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The purpose, frequency, and structure of meetings.

Individual meetings



One-on-one meetings happen on a weekly basis until the qualifying exam is passed. Once passed, monthly meetings are required and weekly meetings are scheduled optionally by the student.


  1. Updates on growth and development
    • What is the state of your: courses, teaching, papers, presentations, fellowships, job search
    • What went well or what brought you joy?
    • What was something that was a challenge or hard for you?
  2. Advisor support
    • Feedback on updates
    • Does the support you are receiving match what you need? (mentors, collaborators, practices, equipment, etc.)
    • What is a specific thing I can do for you?
  3. Alignment of values and goals
    • Is there anything unsaid: conflict, hurt, confession, conviction?
    • What is a goal or dream that has been on the forefront of your mind?
  4. Planning forward

Group meetings


Group meetings are the highest frequency opportunity to practice formal communication including:

  • sharing vision
  • presenting results
  • situating research or ideas
  • asking questions

regular meetings

Once per week


  1. Semester Planning
    • first meeting of the semester
  2. Project Updates
    • most common
  3. Journal Clubs
    • in-between project updates
  4. Assess and Adjust
    • last meeting of the semester

Irregular meetings

There are many reasons to have irregular meetings both for personal or scientific reasons.

  1. Practice Talks
    • before qualifying exams
    • before conferences
    • before interviews
    • before defense
    • 2 weeks before for content
    • 1 week before for practice
  2. Paper preparation
  3. Visiting scholars

Meeting philosophies

This time is for you as much as it is for me it is important that meeting formats fit a style that works for you. Let’s find best practices that work for us.

I don’t suggest making independent documents for meetings such as meeting agendas, independent slides, etc. What you prepare should be deliverables for what matters most in telling a story. That looks like fellowships, job applications, papers, presentations, grants. If whatf you are preparing does not work for those items we need to assess how important they are. Going over data should be in the framework of a publication figure or presentation slide. Use this time as an auxillary to work on the things that are measured.

These deliverables are developed over time and not finished products the first time we see them. Expect the development to look like a skeleton that we slowly add flesh to. Things like formatting and organizaiton are long time goals. Attempt early on to do these right but don’t stress over presenting them only in final form. For example, new data can be presented in native plotting forms but as they are added to presentations or writings they should be updated to include readable colors, have proper labels, coexist with captions, and so-on.