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How to Set Up & Begin Research in a Lab Peter Smith, Ph.D. Beth Levant, Ph.D. Paul Terranova, Ph.D. Nov. 13, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Set Up & Begin Research in a Lab Peter Smith, Ph.D. Beth Levant, Ph.D. Paul Terranova, Ph.D. Nov. 13, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Set Up & Begin Research in a Lab Peter Smith, Ph.D. Beth Levant, Ph.D. Paul Terranova, Ph.D. Nov. 13, 2008

2 Space and Money Getting the job done  What do you REALLY need?  More investment means greater expectations (pressure?) Space  What is optimal? No fixed figure Getting the most space up front is not the most important thing… Having the opportunity to expand with program growth IS important Specialized or customized space is better than more space At KUMC, a starting program might get sq. ft. Less at many other places Money  Start-up packages have grown significantly, but…  You need a lot more data up front to get a grant  Your biggest expenditure will be salaries  Space it out!  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need!

3 Institutional Resources Low hanging fruit to make you look really good! Cores, Shared Resources, Departmental Resources  Departmental resources available to department members supported by indirects or department funds available to department faculty, maybe others  Shared resources open to members of the ‘clique’ bought with external or internal grant funds and supported by same may not be open access  Cores Supported by external grants (COBRE, INBRE, PPGs, IDDRC) or schools Often fee for service Often staffed, providing skill set & training Allows you to propose doing stuff you’ve never done before, with equipment you don’t own!

4 Rules & Regs It sucks, but get used to it!  You will spend more time than you can afford to dealing with compliance issues  Your only hope is to get organized…  and voice your opinions to compliance offices Understand the system  Human Resources – what are your obligations to your staff  Hazardous conditions – what precautions and monitoring are necessary?  Legal issues Copyrights Software licensing Material transfer agreements

5 Animals & People as Research Subjects Animals  Animals are people too, only more so. You do not want to do research on unhappy animals, but… We are forced to be hyper-accountable in using animals in research. Failure to comply can result in loss or AAALAC accreditation (which hurts us all), or…. ALF showing up at your house late at night – bad for your family situation Animal Care and Use Proposal – necessary for any animal studies ACUP addenda – addresses ‘protocol drift’. Submit when you are doing something new. Human subjects  Protect their rights HIPAA Dangers to your subjects?  Protect your staff Infectious agents

6 Staffing the Lab Beth Levant, Ph.D. Nov. 13, 2008

7 Who to Hire Budget  What can you afford?  Plan your recruitment package budget to include laboratory staff, not just equipment and supplies Skill mix  What do you need people to do? Lab manager Semi-independent scientist Technical expert General purpose technician Low skill activities  Which techniques can you teach?  Which techniques need to be brought to the lab? Hire the best people for your needs

8 Lab Personnel QualificationsCostAdvantagesDisadvantages Research Assistant Bachelors or comparable experience $ K + fringes Research Associate Masters or significant experience $32-48 K + fringes More skills and experience than Res. Asst. PostdocPh.D. University: $30-45 K + fringes NIH: $37+ ~2 K/year of experience + fringes More Autonomous Able to generate ideas, write, and supervise Eligible for fellowships Student Lab Assistant Currently enrolled $8-12/hr.No fringes or HR paperwork Flexible scheduling Only paid when they work Not readily available on this campus Hard to meet regulatory requirements

9 How to Hire Consult an expert – your Dept. Admin. KUMC HR info  Policies & Procedures  New Hire info  What to do on your New Hire’s first day Post position with HR Advertise Interview Check references – call and talk with them if possible Permanent or Contract?  First 6 months are probationary

10 Managing the Lab Communicate EXPLICIT expectations  Structure of the work day  What’s to be accomplished and when  What can be expected  How to work with you Give timely feedback Reward good work  Get to know individuals and what’s important to them Annual evaluation  Not required, but a good idea Areas of strength Areas for improvement Your goals for the year Their current and long term goals Problem performance  Act promptly  Keep documentation  Get advice from colleagues and your Dept. Admin.  Terminate if necessary

11 KUMC Supervisor Responsibilities Safety Training – required for all employees  Initial and annual refresher  Radiation safety, if appropriate Animal/Human subjects training  Initial and annual refresher  Add new personnel to protocols by addendum Conflict of interest declarations Employee health and safety  Instruct personnel regarding the specific hazards in their workplace  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Must be provided in all instances where needed, specific to the particular hazard Employees must know that the PPE is there and be instructed in its use  Immunizations for hazards in the lab – Occupational Health  Radiation exposure monitoring – Safety Office  Lab injuries – Occupational Health

12 Mentoring Junior Faculty into Successful Academicians Paul Terranova, Ph.D. Nov. 13, 2008

13 Mentoring Junior Faculty into Successful Academicians GOAL: 2 NIH grants (R01) in year 5, national and local service, and some teaching with excellent evaluations 1.Work on a very focused but novel project—day and night 2.Collect preliminary data and read the literature 3.Write the first grant application as early as possible 4.Get peer review 5.Find the experts to help you with grant applications and manuscripts (don’t be shy) 6.Publish (or perish)-short but complete stories at first 7.Keep teaching and service to a minimum 1.Repeat year 1 2.Revise the grant application and submit (not later than year 2) 3.Publish (or perish) 4.At the end of YEAR 3 submit the second grant application 5.Year 3 begin teaching, serve on a committee locally and nationally YEARS 2-3 YEAR 1

14 YEARS Publish 2.Teach 3.Service 4.Submit revised grant applications VALUE OF THE COBRE 1.Mentoring with Structure (Progress is monitored) 2.Cores/Equipment 3.Research Project Money 4.Learn from Colleagues


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