Finding happiness in the lab is the key to success in research, says Benchfly's Alan Marnett. In hopes of "empowering scientists at the bench," Marnett presents a few tips on finding contentment in the lab — a path, he says, that applies equally to grad students, postdocs, and PIs. First, it's important to have "a sense of control," a feeling that you have a say in how your project will progress, even though you have a boss to answer to. Next, it's important to have "a sense of progress," Marnett says. Hours in the lab tend to be long, so it's important to set a daily goal, no matter how small, to keep the momentum of a project going. And, he adds, it's important to have "a connection to a larger vision." If you can visualize how your work fits into the big picture, that feeling could provide motivation to keep going even when the project isn't going as well as you hope. "The path to happiness in lab may sometimes feel like a rough one, but by maintaining control, progress, and connections in our research we can stay motivated and fulfilled and keep science moving forward," Marnett says.
Happiness Is ...
Jan 27, 2011