Something that isn’t really talked about or taught along the way to a Phd, is how to put together a lab wishlist when starting a new (academic) lab. It’s likely more difficult the more specialized the field – say in our lovely field of bioacoustics.

I realize the acoustic equipment people use will differ, but I am curious to hear what your recommendations would be for a lab start-up wish list? What are must-haves vs nice-to-haves? (An giant supply of re-chargeable batteries comes to mind!) Anyone care to share their actual list and cost breakdowns?

Ecoevo jobs has a tab where people share their start-up amount requests vs received. While these vary greatly, some are up to US $1.5 mill! And I wonder what would be reasonable for our field, especially for early career researchers.

Some broad categories I am thinking about:

  • Salary/stipend assistance
  • Computational needs
  • Instruments
  • Field gear
  • Conference/publication funds
  • Space
  • This question seems way too broad and opinion-based to be a good fit for the Stack Exchange format; it seems to just be polling people for what they prefer/recommend, without even any limitations on the category you're asking for recommendations about. Basically, any answer could be equally correct, with no way to determine a best answer. There might be a way to edit this question to be less broad and primarily opinion-based, but I'm not sure what the best way to do so would be. For now, however, I'm closing it as needing more focus.
    – V2Blast
    Jul 29 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


Data storage--reliable and fast--is a must. Depending on your situation that could be a NAS (Network-attached storage) in your lab or office, it could be paying a commercial cloud provider like Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud, or it could be getting space from your university's IT department, for which they'll often charge (at least they do in the case of our lab but it may not be the same everywhere). Make sure you're budgeting not just for however much data you have now but the amounts of data you expect to have 5-10 years from now. Old recordings are a precious time capsule and it's vital to keep them around and backed-up.


I would add: get you the right people for your team. E.g.:

  • A good admin is important to keep all the administration away from science
  • Instruments and field gear need regular maintenance and repair and therefore a knowledgeable engineer with bio interest is of importance

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