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Science Careers Blog

November 13, 2007

Lab-Management Training: As Bad as We Suspected

In the lead essay of the online version of our recent feature on Lab Management, we included a survey asking people whether they had received lab-management training. We've got some results in so we thought we'd share.

Our final question was "What is your position?" The way the question was phrased ("PI's and aspiring PI's" were invited to answer) no doubt skewed the response towards the older part of our readership:

PI                                27.4%
Postdoc                       40.2%
Grad student               25.6%
Other                           6.7%

Here's how readers responded to the other questions:

1) Have you received any formal (i.e., classroom or workshop) training in managing people?   

Yes                           13.4%
No                             86.6%

2) Have you received any formal (i.e., classroom or workshop) training in managing money? 

Yes                             8.5%
No                            91.5%

3) Have you received significant informal (i.e., on-the-job) training in managing people?   

Yes                            48.8%
No                             51.2%

4) Have you received significant informal (i.e., on-the-job) training in managing money?   

Yes                           26.4%
No                            73.6%   

All in all, not much surprising here--but not much encouraging either. Perhaps it's a little encouraging that nearly half of those answering the survey have received at least informal raining in managing people. Still, people still aren't receiving formal lab-management training in significant numbers. Training, such as it is, remains ad-hoc. There's a lot of work still to be done.

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