Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shared Lab space with new faculty member

Our department is trying to allocate me lab space ( yes I know it is verry late !) but they have been struggling due to pressure on the lab space. Note that the faculty member who started with me (lets call hir prof. L) as assistant professor has hir own lab space.

Today people from the administration came and showed me and prof. L, a huggeee lab space. They want me and prof L to share this space for our equipment and students.

First this seems unfair to prof. L who already has a lab space and are kicking hir out.

It is unfair to me since I wont be getting a lab space that is ALL mine. It will be shared even though it is huge.

But I am still keeping an open mind. I have worked in shared space between members but it has been a shared space between members of one lab, not two as is now being suggested. So I do not know how it will work out and I do not know how to feel about it.

So the question that I have to all of you guys:

1) Do you have experience in shared space between two or more labs/faculty members?
2) If yes, how did it work out. Are their conflict between students, faculty etc.?
3) How was setup done for the lab space? cubicle, open space with desks? or what do you think is optimal setup and/or works?


  1. Dr. Noncoding ArenayApril 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    In my previous institution where I was a postdoc we moved from two decent-sized independent lab spaces into one large, continuous space shared with a senior scientist's fledgling group. The space was huge with several rows of benches in the middle and open desks on either end. My PI being quite senior, we got 70% of the space and installed all our instruments and carved out wet-lab/office space for each lab member. Neither of us had a problem with that arrangement, although I must admit that we had to guard our reagents/material a bit more than before ;) Other than that I enjoyed the interactions with members of the other groups and also the ease of sharing equipment when needed. I think how such an arrangement turns out depends a lot on the attitudes of both PIs and the members of their groups.

  2. I love the open-lab policy if everyone plays nice. The lab was set up as rows with workspace on either side and one main walkway connecting everything. It looked like a comb with the main walkway as the spine. Student offices were all separate with each lab having its own student-space away from the lab. The open lab was great because we all got to talk about our work if we wanted help (a ton of collaboration went on) and we borrowed supplies all the time. It takes a lot of maturity and manners to get this to work, but it worked insanely well. Very synergistic. In industry it never works because internal groups are in so much competition. But it was awesome in grad school.