Resources for Building a Better Team

Below you will find buttons that link to specific resources followed by text that provides a brief description of that resource. Click on the buttons below to access the resources that interest you. 

The 'Welcome Letter': A Useful Tool for Laboratories and Teams

Abstract: The ability to clearly set expectations is an important leadership characteristic. However it is very common for individuals heading up research laboratories or scientific collaborations to struggle with, or not identify the advantages of, explicitly communicating what they expect of the people working in their lab or participating on their team, not to mention what the participants can expect in return. Here we describe a ‘Welcome Letter’ as a tool that can be used in the scientific setting to effectively create a framework for working relationships and serve as a scaffold for building trust. The ‘Welcome Letter’ enables the lab leader to articulate expectations prior to incorporating new members into the group. Scientific teams can use the letter in much the same way, crafting it together to develop a shared vision for the functioning of the collaboration and once crafted, sharing it with new team members.

Learning How to Run a Lab: Interviews with Principal Investigators​​

  • Unlike other aspects of working as a scientist, researchers rarely receive training in managing people and labs. We therefore aim to spark a dialogue where scientists learn from one another in an open platform for disseminating experience and opinions, and create a broader awareness of the role and importance of management in science. As Theodore Alexandrov, the collection’s Guest Editor, explains: “The idea of About My Lab was motivated by an informal conversation with another PI at a conference dinner. She shared her experience on lab management and it helped me back then. I hope that reading such stories as can be heard at a conference dinner can help many readers, especially those like me who are in the early stages of their career.”
  • You can visit the collection at:

Yearly Planning Meetings: Individualized Development Plans Aren't Just More Paperwork

  • The DePace lab at Harvard publised this article detailing how IDPs are implemented in their lab as well as describing the benefits of yearly meetings for the PI, the trainee, and the lab. One aspect of this article that may be of use for a lot of UCSF faculty is the guidelines for delivering and receiving critical feedback as well as how to intentionally set the stage to encourage honest feedback where trainees feel safe to do so.