- So how does the group meeting operates? A good question that is not easy to answer. Chong is constantly finding the best (at least he thinks) recipe. So do not be surprised when you find out that the group meeting policy changes.
- For now, there are two different sorts of meetings that involve Chong’s participation: i) project meeting, ii) group meeting. The information and expectations for these two meetings are listed below.
- The project meeting is an informal weekly meeting that involves the people participating in the same project or similar ones. Typically no more than three persons should be involved for the sake of discussion efficiency. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a weekly update/discussion channel about the research progress in a specific project/direction.
- All participants are required to present with a few well-prepared slides. The discussion could be combative. Feel free to K.O. your boss in research (not in any physical form). Indeed you are expected to do so, especially in experimental details, as your career in scientific research advances.
- The exact schedule of the project meeting will be updated in accordance with the participants’ availability. Chong will inform you which group you belong to. In many cases, it will be updated at least every quarter.
- The presence of project meeting does not exclude the (likely) scenario that Chong will buzz you casually for immediate research update, possibly with a cup of coffee from the espresso machine in the lab.
- The group meeting is a formal weekly meeting that includes everyone in the group and possibly with other guests. For now, two talks will be presented. One is a roughly hour-long formal presentation about research conducted in this lab, the other is a freestyle questioning session aiming to mimic the qualifying exam.
- Formal presentation. Imagine you are presenting your work in an international conference with everyone staring at you and trying to find the loopholes in your research. The whole session should be no more than 40 mins including Q&A (hopefully). Tell a good story with a reasonable logic flow. Do not just show off your data or keep the talk long without much info. Neither will do any good for you. The figures/schemes presented in the presentation should be at publication quality with a minimum resolution of 300 digits per inch (dpi). Questions are asked at the end of your presentation with exceptions, for example, when people are interested in specifics or when you mess it up badly. The purpose of this meeting is to let you get familiar with formal presentations (in a relatively relaxing environment).
- Freestyle questioning session. Pick a paper, name a technique, or present any science-related topics for about 15 mins. Do not present your research progress. The audience, especially Chong, will attack you with questions ranging from the most basic (e.g. is this kinetically or thermodynamically controlled?) to the most general ones (e.g. is this research project promising?). Practice how to improvise. If questions remain unanswered by the end of the session, Chong will ask the presenters to provide an update in the next group meeting.
- The exact schedule of the group meeting will be updated in accordance with the participants’ availability. Given that everyone is busy, do not be surprised if it takes place in the evening (FREE FOOD). In many cases, group meeting schedule will be updated at least every quarter. Most likely Chong will set the schedule at the beginning of each quarter.