Laboratory Management

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Whatever the setting, experience is important, says Meenakshi Kashyap, a former biotechnology scientist at an IT and bioinformatics consulting and outsourcing company.Kathy Barker offers further guidance on building and motivating a team in "Leadership on the Mountain; Lessons for the Lab.” Mentoring is a big part of running a team.Today, PIs applying for funds often are required to document the mentoring they give postdocs, writes Taken for Granted columnist Beryl Lieff Benderly.Also essential is that all incoming students and postdocs undergo safety training that goes well beyond which form to fill out, writes John K. Encourage lab members to think through their experiments with an eye toward safety before they hit the bench—and remind them often that they need to wear their safety goggles (buying fancy ones if necessary) and other lab-safety gear.It's essential to work hard to create a laboratory culture where safety is taken very seriously.There's much more in our special feature on research integrity.Then you may want to consider a career in research management and administration.Kathy Barker also explained how to build a discretionary spending account, and why it’s good to have one, for example, to take to lunch a prospective postdoc that you’ve invited for interview. You need to use those resources well, and this requires careful budget planning, good negotiation skills, and, ultimately, wise spending decisions, reports freelance science writer Sarah Webb.Finally, our Yours Transferredly columnist Phil Dee explains how he wised up to the intricacies of academic financial management, and of scientific sales teams in particular. efforts to improve lab-safety culture, which at many institutions is inadequate, and devise a blueprint for safety action.One of the ironies of a scientific career is that once scientists have been fully trained to do science—once they become really good at it—they usually have to leave the bench and become managers.Adding to the irony is the fact that they typically receive very little management training.


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