READ PART ONE:YOUR SCIENTIFIC CASTLE

Welcome to your new lab. Your very own research haven, where students and postdocs will flock to you and colleagues will bless you with offers of many exciting collaborative projects. You'll advance your field and become an established and well-respected scientist, juggling innovative experiments with prolific publications while simultaneously nurturing the next generation of scientific scholars...

OK, hit the brakes and hold onto your pipettes: There's no harm in being ambitious, but you have to first plan, equip, organize and build your research home, and that takes good judgement and skill. This series--The Art of Laboratory Feng Shui (pronounced "Fung Schway")--will look at how you can better prepare yourself for the move to faculty and fulfill your ambition of becoming an independent scientist.

Whether it is practiced in your garden, your home, or your workplace, Feng Shui has been used to optimize living environments in a number of ways. What do the Feng Shui experts have to say about lab design and the current state of research laboratories? We'll find out in upcoming installments in the series. This week's first installment--' Your Scientific Castle'--takes a look at what you can do in the months leading up to your faculty appointment to get ahead before you begin. What else do we have in store?

  • New faculty, postdocs and established scientists provide their tips and hints.

  • We'll speak with safety officials, radiation experts, architects and regulatory staff to let you know what it takes to maintain your lab.

  • Later in the series we'll solicit the opinions of Feng Shui consultants on how to improve the design and organization of scientific laboratories.

  • We'll take a progressive fly-on-the-wall look at the floor plan of a new assistant professor and how he prepared his research areas.

  • And to see if you've been paying attention, we'll round off the series with a competition in which you design your own lab, right here in the Career Development Center.

There's a lot to organize, but the first thing to do is build strong foundations--learn how to get started in our first installment.