The Business of Science: A Scientist’s Guide to Laboratory Management

Do you love science and want a way to make a living with it? If so, why not start a research laboratory?

Starting a lab is similar in many ways to starting a business. To keep it operational, you need a team of people with broad skillsets to operate it. Likewise, a lab needs reliable financing to keep up its operation.

The lab should also have clearly defined goals, as well as a way to achieve those objectives. So, how can you do all of this?

If you want to learn about laboratory management, check out our guide below! In this guide, we’ll give you the tips you need to run a lab.

Laboratory Manager

If you want to start a research lab, there’s a high likelihood you’d serve as the laboratory manager. This position entails several things.

In several places, a lab manager may have the title of Head of Science or operation coordinator. This manager’s roles could be strategic, tactical, or operational.

The role the manager plays often depends on the lab’s size. If it’s a massive lab at a major university, the job looks different than in a small lab.

Laboratory Workflow Management

One of the essential skills in biomedical laboratory management is knowing how to organize the lab’s workflow. To that end, you must know the best ways to divide up work for your team.

For example, a Ph.D. candidate should not spend her time cleaning beakers. Likewise, an undergraduate student shouldn’t handle enormously complex tasks.

Basically, know who has the best skills for a specific task and have them perform it. You may find it helpful to give each person in the team a to-do list. This way, you can spend time matching tasks to qualified workers.

A lab manager must also understand the goals of their team members. Try to assign them tasks that help move them closer to their ambitions.

Organizing in Laboratory Management

When you run a laboratory, you must know where all of your equipment is. If scientists can’t find their materials or run out of them, they can’t perform their jobs. Situations like this lead to delays and frustration.

So, as the manager, you become responsible for ensuring these scenarios don’t occur. You can either do this by delegating stocking and organization to somebody else or by overseeing it yourself.

If you struggle with this work but don’t want to waste your team’s time by delegating it to them, there is another option. You can use some outside resources to help you keep track of your lab’s supplies and tasks.

How can you do this, you ask? You could purchase materials and organize them through groups like Organizations like these help keep labs operational all over the country!

Start Managing Your Lab

Starting a research laboratory is a fun and exciting venture. However, it also requires significant amounts of work. If you decide to enter lab management, make sure you work hard to see the job done!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If so, check out our other content today.

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