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Transitions are stressful. Big changes, such as moving, beginning a new job or starting a family can be disorienting and cause a wide range of emotions, including fear and anxiety. Over the past year, people have endured countless transitions, including working remotely, altered contact with family, friends and colleagues and, in some cases, illness and death. Whatever their experiences during the past year, returning to the laboratory is one more transition on top of the many scientists have navigated. Developing a clear, intentional, realistic, culturally responsive plan for this transition is key.