>underpants gnomes

May 30 2010 Published by under jr faculty, lab management

>My favorite South Park episode of all time, bar none, is the one featuring the underpants gnomes in season 2. There are many reasons that this episode appeals to me, but right now I'm thinking about the business management aspect. For those that haven't seen/don't remember this episode, the boys end up learning about running a business from some gnomes that steal underpants (phase 1: steal underpants, phase 2: ?, phase 3: profit!).

I'm writing grants again tonight, and it has been sinking in that, as a new PI, I am going to be running a business. Phase 1: get money, phase 2: make "science", phase 3: profit! (get more $). I need to get WAY more organized with my accounting. I have some really great spreadsheets that a friend of mine put together to manage lab finances (this person was in business before heading off to grad school). But somehow, keeping these up to date always gets knocked off the priority list.

I really have to get better at this. I'm spending money to get the lab functional, but I need to get on top of things before they are out of control. I really don't want to be that PI that ends up firing a tech because all of the sudden I get a call that our money is gone. Not only that, but better managing of phase 1 will only help with phase 2 and 3, right? Obviously you are not trained to run a lab when you are a postdoc-but it is really clear that right now I need to reorganize my priority list, stat!

2 responses so far

  • Ewan says:

    >Would you care to share the really great spreadsheets? 🙂

  • Gerty-Z says:

    >Ewan,I'm happy to share-people helped me out, and I will do the same for others coming up. Shoot me and email and I'll send the template. You will probably have to tweak it a little to fit your own administrative system.

Leave a Reply