Due to different problems I have had in my research group (I am the PI) and in order to solve them I have decided to write down in a public document, what is our research group policy.

I considered did useless before since I considered it to contain laws that are straightforward in most of the cases, but now I realize about its importance, with the hope that previous problematic situations will not happen again.

The document will contain directives about who and how will lead research projects, what can be expected from the PI and the members, authorship and participation in papers and patents, who can add new members, how will be new collaborations established, etc.

Therefore I wonder if you know or can point where such documents from another groups can be found, I would like to read as many as possible in before I create ours.

  • I don't have an answer for you, but suggest that you develop it in collaboration with others, both in your lab itself, and with others leading similar labs at your institution. In some fields it might even be a good topic to explore at a professional conference via a workshop. This seems like a good thing to do, but if you have too few viewpoints it might come out wrong. Likewise, what is right in some fields, might not work in others.
    – Buffy
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 16:23
  • I agree with your point. The document will have a part which is derived from the regulations of your University (and can not be discussed), and the other part will be discussed with other members, but here and anyway, a lot of care must be put in what is left for negotiation and what is not. For instance, would you discuss with a PhD student that it is mandatory to publish in a journal? I know cases they would say "no". Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 16:34
  • 1
    I am not even sure what it would mean to be mandatory to publish in a journal. As opposed to what? Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 16:49
  • Is it usual for you that PhD students do not publish papers ? Is that good for a lab in your opinion ? Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 17:43
  • How does that relate to calling publishing in a journal mandatory? Mandatory for what? When? Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


You may want to check out this thread by @samuelmehr on Twitter:


It gives an overview of typical content in what he calls a "lab handbook" (despite the different terminology, this is about the type of document you are looking for), plus a list of links to such handbooks which he reviewed to compile this overview.

  • this is insanely great and you gave me exactly what I was looking for, thanks a lot ! Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 21:59

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