Let's Experiment: A Guide for Scientists Working at the Bench

How to Design Experiments in Biological Research

Let's Experiment: A Guide for Scientists Working at the Bench

How to Design Experiments in Biological Research

About the Course

Before you step into the lab to do an experiment, you have a long list of questions: How do I design an experiment that will give a clear answer to my question? What model system should I use? What are my controls? What’s an ideal sample size? How can I tell if the experiment worked?

It is overwhelming and easy to feel lost, especially with no guide in sight.

This FREE course tackles the above questions head-on. Scientists from a variety of backgrounds give concrete steps and advice to help you build a framework for how to design experiments in biological research. We use case studies to make the abstract more tangible. In science, there is often no simple right answer. However, with this course, you can develop a general approach to experimental design and understand what you are getting into before you begin.

Training Videos & Courses Experimental Design

Watch Selected Videos from the Course

We've interviewed leaders in the scientific community about doing good science, and we present those interviews to you in this course. Speakers include:

  1. Prachee Avasthi
  2. Needhi Bhalla
  3. Daniel Colón-Ramos
  4. Doug Koshland
  5. Katie Pollard
  6. Neil Robbins II
  7. Ana Ruiz Saenz
  8. Paul Turner
  9. Ron Vale

Course Directors

  • Shannon Behrman
  • Alexandra Schnoes

Course Staff

  • Daniel McQuillen
  • Noah Green
  • Nina Griffin
  • Shannon Loelius

Graphics and Editing

  • Chris George
  • Maggie Hubbard
  • Kolmel Love
  • Alexis Keenan

Video Production

  • Derek Reich (Zooprax Productions)
  • Eric Kornblum (iBiology)

Course Advisory Team

  • Sarah Goodwin
  • Elliot Kirschner
  • Ron Vale

Beta Testing

Special thanks to those who volunteered their time to review the beta version of this course: Adriana Bankston, Leah Bury, Kara Cerveny, Angela DePace, Irene Gallego-Romero, Brooke Gardner, Samantha Hindle, Doug Koshland, Gary McDowell, Steve Mennerick, and Kassandra Ori-McKinney. You all gave such great feedback!


Mónica Feliú-Mójer, Rosa Veguilla, Karen Dell, David Quigley, Jóse Dinneny


This work is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R25GM116704.