Medical research is incredibly important work. The process of developing and testing lifesaving drugs requires an immense amount of work done by very skilled people, using high-tech equipment in state-of-the-art facilities.

With so much precision demanded from every aspect of the operation, it can be devastating when funding cuts interrupt the work. Yet this is a common event as government budgets experience political evolution and as private foundations and corporations shift their priorities.

Fortunately, such interruptions to funding are often ended by new money sources, and the work is able to continue. When these transitions take place, it is critically important that the work already completed and the projects underway continue uninterrupted. Creating this seamless crossing from one source of revenue to another requires a comprehensive plan.

Physical Transitions

One of the most unfortunate results of a change in funding is that it may require a lab to relocate. This could be due to changes in the amount of funding available for rent, or it could simply be because the previous funder controls the facility and requires the lab to vacate.

Whatever the situation, the researchers must move their entire operation into a new facility as safely and successfully as possible, with the least possible disruption to the work being done. The most important thing for researchers is to find lab movers who can move their specimens and samples safely and accurately, and with the necessary documentation to maintain the integrity of data. This requires a firm with the ability to both transport and store specimens at the appropriate temperature and humidity, as well as with adequate security and biohazard containment capabilities.

Financial Transitions

As much as most researchers would prefer to stay in the lab and at their primary work, the reality is that they also must spend a great deal of time as administrators. Tracking expenses and following the correct procedures for payment or reimbursement may be assigned to an administrative position, but ultimately, there is a researcher who is responsible for the bottom line.

During a change in funders, that responsibility is heightened. The budget could force the elimination of any administrative positions, leaving the chief researcher to handle the entire process. Closing out accounts and paying bills on time is essential to maintaining lines of credit and keeping eligibility for future transactions, as well as to maintain the prospect of regaining funding from the old source.

Information Transitions

Research is all about generating information through experimentation, research, and various trials. While not every lab is involved in top-secret research that involves the survival of the human race, there are often proprietary issues and matters of national security involved. A transition, then, requires not only that the equipment, samples, and money are moved correctly, but also the information.

Leaked data about the chemistry of drugs can foster black-market products that feed abuse, endanger the financial stability of a funder or corporation, and allow dangerously incomplete products to reach consumers. As a result, it is vital that records and data of every kind–electronic or on paper–are carefully managed and kept in a strict chain of custody so that the risk of a breach is minimized.

The research conducted in many labs has incredibly important implications. It could be working toward anything from a new treatment for diabetes to a cure for cancer. When funding from one source evaporates–for whatever reason–the personnel operating the lab must know how to make the smoothest possible change to a new facility, new funders, and new processes, all without interrupting the process of the vital work they are doing.