Research Lab Tech Essentials

5 Research Lab Tech Essentials for 2021

Technology and research go hand in hand. Regardless of what field you’re in, you’re likely to rely on technology to ensure your research goes smoothly. Technology also minimises disruptions caused by sudden and unexpected events. While each research lab has its own specific needs, here are 5 tech essentials for every laboratory.

  1. Presentation equipment

While talking and writing on a whiteboard or chalkboard is a popular method for getting your point across to your team, it is outdated and inefficient. Nowadays, most researchers prefer to deliver reports and updates with presentation slides. Having slides that you can project to the research team saves everyone’s time because the reporter doesn’t need to pause now and then to write on the board. Slides are also popular among researchers because they are more engaging and more convenient. After the meeting, a copy of the file can easily be sent to everyone. A projector ceiling mount is optional but saves the time wasted from setting up the projector and screen in the meeting room.

  1. High-speed internet

Providing high-speed internet for your entire research lab increases productivity by reducing delays and distractions brought about by buffering, uploading, or downloading times. It also opens the possibility of providing the team with more fruitful experiences like inviting experts to deliver a special lecture via Zoom or going on a virtual assistant of a laboratory in another city or country.

  1. One-to-one devices

There should be one dedicated device (preferably a desktop) that controls each piece of equipment. This ensures minimal disruption in case this device encounters any problems. Having multiple desktops in your research lab also means your researchers can work independently and do not need to wait for a workstation to be free to start working.

  1. Resource subscriptions

There are many useful programs and online resources that are locked behind a paywall. Many of these resources offer discounts for academic and research institutions. Take advantage of these discounts and equip your lab with these digital tools so research can proceed smoothly and efficiently. Examples of useful tools are AutoCad if your laboratory deals with product design and GNU PSPP for statistical analysis. Having access to publication databases also helps when writing journal articles or finding solutions to project roadblocks.

  1. High-performance CPUs

Some programs necessary in a research lab require large processing power. You may save on upfront costs by buying devices with low processing power, but you’ll be paying for it down the line in time wasted due to device lag or long processing times. Determine what programs your lab requires and research on what the minimum device specs are needed to run these programs smoothly.

We cannot deny that technology has changed how research is carried out. A modern research lab needs the best tech equipment so it can be productive and reputable. Research assistants, especially older ones, should also be given adequate training on modern equipment and methods so they can do their job better and not fall behind their younger counterparts.

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