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Interview request: Freezer Challenge Award Article

Posted by Quinn Connolly on October 23, 2023

Hello Paul,


Congratulations on your 2023 Freezer Challenge award! My name is Rachel, I'm a writer for Lab Manager, and I am working with My Green Lab on an article featuring this year's winners. (You can view last year's article here.)


You previously indicated you would like to participate in an interview for the article. If that is still the case, I invite you to reply to this email with answers to the questions listed below by Monday, October 23rd. If you think you will need more time for review or would prefer to respond to the questions in a call, please let me know. 


For this year's article, we are focusing content around the themes of leadership, empowerment, cultural change, and community engagement. In particular, we're exploring how organizational strategies for the first two can drive and be driven by shifts in the latter two as they pertain to sustainability goals and from the perspective of the Freezer Challenge. The questions below are a starting point, please feel free to skip over questions you would prefer not to answer or add additional comments you believe are relevant. 

  1. In an environment where resources are usually limited, how did you motivate and lead your labs/teams to prioritize and achieve sustainability goals in the lab?
  2. How have the successes from the freezer challenge spilled over into other areas of your university, creating a broader sense of community around sustainability?
  3. Do you think your participation in and winning of the Freezer Challenge has prompted leadership at your university to set more ambitious resource-reduction targets or strengthened investment in laboratory sustainability efforts?
  4. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about how your university approached the Freezer Challenge this year or its overall impact?

Once the article is drafted, you will have an opportunity to review the relevant content for accuracy. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you very much,




Hello Madhu,

The interview questions in the thread below ask for leadership perspectives, and I am wondering if you would be willing to say a few words for this article to be published in Lab Manager Journal?



#2- Our campus has a widespread sense of community around sustainability and the freezer challenge uniquely demonstrates how efficient sample-management reduces green-house gas emissions, optimizes cold storage space      utilization, and increases equipment longevity while providing significant energy savings across campus. These successful impacts place potential opportunities under the microscope for researchers to take a closer look at other environmentally friendly changes are available in their labs.


#3- The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign’s ability to continually place among the top performing academic institutions reflects support from a large number of researchers and commitment to sustainable sample management. 

You could mention the green research committee and the charge you, Dr. Martinis and Ehab have put in place and what sustainable labs may look like in the near future?

#4 – Do you have a perspective on the overall impact of the success we have had with the freezer Challenge?


Please feel free to respond to the questions below and forward them to me at your convenience before Oct 23rd.


Thank you 

Paul Foote


Hello Madhu,

I am just sending this as a reminder, if you would like to respond?



Paul Foote


Hi Paul

Yes I would be happy to send you a quote by the 23rd.




Terrific, thank you!



Paul Foote