The Exelixis Lab

Enabling Research in Evolutionary Biology

Student Supervision Strategy & Lab Organization

We are constantly undertaking efforts to improve the quality of supervision for undergraduate students, PhD students, and PostDocs. In the following we list the measures that we have taken to ensure 'good' supervision in the Exelixis Lab:

  • Regular Bi-Weekly Meetings: Each lab member gets a time slot (on Tuesdays) for bi-weekly face-to-face meetings with Alexis.
  • Constant & Small Group Size: The group size will stay constant at around 6-7 researchers such that everybody can interact directly with Alexis and such that no sub-hierarchies are required.
  • Email and Slack Responsiveness: Emails and slack messages from undergraduate students, PhD students, and PostDocs in the group have highest priority and are usually answered within a day.
  • Intermediate PhD Defenses: While this is not a formal requirement, each PhD student gets to meet his co-advisor (Zweitgutachter) already in the first year of his PhD. In addition, each year, we organize inofficial intermediate PhD defenses with the co-advisor such that (i) the co-advisor knows what is going on right from the beginning and (ii) we get an external view on the research we are doing right from the start.
  • Manuscript Editig and Feedback: Editing of manuscripts from lab members by Alexis has high priority, typically this will be done within two weeks.
  • Moderated Upward Feedback: We are one of the first academic research groups in Germany that implements a moderated upward feedback procedure. In this procedure the lab members talk to a moderator (who guarantees anonymity) about the things that don't work well in the lab and potential problems. The moderator then discusses these issues with Alexis and can propose courses of action to improve things and resolve problems. Such a procedure is very important, in particular, because of the generally high hierarchical dependency between the advisor and his PhD students.

Propsective students from KIT

We are always looking for student programmers (HiWis) and students interested in doing bachelor/master theses projects with us. If you are interested please send an email to Alexis at Alexandros dot Stamatakis at h hyphen its dot org.

Also Alexis is co-directing the ancient DNA lab at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. So if you are interested in conducting your Bachelor or Master thesis on ancient DNA on the beautiful island of Crete let us know.