I have started to record proposed experiments with detailed step by step instructions. This should help students who are just starting out in the lab get going. I am also hoping that this will reduce confusion at group meetings. With students coming from vastly differing levels of lab experience, everyone has different assumptions during communication and those are rarely made explicit.
In the first experiment plan, I am proposing a protocol to monitor the formation of an imine by NMR so that we can better understand the kinetics of the Ugi reaction. We have been speculating about the rate and extent of this reaction for some time now and it is time to put the issue to rest with hard numbers. Also, with the CMR and HMR values for the imine, it will be much easier to monitor the rest of the Ugi reaction by NMR.
I am also hoping that publishing our experimental intentions can save us from making unnecessary mistakes by obtaining feedback from others before we start executing.