University Laboratory (Guide) (Retired)

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Perhaps you are ready for your own Laboratory. There are many studies you can do best with equipment. And obedient students.


The University Laboratory is a Laboratory of your own which you can obtain as long as your Unwelcome at the University - level is 0 (Welcome at the University) and you're A Person of Some Importance -. It offers a host of new opportunities and experiments to players, and is most useful for those with extremely high Watchful.

Obtaining a Laboratory[edit]

To obtain a Laboratory you'll first need to convince the Dean of Supernumerary Faculty that you deserve Your Own Lab:

After either threatening the man or bribing him, you'll get your own Lab and are redirected to A First Commission.

The first few steps (mandatory)[edit]


Before you can actually do your own research you'll need to do a few things for the Dean first:



Doing and completing Research[edit]


All research projects function on the same principle:

  1. get the required Research and
  2. trade it in on Assess your Progress regarding the (Project Name) to complete a project

Getting Laboratory Research[edit]

Laboratory Research is gained from the following cards:

  • Work with your Equipment: Gives (5 + 1.5*Equipment-level) x Research rounded down on success, and (4 + Equipment-level) x Research on failure.
  • Direct Your Own Research: Several options.
  • All student cards have an option to collaborate with them and receive Research, at varying efficiencies. These options level up your students on their rare or alternate successes. You may also direct the student to work with their peers, which gives 2 x ([Student level] + [Number of workers]) Research on a successes, 50% more Research on a rare success, and 4 + [Student level] Research on failure.
  • All experts have an option which gives 5 + [Equipment] Research on areas that they are not experts in, and more for their specialities.
  • Some experiments have an additional 'Focus' quality, adding a related card to your laboratory deck, which can have a variety of specialised research sources.

Warning! This article/section sets colors manually, instead of using the appropriate CSS classes. As a result, the colors may be hard on the eyes, particularly in dark mode.

Research from Regular Cards:
Research Source Requirements Challenge Failure Success Note
Work with your Equipment
Look closely at your current project Equipment 200 4 + Equipment 5 + ( Equipment)*1.5 Research on success is rounded down
Direct Your Own Research
Begin your work with research in the Correspondence Correspondent Profession 30 + Equipment Only as first action (Research 0)
Work Alone Workers 0 205 1 3 4? on rare success
Exchange ideas with your team Workers 1+ 200 Workers Workers * 3
Put a few clues together 5 x Incisive Observation 205 10 1-15?
Mechanical ( Experimental Object 301-400)
Take apart your Whirring Contraption, apply its lessons to this work Whirring Contraption 75
Monstrous ( Experimental Object 401-479)
Apply your understanding of monsters Monstrous Anatomy Monstrous Anatomy 6 See Notes See Notes Research based on Monstrous Anatomy (see page)
Chemical ( Experimental Object 901-1000)
Apply your chemical knowledge Kataleptic Toxicology Kataleptic Toxicology 6 See Notes See Notes Research based on Kataleptic Toxicology (see page)
Mathematical ( Experimental Object 1001-1200)
Relate this problem to past enigmas Searing Enigma 200 500 525
Read your Uncanny Incunabula for guidance Uncanny Incunabulum 200 100 105
Use what you know of the unknowable Artisan of the Red Science Artisan of the Red Science 6 See Notes See Notes Research based on Artisan of the Red Science (see page)
Toxicological Focus
Use what you know of the Second City 30 x Expertise of the Second City 25
Use your Cantigaster Venom in the process of studying Vial of Cantigaster Venom Kataleptic Toxicology 6 FATE Doesn't consume venom
Research from Focus Cards:
Research Source Requirements Challenge Failure Success
Draw on your Knowledge of the Red Science ( Red Science Focus)
Contemplate your Element of Dawn Element of Dawn 210 4 + (2 * Equipment) 8 + (2 * Equipment)
Contemplate your Impossible Theorem Impossible Theorem 230 6 + (2 * Equipment) 10 + (2 * Equipment)
Draw on your Knowledge of the Shapeling Arts ( Shapeling Focus
Consider a Fluke-Core Fluke-Core 230 10 + (2 * Equipment)
Study a Pulsating Amber Nodule of Pulsating Amber 220 4 + (2 * Equipment) 9 + (2 * Equipment)
Study the Rubbery Dragon Rubbery Dragon 200 FATE
Consult your Rubbery Friend Your Perpetually Festive Rubbery Friend

