code of Conduct that has been reviewed and approved by the full faculty. The NIH also has a number of guidelines for maintaining a safe and respective research environment, and you can find a simple list of mentor-mentee dos and don’ts here. Finally, IU has provided a guide to help ensure that mentor and mentee expectations regarding graduate training remain aligned.
There are many ways to address situations in which you feel these values are not being upheld. First, be sure to check out our resources on allyship and bystander intervention to better empower yourself to improve departmental climate. For issues dealing with your mentor, you can also consult Professors Chick Jarrold and Skrabalak, who have taken the Facilitating Entering Mentoring course that is designed to train research mentors at colleges and universities. You should also feel free to communicate any issues you experience to ChemGRC members or the DCC at either of their office hours, our anonymous feedback portal, or the University’s anonymous feedback portal.
Departmental Counselor and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Our department has a counselor, Sam Rosenberg, available for appointments. Both in person and virtual meetings are possible with your benefit package simply by calling the Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and requesting Sam or the Chem Counselor. You are welcome to use any of the counselors at CAPS, but this resource shortens the time to appointment by typically a month and, with time, he will grow knowledge of our program that can help you navigate through particular pressure points.
Additionally, CAPS offers a variety of support groups each semester, with free options and pay-per-session options. Some of these are specifically for graduate students, including a Dissertation Support group, Healthy Connections group, Healthy Relationships group, Queer Space group, and an Empowering Students of Color group. Additional resources include Mindfulness drop-in sessions, Recorded workshops, and WellTrack.
Many of the group therapy sessions CAPS provides for students are free, and fee reductions are available in other cases. Students who still get their health fee assessed during the academic year are eligible. In the above form, you would indicate for what semester you want the fee to apply and the amount that afford to pay. The fee reduction form applies to all CAPS services.
External Financial Assistance
If you experience unexpected financial difficulty, the Office of International Services (OIS) may be able to help you meet your basic needs depending on the situation. OIS can award typically between $500 and $2,000, depending on the need and the availability of funds (scroll to the very end of the linked page). In addition, visiting the above website will provide you with more financial aid options that you might be eligible for through the OIS.