Hello there bloggies! Apologies again for the tardy post! Go away cold!

Due to recent travel and jury duty (the odds of that!), I realized today that I hadn’t met with my boss in person for a couple of weeks. Sure, we had exchanged some emails, but we haven’t sat down and discussed our projects. That changes tomorrow, but it got me thinking.

How often should you meet with my PI?

Typically, I have one-on-one, in-person meetings with my PI once a week on Wednesday afternoon. Of course, we attend other meetings, seminars, and conference calls throughout the week. But, this hour section of both our schedules is carved out just to focus on my work in the lab. No distractions! Well, usually…

Is once a week for an hour too much? Not enough?

I actually think it is just about right. These meetings give me mini-bouts of motivation to show progress each week, but aren’t too frequent that I don’t have time to actually get anything done. Plus, I don’t feel like my PI is hovering my shoulder waiting for results (except for proposal and grant deadlines…). Having something regularly scheduled also let’s me plan out my week more effectively. If I want to have a new set of results to discuss, I can map out time beforehand (even on the weekends unfortunately…) to run experiments and analyses.

The one downside of having a regular meeting is that not everything can be perfectly mapped out. Sometimes experiments fail and you need more time to get results. Other times you need to discuss things sooner or even urgently. Unfortunately, a PI’s time is a valuable commodity, so finding this time to fit an impromptu meeting in can be difficult.

Having a regular once a week meeting has been instrumental to making progress in my postdoc. But, the amount of one-on-one time each trainee needs and wants comes right down to the individual trainee and his/her PI. These partners need to figure out what works best for each of them (not just the PI). It may take some trial and error, but eventually a good system should be found to make sure both are happy and productive!

Thank you for stopping by Trainee Tuesday! How often do you meet with your PI or trainees? Is it too much? Too little? Or just right? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

See you all tomorrow.

-Dr. F

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