The Sister Lab Scheme: Call for Graduate Students

Intellectual diversity and new ideas are keys to success in conservation. For example, extensive dialogue and sharing of approaches among indigenous fishing communities in Indonesia and academic researchers helped to shape policy in the Mollucan Province that led to conservation of marine resources. Such sharing has its place in among graduate students, as well. In order to increase the exchange of ideas and knowledge among graduate students, the Education and Student Affairs Committee is developing a "Sister Lab" program.

This program is designed to link graduate students who are based in different laboratory groups [i.e., groups of students working with the same supervisor(s)] but have similar research foci. The networking among sister groups will facilitate collaboration and foster the sharing of skills and understanding. The students themselves will decide on objectives and process for working together. The many types of potential interactions might include transfer of specific research expertise, collaborative research, transfer of materials such as pdf versions of journal articles (as permitted under copyright law), and possibly visiting field sites. We envision this program as a mechanism to link groups of students in developed and developing countries, but decisions about whom to collaborate with are entirely at the discretion of participating groups. We encourage you to contact other labs that are doing similar research (but have not yet signed up for the program) to determine whether they might be interested.

If you or your lab group is interested in joining the sister lab program, please follow these steps.

1. Send a description of your lab group, including contact information and the type of research you are conducting, to David Patrick. Please also send a list of eight key words to aid us in categorizing lab groups.

2. When we have received expressions of interest from a sufficient number of lab groups, we will direct you to the Education and Student Affairs Committee Web site, where you will find a link to a database of interested groups.

3. After you have selected a sister lab from the database and have reached an agreement with that group, you will be asked to send an email to the committee describing your arrangement. This will allow us to update our database.

We will also provide a list of broad guidelines suggesting how contact should be made and how to ensure that both labs benefit from the partnership.