Ways Academic Labs Can Save Money

Ways Academic Labs Can Save Money
  • Opening Intro -

    Anyone who works in academics knows the struggle of a budget that always seems to decrease.

    Limited resources are a reality for many, but it's especially true for those in scientific research positions because they need the most expensive equipment.

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That said, here are some ways academic labs can save money—that way, you can get the equipment you’ll need to do your research.

Document Every Cost

You can’t cut costs if you don’t know where the funds go. Anytime the lab spends its resources, you should note where the resources went and their purpose. It seems simple, but you’d be surprised how much you can learn from tracking costs.

Start by tracking one-time expenses such as machinery, and consumables such as pipettes. Once you’ve accounted the basic expenses, you can identify where the rest of the money is going.

Purchase Used or Refurbished Equipment

One of the most cost-effective moves an academic labs can do to save money is to purchase certified refurbished lab equipment.

For instance, the latest equipment isn’t always what you need, especially if you’re doing routine experiments.

It’s important to note that refurbished equipment is different from used equipment. While it’s a used machine, the refurbishing process brings machines back to their original manufacturer’s performance.

Only Order What You Need—and Order in Bulk

Of course, labs will always need some basic equipment such as pipettes, glassware, and gloves—and since labs use these items all the time, you should save some money where you can. The easiest way to save money on common items is to purchase in bulk.

It’s true that buying in bulk will save you money over time, even if it doesn’t sound like much. For instance, saving as little as a five cents per item adds up quickly over the years.

In addition to ordering items in bulk, you should only purchase what the lab actually needs. Don’t be that person that orders things “just in case.” Remember that you have a limited budget; if you don’t need it, don’t order it.

Consider Labor and Salaries

The cost of people and lab technicians is overwhelmingly the most expensive cost that labs have. Now, hang on; we’re not saying get rid of your staff or minimize it to save a buck. You need to make a living just like they do, and the lab staff is full of intelligent individuals.

other valuable tips:

Instead of hiring on more staff members for research, use your students. Experience is key to finding a career, and students are looking for any experience they can get, even if it’s for little to no compensation.

Even if you were to compensate the students by reducing their tuition slightly, you’re ultimately saving money on personnel while helping students get experience for their future success.

Academic research labs are vital to gathering insight into several factors, such as medicine, chemistry, and so on. However, you must be able to operate if you’re going to improve the wellbeing of others through research. Identify where the resources are going, and then save your resources through refurbished equipment, bulk orders, and student help.

Image Credit: academic clubs by Pixabay

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