Lab Goals for 2016

January 1, 2016

Sometweep or other mentioned career goals for the year. I don’t really set lab goals at all….too busy just keeping on with whatever is in front of me? Maybe this is a bad idea?


I came up with the above as an off the cuff response.

Anyway, now I am curious if you set goals for yourself in the academic career and science profession space?

15 Responses to “Lab Goals for 2016”

  1. AAA Says:

    I am big on goals! I sit down with each PhD student at the beginning of each quarter and set quarterly goals for them. I also do a round of major goal-setting and future expectations with them at the end of each academic year.

    I have been told that students find the process quite useful. They know what to expect and they tend to get distracted less.


  2. genomicrepairman Says:

    Submit 3-4 papers with my name on them, 1 meeting to attend, 2 fellowship proposals, and learn R. The last goal is going to kick my ass.


  3. TreeFish Says:

    (1) Figure out how to integrate my astronomer colleague into our major goal of expediting the transition from acquisition to observation with big-data projects;

    (2) Stop collecting data on this god-damned project and submit the motherfucking thing already;

    (3) See #2 again (god damned fucker bastard shit-fucking thing) for a different fucking bastard mamajama of a project;

    (4) Slow down to speed up; approach things with more elegance and less blue-collar onion dicing/dishwashing.

    (5) Submit an R01 to the study section that placed a cactus in my rectum ballistically, hoping that they can goose-grease my anus (and Uranus) to remove said cactus with a NGA.

    (6) Cook more of PhysioProffe’s recipes. Yum (ya bastard!).


  4. JC Says:

    Should six grant apps/year be considered the norm?

    My goal is to submit a single R01 this year (first, at least from my own lab).


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    Not 6 to NIH in your first year, generally speaking.

    Ask your dept’s associate professors for their thoughts, history, current practices, etc.


  6. Newbie PI Says:

    1. Get a grant. Any grant. How many new ones I submit will be determined after receiving reviews early in the year.

    2. Submit at least 3 papers as corresponding author.

    3. Help my first graduate student finish up and assist her in finding an awesome postdoc position.

    4. Get myself invited to give a few talks at other universities (even if I have to pay for it out of my own funds).

    5. Serve on at least 1 national study section.

    6. Attend (and hopefully speak at) two national meetings.


  7. jmz4 Says:

    Two papers/postdoc/year? Is that the standard for your lab, or just multiple lines of inquiry coming to fruition?


  8. drugmonkey Says:

    An attainable goal in my lab.

    Obviously the earlier years would have fewer on average and the later years more. The status of various lab projects has an influence as well.


  9. WH Says:

    Are you going to bump this post at the end of the year, and will we get grades?


  10. drugmonkey Says:

    First post of the month so it’ll probably make my year roundup.


  11. DJMH Says:

    1. No fume hood fires.
    2. No bad solder joints.


  12. drugmonkey Says:

    That should be attainable….


  13. Ola Says:

    Goal 1. Spend less time arsing about on the internet at work, reading blogs such as this (oops – but I have until the end of the year to attain it right?)

    Goal 2. Collaborate more. My lab has become a bit insular of late. We’re getting interesting data in an area we know jack shit about, so we need to find someone who’s an expert and get them on board. No way we can deliver on our own in this particular disease area.

    Goal 3. Stop saying “if this is true, it could be a Nature paper”. Just stop already!


  14. odyssey Says:

    Submit 2 R01’s (one as MPI), a R21, a R03, and a NSF grant. Graduate my last grad student. Beyond the two papers I have in prep (one of which should go out next week), I tend not to plan those too far in advance – science has a tendency not to cooperate…


  15. Dave Says:


    1) Get main R01 funded, but throw in apps to non-NIH places. Got scored the end of last year on my first ever submission, so I just want to build on that. Submit apps for other projects as well.

    2) Develop new collaborations to help with (1). Lone wolf R01 app did not go over too well LOL, but at least nobody accused me of lacking independence!

    3) Publish first major senior author pub.

    I would imagine these are on the list of most junior investigators!


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