Table of Contents

The Research Group Leader Book Project is a draft that will, hopefully sooner than later, turn into a real book that covers all the challenges you face when you lead a research lab. It will cover starting a group, but also running a group once you’ve established it. The content is free to read online here, and feedback is very welcome.

typewriter photo

Stumbled upon this page and don’t know what it’s about? Read about the idea, and about how this thing works and how you can take part.

Section order is still mostly random. The TOC is work in progress. It’s incomplete and will take shape over time.

If you’d like to read the latest additions, sorted by when I’ve published them, see the Book Project Posts page.

I welcome your feedback and your ideas. Please add them by leaving comments to the posts, or write me.

Section 1: Introduction

Welcome to the journey — The scientist as an entrepreneur and the group as a small business — Book overview — …

Section II: Planning your own group

Finding funding — Sketching a time plan — If you haven’t started: things to consider before applying for a grant and before settling for a place — …

Section III: Preparing the start of your group

Starting in a new place with new funding: what should be on your list — Negotiating with the university — Getting to know your environment — …

Section X: Hiring

Getting ready: Write the job description; define who you are looking for; where to advertise — Communicating with applicants — Choosing who to invite for an interview — Interview and job talk — Deciding on a candidate — What to do when you can’t find the right person for the job — …

Section X: The Why

Idea: Why the Why is important — Do you know your vision? — Does your team know your vision? — Does your team share your vision? — Who are your customers? — …

Section X: Remove yourself

General idea: Remove yourself: how to be free for leading without losing controlBeing available to your teamDelegating — The idea of scale — Working remote

Section X: Organize

Personal Productivity — Organizing your week — Keeping the overview — Organizing Group knowledge — Making sure knowledge stays in your group: Workflows, Instructions, Templates — File sharing — Project management — Automating tasks — …

Section X: Plan

Planning Process Overview — Planning your own career trajectory — Planning your group’s trajectory — planning your team — Setting goals for yourself — setting goals for and with your team members — Deadlines — how to organize your project when a team member goes on parental leave

Section X: Finance

Keeping an overview — some Germany-specific stuff — Saving money through educational discounts — …

Section X: Steering, teaching, coaching – Communicate with your team

Group Meetings — One on One Meetings — Feedback and Evaluation — Difficult Conversations — Practicing Presentations — Whom to coach how much — Helping your PhDs plan their career — …

Section X: Writing together

Continuous improvement of your team’s writing skills — Working with individual team members — Writing Workflow

Section X: Communicate with the public

What for? — Who are your stakeholders? — Different strategies for different “customers” — Website — Blogging — Corporate identity — Presenting in public: Conference presentations: Does your team represent your group the way you think? — Elevator Pitch — Speaking and presenting — …

Section X: Work and live

Limiting work hours — Science career and children — Planning your parental leave —Organizing Work and young children — Health, Food, Sports — …

Section X: Become better

Improving yourself — Identify what you need to learn — Where to find what you need to know — …

Got ideas or feedback?

Write me!

Photo credit: derekGavey / Foter / CC BY