Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

What is a Lab Handbook?

A Lab Handbook is a flexible document describing how your lab operates. It aims to outline your lab ethos: the culture, expectations, and opportunities for members in your lab. This can include a description of the roles and expectations of researchers at different career stages (and in different positions), the culture and atmosphere that your research group aims to cultivate, and how your lab supports the professional development of its members.

How does a Lab Handbook help your group?

A Lab Handbook facilitates how your group communicates and operates. It ensures all group members receive a consistent message and have a reference for accountability. It provides a basis to understand how your group works, and encourage dialogue for change. It promotes wellbeing by explicitly communicating what is expected of group members.

You can learn more about lab handbooks and how they can support your research group by reading our eLife feature article on the topic.

How can I get started?

To motivate the use of Lab Handbooks and help labs develop their own, we have created the following resources:

  • Lab Handbook Video: This provides an overview of Lab Handbooks and guidance for writing.
  • Lab Handbook Template: This template consists of a series of questions to build the structure of your Lab Handbook.
  • Example Lab Handbook: This Lab Handbook was written by the Physics group at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging


To enquire about our work with Lab Handbooks, please contact Benjamin Tendler (, Maddie Welland (, or Karla Miller (