Our Pilot

Pilot Plan

Nine HHMI Investigator labs and five Janelia labs participated in a pilot of Series One from April 2022 through March 2023

The online program structure consisted of:

  • Watching a scene from the film narrative
  • Exploring various topics with expert interviews and additional informative video content
  • Engaging in logbook activities, whether in the online learning management system or in their own notes.

A Tale of Two Labs is a 100 minute feature film, divided into three Acts, presented through 27 Episodes.

Lab leaders and members completed a pre-survey, provided feedback through multiple channels, and completed a post-survey. Written comments were evaluated and interviews were conducted.

program structure image
numbers detailing the LTW pilot process,


The overall experience of the pilot was a positive one

Both written and oral feedback about Labs That Work (LTW) was overall positive, some of it very much so. Written comments mentioned the importance, relevance, and value of the program content. The qualitative interviews indicated that LTW is a worthwhile program, and even that participating is changing people’s lives in substantial positive ways.

Many participants cited consistent effective elements, with plenty of deviations from the plan and opportunities to improve.

Several interviewees indicated they had been skeptical at the beginning, and were won over during the course of the program. Many commented favorably on the feature film, its storyline, and its production values.

Pilot results

Next Steps

All piloted materials underwent extensive revision in 2023

Using participant feedback, NCPRE conducted a comprehensive review and responsive revision.

The revisions resulted in modifications to the feature film, rearrangement of episodes in the program to improve content alignment with film scenes, streamlining of all 27 logbook episodes, re-editing and re-filming elements of existing supplemental media, and the creation of 28 new videos replacing and upgrading earlier content.

The content focuses on tools pilot participants reported as particularly useful, such as Personal Scripts and the And Stance. As participants identified definitions and practice sections as among the most useful logbook activities, we expanded and revised other logbook sections to lean into those areas.

Text on background. "I felt seen" "I was viewing this as an opportunity to become a better PI"