Experimental Design – Final Checks

finishing upYou’ve got this far… you’re almost good to go. Time for final checks before you kick into action.

1. Think about the ethics of your experiment.

Seriously, run through the ethics; the sample numbers, the amount of hard you will do to each participant and what the data will mean. If you have any concerns don’t be afraid to step back.

2. Think about all the ways in which the harshest critic of your experiment would look at your work and challenge your claims.

The Devil’s advocate test is key. Go through your list of controls, try to think objectively about confounders and alternative interpretations or ambiguity and if there are any concerns, step back and try and fix them.

3. Talk over your experiment with someone else

A fresh set of eyes might be able to spot problems that you can’t. Now’s the time to get the view of your lab head or senior postdoc.

Still happy? Awesome, get to work!