Running a research lab isn’t the easiest task, so passion and dedication are two necessary qualities to have in this area. You have to pass safety inspections, conduct meetings, and hone several other skills to do well and gain profit at the same time. Besides, you want to be sure everything goes as planned while successfully implementing lab renovation.
There’s nothing better than experience when you’re running something as important as a research lab, but the second best thing is reading up on it. Read on below for some tips on how to make your operations smooth and beneficial to all:
Use specific tools to retain the lab staff
No lab, especially one dedicated to research, can operate without experienced, efficient staff. You hence need to make sure everyone is appreciated, motivated, and happy in the work environment. Get hold of time trackers and excel sheets so you can effectively divide the workload of the entire lab staff. If you’re stuck, you can find them here.
Getting the most out of your staff doesn’t just mean paying them well and on time. You also have to be ready to resolve personal issues, helping them through training, and minimizing the mistakes they inevitably make. Be sure to let everyone know what your expectations are and how they can help by maintaining the roles and responsibilities. There might be some tricky issues to handle, but kindness can get you results that strictness probably can’t.
Organize and label the samples
The more organized you are, the smoother your lab operations will run. Get some data management software for animal research if that’s your field; it’ll help to save a lot of paperwork. Make a plan for your supplies and see if everyone has the space they need to work properly. You also want to see if there’s room for your intended expansions.
Sample storage is an especially important factor. Get rid of old and useless samples as soon as possible to save up on storage costs. The same goes for labelling everything. This will save a lot of time and operational costs.
Set laboratory budgets
You should set a specific budget to run a research lab professionally. You would most likely be working with grants in order to cover your costs. Hence, make sure that there’s a place for everything within the budget, whether it’s tape for any field work or light bulbs for the equipment.
Along with having the required funds, though, you also need to know how to get the best value out of your purchases. For instance, there might be some excellent supplies available through an internal purchasing method. See if any university supporting your lab would have access to such systems. If so, you might be able to save a lot of money in the long run, along with being sure of getting the supplies you need without delay.
Once you place an order, you should also keep a record of it as soon as possible. This will enable you to place future orders without the extra hassle.
Focus on safety and training
Always remind and train the staff and yourself on the safety rules in your lab. This includes even the most basic ones. Send out regular emails, know where the chemicals are stored, and alert everyone to the locations of the eyewash stations. This could save you from many lost work hours or even lawsuits.
Other safety measures include knowing where everything is disposed of or stored, and always being ready for a hazardous waste disposal call. You should also ensure that the first aid kit is stocked at all times. Your lab members should also have the requisite training in areas of lab safety. These include research ethics, wilderness first aid, and other areas depending on your specific field of research.