Hosting a Participant
Preparing to Host Your Participant
After identifying a project and selecting your participant, now you need to know not only what must be done to bring your participant to the facility but also who is responsible for getting it done.
- handles the logistics of getting your participant to the facility?
- can answer questions about getting your participant clearance, housing, and payment?
- will conduct the safety training or any additional training required?
- will arrange to obtain space and facilities (office and laboratory space, computer, e-mail/Internet access, and other equipment) assigned to your participant?
Before your participant arrives, you should:
- Verify that everything is ready for your participant's arrival.
- Look again at the project you have defined in light of the participant you selected. If necessary, tailor the project to fit your participant's abilities.
- Contact your participant. Provide suggestions on reading materials or other preparations for the project.
- Prepare an orientation and training plan.
- Prepare contingency plans for situations, such as if the equipment does not come or breaks, or if the scope of project changes.
- Inform your other group members about your participant. Your participant should be made to feel like a peer.
- If your participant will be mentored by someone in addition to you, discuss the goals for the participant and the project with that person.
Orienting Your Participant on the First Day
As soon as possible after your participant reports, you should:
- Introduce them to staff, including support personnel.
- Conduct a brief tour of the area where your participant will be located.
- Arrange for a general safety briefing, including evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures.
- Set performance expectations for the project and also for attendance, dress, schedule, etc. Be specific. Make sure your participant knows whom to notify if he/she will be absent or late.
- Inform him/her of any required training.
- Make sure your participant knows whom to approach for assistance if you are absent.
- Make sure he/she understands that, while you are the mentor of record, he/she will be mentored by many individuals during the appointment and that having multiple mentors is a positive aspect of the program.
- Discuss the specifics of the project, including: the timetable
- - what must be accomplished and learned
- - the context of the bigger scientific picture
- - your participant’s expectations for the project and what he/she hopes to get out of the time spent with you
If you are not available to orient your participant on the first day, you should arrange for someone else to do it.
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