Expectations for Graduate Students

Movement and Cognitive Rehabilitation Science

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education

Before you begin your research as master’s and doctoral students, you are required to perform all required lab safety training from UT Environmental Health and Safety and all online IRB training prior to assisting with ongoing experiments.

It is good to begin by helping other students with their projects so that you learn how to use the equipment. Speak to your advisor and Dr. Siddicky, the MCRS Core Lab Director, about how to receive research training in one of the core labs.

If you play a significant role in an ongoing research study, ask to be added to the IRB proposal as key personnel. All research must be approved by your advisor and submitted to the IRB before you begin collecting data for a new study. Be aware of the monthly IRB deadlines. 

Desks for all students are assigned at the beginning of each academic year with preference given to students with Teaching Assistant positions and senior students in the lab.

You should begin working on your research ideas as soon as you start your graduate degree. It is expected that you will be working on your research continually throughout your graduate program with the understanding that your required coursework also needs to be completed. You will be evaluated on your research productivity every year and will receive feedback from your evaluation from your advisor and one other MCRS faculty member. You will receive appropriate grades when enrolled in an independent study based on the expectations that you set with your advisor at the start of each semester.

You may be expected to attend weekly lab meetings, the time of which will be determined at the start of each semester. Please notify your advisor if you cannot attend a lab meeting and provide the reason for your absence.

Once you start your data collection, arrange a time with your advisor to attend the first few experiments to make sure the setup is correct. It is best to analyze the data from the first few study participants and discuss the data and analysis with your advisor before continuing. Frequent discussions throughout your data collection should occur on a timely basis so you will be able to modify experiments in a timely manner as discussed with your advisor. This way, oversights can be caught early, and things won’t have to be repeated.

If you plan to travel or not to work on your research for a period longer than a week (including summer plans) please notify your advisor and identify the reason for your absence.

Once you have enough data to establish significance for a given study, you should present your results at a scientific conference to receive input from experts in the field before you submit your manuscript for publication. Students typically send their abstracts to ACSM, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society of Biomechanics, or a conference that has similar professional standing. Please be aware of the deadlines for abstract submissions.

Having abstracts and publications will also increase your chances of receiving scholarships and fellowships awarded to graduate students within the Department. You are encouraged to always apply for these scholarships, including travel awards. Students are typically notified about these deadlines via e-mails from Phillip Salazar, Graduate Program Coordinator.

All papers published from data collected at UT must list your advisor as the corresponding author.

Students are typically the first author for their research and are encouraged to help each other. If you help another student with their work and provide a significant intellectual contribution, you may be listed as a middle author on their abstract and/or manuscript. You are strongly encouraged to work together and help each other with your research endeavors.