RIM: Research and Research Education

Starting a New Lab

Most scientists enter their first (and perhaps second) faculty position with little understanding of the financial and management aspects of running a research group. Resources on this page should help you get started at the Miller School of Medicine.

Research space is always at a premium, so you may not get as much space assigned to you as you anticipated. As your external funding grows, you will have the opportunity to negotiate for more space, as it becomes available. Plan to use common space, shared equipment and Core Facilities as much as possible to reduce the strain on your new laboratory.

Renovations typically take more time than initially anticipated so plan accordingly. Renovations are handled by the Facilities, Design and Construction group:


Small equipment purchases should be ordered from a UM established vendor via Ariba. Your departmental administrator can assist with those purchases. Major equipment is vetted by the Miller School of Medicine RIM Office. Helene Valentine can assist you with evaluating the requirement for size, power and other logistics. She works closely with Physical Plant. You also need to consider the impact of service contracts on your future year expenses.


Critical equipment requires emergency power and registration. Read more about these processes at Equipment Registration and Monitoring.


Staffing is one of the most important aspects of starting a lab. Do you need technical staff, postdoctoral researchers or graduate students to fill your roles? Determine your true needs, focused on what outcomes are expected. Each staffing group has advantages and disadvantages. Your department administrator can assist you in the hiring process.


Each lab is responsible for its emergency preparedness planning. Read more at Emergency Preparedness.


Each lab has specialized research needs. Check the list of support services under ‘Research Support’ in Resources for Researchers, for anyone you might need to work with to complete your lab set up.


When your lab is set up, contact Environmental Health & Safety for final instructions and approval.


To assist all members of your lab, post all pertinent contact information in a prominent place:

OFFICE PHONE NUMBER WHEN TO CALL
Security (305) 243-6000 Suspicious activity, after hours escort
Environmental Health & Safety (305) 243-3400 Spills, unidentified odors, guidance
Physical Plant (305) 243-6375 Plumbing, electrical, other building issues
Radiation Control (305) 243-6360 Spills, decontamination, guidance
Lab Manager
Principal Investigator
Department Administrator

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