How big is too big?
One of the things that I am struggling with right now is trying to figure out how big my lab group should be. I really enjoy mentoring my students one on one, and I don't think that I want to have a mega-lab, which would make this impossible. However, I keep getting pulled in new interesting research directions, especially since so much of our stuff is working.When I first started, we were working in two different research directions. Now, I can say that we probably have four. Any one of these would be enough to build a career on, but I have always enjoyed breadth over depth. I originally thought that as areas didn't work we would prune them and I would be left with a manageable amount of projects. Unfortunately, a much larger number of projects have worked than not worked, which leaves me with a vast wealth of projects. And, just when I think okay we aren't going to do X anymore, I will meet five other people who love the way I do X and want to collaborate in just the area that I need help with. Its a little maddening at times. Long story short I have no idea what I want to do with all this. My lab just seems to keep growing. I am generally happy with this, but sometimes we have so much going on that I spend all my time fighting fires and not enough doing essential tasks (writing grants, paper, getting ready for teaching). I just don't know how Mr. Big and Famous types do it.