Division of Science

Division of Science Norms and Expectations

The Brandeis Division of Science is committed to creating and nurturing a diverse community of scholars that is equitable and inclusive, and to providing a safe workplace for all its members. Norms and expectations documents are intended to facilitate creating a positive, supportive, and thriving community. Clearly established norms and expectations are proven to be helpful in creating a positive climate and improving interactions between PIs/advisors and members of their lab or research/advising group.

In addition to these norms and expectations, all members of the Brandeis community are expected to follow the university’s policies and procedures. Faculty are also governed by the Faculty Handbook and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences policies and governing documents. Students are governed by policies available through the Department of Student Rights and Community Standards. The academic expectations for degree programs are outlined in the University Bulletin. If there is a discrepancy between the lab expectations and any of the other documents higher up in the department/Division/University structure, defer to the policies indicated at those higher levels.

The Division values clearly communicated norms and expectations and encourages every PI to have their own such document. We recommend that prospective students reach out to PIs they are interested in working with to ask to review their documents and to initiate a conversation about their lab culture and expectations. The Division hopes that these documents will help facilitate productive conversations between PIs and their students or prospective students.

If there are any issues with stated expectations or with an individual adhering to expectations, there are various people within the Division and in the University as a whole who they can speak to for help. The Division of Science Graduate Affairs Office Division of Science has put together a guide on the different people in the Division who can be a source of support and help for graduate students. While this document was written with a graduate student in mind, the same resources and general hierarchy apply to faculty concerned about students (ie - if a PI has concerns about a student, they can speak to the DGS of the student’s graduate program or to the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or for Student Affairs at GSAS).

The Division of Science is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Divisional statement on diversity equity and inclusion is available. Individual departments’ statements are also available:

All graduate programs should have a handbook that is updated regularly

Handbook documents are a place to lay out academic expectations of all graduate students in a program and should be posted to the department’s or program’s website. The University Bulletin outlines the official academic expectations for degree programs and Handbooks provide more information about how they are put into practice.

Current iterations of these handbooks are linked below (those without links are forthcoming, or typically only available to current students):

  • Biochemistry and Biophysics: MS, PhD
  • Biotechnology: MS, MS/MBA
  • Chemistry: Master's, PhD
  • Computational Linguistics: MS
  • Computer Science: Master's, PhD
  • Mathematics: Master's, PhD
  • Molecular and Cell Biology: MS, PhD
  • Neuroscience: MS, PhD
  • Physics: Master’s, PhD
  • Psychology: MA, PhD