The importance of lab meetings  


New Colleague Registered
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1
April 19, 2021 4:40 pm  

Since I was an undergrad, lab meetings have been part of my scientific development.

Although some people don’t like lab meetings, I think it is a great opportunity to brainstorm, keep up with your experiments and most importantly, it is a great way to organize your data.

Different labs have different kinds of lab meetings. Some of them are based on journal club discussions, which is great, because we were taught to critically analyze a paper, and not just accept everything that is published as black and white.

Some other labs have their discussions within a group (with the whole lab) or just with the advisor/PI about the progress of their projects. In this case, if the discussion is between the student/postdoc and their advisor, make sure everybody is in the same path.

On the other hand, there is also the group meeting, which includes the whole lab, so that everybody will know and understand each others’ projects. This way, everybody can share their experiences about specific experiments, and get updated about everyone’s progress. This last option also saves some time for the advisor, in case they have too many people in the lab.

If the meeting is a weekly one, you can be sure that all your experiments will be kept in the right track, so you won’t lose time, traverse in the wrong direction, or feel lost about some new ideas.

Besides the weekly update, if there is another one like every 2 months to present the whole progress of your work, that is really helpful. This second one will help you to organize your data every time you get a new result, and it will challenge you to think about the next step, to recruit new ideas, and to have a presentation ready to go, just in case you need one.

So, the bottom line is to be interested in the lab meetings, and to work hard to have a good and productive one. If your lab is already having some of them, that’s great, because it means everything will be on track. Otherwise, step up, and suggest/organize one for your lab You will learn a lot with them.