Lab-equipment manufacturers should consider left-handed researchers when they design products, says Parastoo Mashouri.
Life in the lab
Scientists spend many hours in the laboratory. Here is a summary of Nature’s coverage of work and life in the scientific lab, with help and advice on how to succeed, when to take a break, and who to turn to when things get tough.
Help and advice
Loriana Vitillo collaborated with sociologists, film-makers and game developers to develop an app that simulates her life as a stem-cell researcher.
Her habit of keeping two journals has helped Adeline Williams to develop observation and recording skills she might otherwise lack.
Molecular biologist Christian Happi is working around the clock to get testing available throughout the continent.
Museum curator Andrew Hosie gets a close-up introduction to beautiful and bizarre organisms from the depths of the ocean.
UK funding strategist Anne-Marie Coriat finds inspiration among the artworks and books in the Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room.
A brief return to the lab reminds John Tregoning of the limitations of remote meetings and how much he misses his research group, sharing data and chats about rubbish television.
Energy researcher Jessika Trancik has designed an app that helps users choose vehicles with low environmental impacts.
Israel Hershkovitz loves the slow, methodical work of uncovering the secrets that lie within prehistoric human bones.
Lara Pivodic shares advice on saying ‘hello’ to the latest member of your research group.
Nature Research and The Estée Lauder Companies honour two initiatives to encourage girls and young women in the United States, Ghana, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Publishers, reviewers and other members of the scientific community must fight science’s preference for positive results — for the benefit of all, says Devang Mehta.
Social networking tools, opportunities to share resources and creatively capitalizing on regional differences can give researchers an edge.
Sam Illingworth explains how poetry can help to communicate and celebrate your science.
Is your lab full of sustainability champions or single-use scientists? Use our quiz to find out.
One institute has netted a cohort of researchers with a pre-designed project. A member of the hiring committee and a successful candidate explain how it works.
Scientist fans of ‘agile’ and ‘Scrum’ claim that they can help labs to prioritize tasks and cut meeting times — but some research groups are more sceptical.
Recent PhD graduate Lucy A. Taylor shares the advice she and her colleagues wish they had received.
Support must come from a place of understanding, says Kate Samardzic.
Speak up early when misunderstandings arise, says Jamie Sugrue, or risk their snowballing into something you never prepared for.
Respect for what you and your colleagues bring to the table is vital to successful integration, says Melissa T. Miller.
Neil Reavey describes how scientists can support or lead initiatives in their organizations.
I gave up both football and the violin to focus exclusively on my graduate studies. But I came to realize just how important those hobbies were.
PhD student Magdalena Śmiech describes her experience of switching continents and cultures.
Atmospheric scientist Angie Pendergrass spoke to Nature about a newly-published guide to broadening participation in conferences.
Eight months after moving to New York City to start a postdoctoral position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Jessica Sharrock offers advice to others considering an academic move abroad.
Lots of things can and will go wrong in the field, but there are ways to rescue the work and learn from your mishaps.
Luck and happiness in the lab
Volunteering with an organization can improve communication and help you adapt to the unexpected, say Sarah Groover and Ruth Gotian.
Luke Yates discusses how he coped with his wife’s long illness during his PhD programme.
The fastest way to become fluent in the language of a new scientific discipline is to embed yourself inside it and use it regularly, says Sarah Bohndiek.
Preparing for three races in three years at university showed Kathryn Wierenga parallels between running and PhD work.
Working alongside physicists made me a better science communicator, says Ken Kosik, and helped me to clarify knowledge gaps in my own field.
Science offers renewed hope for those still waiting for their moment in the spotlight.
Doctoral students can use writing meet-ups to overcome isolation and depression — and boost their motivation, says Karra Harrington.
Writing sessions with colleagues are a great reminder to PhD students that we’re all in it together.
Good fortune is tricky to plan for, but researchers might be able to encourage it to come their way.
A hobby or passion is an important tool that can help you in your research career, says Manasi Kulkarni-Khasnis.
A regular pastime can ease mental stress, improve work–life balance and help scientists to reach innovative solutions in their work.
A productive lab need not be a negative environment, says Fernando T. Maestre.
A well-crafted set of guidelines and advice can save time, reassure trainees and promote a positive lab culture, argues Mariam Aly.
Science is serious business, but as April Fool’s Day looms, a judicious prank can lighten up life in the lab.
A special issue on how to make lab groups productive, rigorous and happy.
An opportunity to do a visiting fellowship in New Zealand meant Thomas Bennett had to manage his UK research group from afar — and so change his leadership approach.
Distractions are a fundamental aspect of the modern world, but we don’t have to become hermits to avoid them.
Duanduan Han describes how she has made her lab experiments and hobbies complement each other.
Use strategies from the private sector to better manage your graduate project.
Inspired by a Google initiative, Carsten Lund Pedersen describes how he balances personal projects and the demands of a research programme.
The amount and quality of what you achieve are crucially dependent on how effectively you manage your time. Andrew C. Johnson and John Sumpter propose some simple steps that scientists can take to improve their time management.
Research group leaders should learn how to recognize if colleagues are experiencing problems at work, says James Turner.
Question your own point of view first to avoid career-damaging conflict, says Benjamin Tsang.
Learning to handle failure is just part of scientific life, writes Eileen Parkes.
The medical programmes we see in our training as physician-scientists are becoming more progressive and supportive of students. Here’s what academia can learn from them, say Yoo Jung Kim and Erik Faber.
The first international meeting on postgraduate mental health opens this week, but much more is needed to solve academia’s crisis.