organization

12
Sep

Notebook Keeping: Quick Tips to Get Started

—from the Researcher's bench

Ideally, on your first day as an undergrad in the lab, your mentor will give a thorough tutorial on proper notebook keeping.

Unfortunately, from the inquires I regularly receive from undergrads, (and grad students and postdocs who mentor undergrads), notebook keeping is often an afterthought until a few weeks have passed.

Got Stocks? Remind Your Mentor

If you're taking a break from your research experience, or won't be returning when the next semester begins, there are some specific tasks you'll need to do before saying goodbye to your labmates.

One task that is easy to overlook, however, is reminding your mentor about any living stocks you worked with during the semester.

Label Bottle Tops

At the start of a wetlab research experience, there is often more information to learn than is possible to remember. Even those who take great notes inevitably lose some details. One of the most common mistakes a new researcher makes is storing a chemical or reagent incorrectly.

—from the PI’s Desk

Early in my career, a tenured professor told me, "If you sneeze, and it's a good sneeze, keep track of it." At the time I doubted it would matter but I've been forever grateful that I followed his advice.

Writing down noteworthy (and seemingly insignificant) accomplishments, skills, and activities while the details are fresh in your mind can make all the difference when you need to update a Resume or CV for a scholarship, volunteer, job, or program application.

11
Jul

Hey, Who Moved My Stuff?

— from the Researcher's bench

Recently, we received a request for help (edited here for brevity):

Thanks for all your great posts. As an undergrad in the lab, I'd like to know what your advice would be if your materials go missing. No one else in my lab uses it, and I have never used it myself. I have spoken to my coworkers to ask if they know anything about it, but no one has responded. I was just wondering if you had any tips regarding safeguarding one's materials in a lab? I feel surprised and a bit angry that somebody would move something not belonging to them in a lab.

Even Water Needs a Label

Establishing good habits at the bench ensures that you don't have to remember all the little details and can focus on the big picture of your experiment. So, label everything during an experiment. Even if it's just a tube of water, and even if you'll only need it for a few minutes.

Pages