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How Big Is Your Lab? Adding More Members Can Be Counterproductive

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Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: In The News | March 11, 2015

A recent article in Science Magazine about “Staffing Labs for Optimal Productivity” generated a lot of discussion at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

The article explains that when building up their research groups, principal investigators (PIs) have to make decisions about who to staff it with.

This decision is of not easy because as strategic management researcher Christopher Liu explains “it’s not just larger is better.”

He found that for the average-sized laboratory with roughly five postdocs, three graduate students, and two technicians—adding one lab member was correlated with an extra quarter publication. However, as lab size increased, productivity continued to go up but at a slower and slower rate. Once the lab size reached 25, adding new people was counterproductive.

What do you think of his analysis? To read more of the article, click here



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