Welcome to the Freeman Research Group “Culture Pages”

Guidance in these pages outline practices to help us achieve our goals, promote equity, limit unnecessary struggle and wasted resources, and perform research with public health in mind. We’ll always be improving our approach! If you work here, you can help.

Outlook Travel/Vacation CALENDAR

Designated meeting days

  • We have certain days designated as “meeting days.” This frees up full days to work on writing and other things that require longer blocks of time. For the fall of 2019, we have M/W/Fr as designated meeting days. Matt’s class schedule in spring of 2020 is Tu/Th, which means those days will be designated for meetings.

Weekly check-ins

  • Most weeks, group staff will have regular scheduled meetings with Matt individually or part of a small group to discuss research and occasionally other topics. Students can schedule meetings during his office hours. The agendas of these meetings are largely up to you. However, you should to come prepared to update Matt on: (1) the overarching goal or output, (2) your progress on each goal or output, and (3) what you think comes next. The meeting is time to both dig into the weeds but also think about the big picture.

  • Direct Slack messages (and/or google documents) between you and Matt can be used to keep a running record of meeting notes and action items that result from each week’s meeting. We recommend todoist (Matt uses this) to keep track of action items—but use whatever task manager you prefer (note, many options integrate with Slack). Progress on previous action items can then be reviewed at the start of next week’s meeting to revise and update accordingly.

Individual review meetings

  • Emory staff are required to complete year-end “Performance Management form(s)” available on the Emory PeopleSoft Portal (click on Performance Management tile, then My Current Documents). Emory Human Resources will send out reminder emails - these are typically due at the end of the fiscal year (end of August). Guidance on completing these forms can be found here.

  • In addition, we also encourage group members to complete our Individual Review Form. This form helps you and Matt discuss: (1) CV-building activities, (2) professional goals (and how the group can help you achieve them!), as well as (3) individual SMART goals for your role in group activities and/or projects.

  • Review meetings with PhD students/candidates will be guided by the EHS Progress Summary & Individual Development Plan (see section 11.7 of the EHS PhD Handbook). This form is due by April 15 of each year in the program.

Group meetings

  • During the school year, we meet as a group on a typically bi-weekly basis to have a discussion/presentation of one of our research projects, practice a conference or dissertation defense presentation, share GFE projects, Masters theses, revisit our culture pages, etc. Sign up to lead a meeting here. The #groupmeetings Slack channel should be used to share presentation material (e.g., powerpoints), send friendly reminders, and proposing/discussing meeting ideas. We also try to schedule around important academic dates like exam weeks.

Working from home

  • You have broad freedom to choose how you work, provided you communicate your plans to others and see the projects through. Aim to spend at least three days a week on campus. You do not have to communicate your schedule in advance, as long as your work from home does interfere with meetings. Please keep the group updated on your work from home days via your Slack status.

Scheduling vacation

  • Try to use all your vacation time. Make note of Emory University Holidays and Winter Recess. You do not need approval from anyone before you select dates, but please try to give collaborators advance notice and consider their schedules. Please keep the group updated on your vacation and travel days via the Freeman Research Group - Travel/Vacation Calendar and your Slack status.

Requesting leave

  • You can find Emory’s leave policies here. Non-hourly, benefits-eligible employees (including graduate students) are entitled to various forms of parental, personal, and family leave. Please note that leave policies for postdocs may vary by school within Emory, so double-checking with Rollins School of Public Health HR if you plan to take leave to understand your eligibility. Leave can be requested on the Emory PeopleSoft Portal.


  • For classrooms or other large rooms use 25Live. You can reserve room with Robin Thompson (rthom10@emory.edu). In your email, remember to include: (1) the room, (2) date(s), (3) time, and (4) number of attendees. Find a template email here. Make sure to confirm that the room meets all IT needs prior to your meeting.

IT Issues

  • If you are having computer or telephone issues or need specific software to be added to your computer, you will need to submit a ticket. Here is a link to the ticketing system. Once you login, select “Request Something” and the pick the service that matches what you are requesting. If you do not see one that matches your request use “Generic Service Request” under the other requests category.

  • If you need assistance with anything related to the RSPH Network, accessing your email or technical assistance, please contact RSPH IT via our template email found here. You can also reach them by phone for more urgent issues: (404)-727-5536.

RSPH Facilities help

  • Use the Rollins School of Public Health Tikkit Portal (“occupant help center”) to alert facilities staff to any issues that need attention. With your account you can use the website to create and track requests for assistance.


A special thank you to Sarah Cobey, Ben Lopman, and Brian Graaf. Their “Handbook” and “Culture Book” served as an inspiration and reference for our Culture Pages. These are also great references for general guidance in research and academic settings.

Have suggestions? That’s great! We are continuously trying to improve the way that we work as a group. In addition to more formal reviews of our guidelines and policies during semi-annual group “retreats,” group meetings are a great place to discuss or introduce processes, tools, platforms, etc. that you think the group can benefit from.