Parabolan Research and other types of research[edit]


Apart from "ordinary" research there are also some other, specialised types of research. Parabolan Research is by far the most commonly used of these. It is used in almost all experiments connected to Parabola in some way and can unlock extra options when doing some experiments. To gain Parabolan Research, you need to first unlock Reflection of your Laboratory. To do so, you need to Find a Route to Parabola. Once this two-stage experiment is completed, you can enter Parabola whenever you want via your Lab or your Lodgings at the cost of 100 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey per visit (or 50 x Drops for Silverers). Having access to the Reflection of your Laboratory, you can employ your regular staff there to produce Parabolan Research. Finding the Route to Parabola will also unlock the Parabolan Base-Camp and a large amount of new content accesses from there.

Parabolan Research Table:
Research Source Challenge Research on Success Research on Failure
Reflection of your Laboratory
Struggling Artist 2 + Glass Studies
Meticulous Student / Potential Librarian 3 + Glass Studies
Numismatrix 5 + Glass Studies
Lettice, the Mercy
Shifty Student / Future Dean
Gifted Student / Young Aristocrat
Profound Student / Deep-thinking Oak
Antediluvian Ushabti Antediluvian Ushabti 5
April 10 + Glass Studies
Grubby Urchin 200 5 + Glass Studies
+1 CP 
Visionary Student / Cloud of Thoughts 12 + Glass Studies
+1 CP 
The Long-Dead Priests of the Red Bird 5
Cora Bagley 10 + (2 * Glass Studies)
Hephaesta 10 + (5 * Glass Studies)
Esurient Smith 7 * ( Glass Studies + 1)
Possessed Goldfish
Ichthyological Focus
Red Science Focus Artisan of the Red Science 6 6 + (2 * Equipment) (2 * Equipment)
+1 CP 
Statue to the Dean of Xenotheology, or Yourself, Preeminent Scholar of the Correspondence 10

Besides Parabolan Research, there are other types of specialised research including Expertise of the Third City, Numismatic Research, etc. These are only used rarely in very specific experiments. The game will mention this when starting an experiment. To gain these special types of research, you need to either hire experts (such as the Numismatrix to get Numismatic Research) or the game will add special cards to your deck that give this research (such as the Terraria-card to gain Amphibian Research).

Upgrading Equipment[edit]

Storylet: Improve Your Equipment when in the Lab.

Levels 0 to 3 require supplies which you can get at various other locations around London.

Level 4 requires a Voluminous Library, a Home Comfort which you can either compile yourself by getting a bunch of research in the Southern Archipelago and Gather all your work into a library, or grind items for 5 Legal Documents for Pursuing a Case of Books 1.

After this it gets a bit more complicated as you have to generate items through research as well as Parabola for levels 6 and 7. Hillmovers can be obtained by hunting Seven-Throated Warblers in Parabola and Search the Nest.

The last non-Fate-locked level is very expensive as it requires 20 Working Rat at E64.80 each = E1296, plus either an Albino Rat or a Rattus Faber Bandit-Chief. If you don't already have one of the latter, the Bandit-Chief costs E320.



After a first few experiments, you will become able to let University students work in your Laboratory to gain some real-life experience. They require training in order to maximise their usefulness. Students are unlocked after completing a Palaeontological Task for the Dean. Accepting the task will give you your first student and unlock Manage the Students in your Laboratory, which allows you to hire more. Graduating a Student will increase the Teaching Reputation of Your Laboratory by one level and give you a small reward, which depends on the type of student. High Teaching Reputation of Your Laboratory is required to hire better students.

The table below shows the amount of Research gained from working with each type of student. Note that while students may level from 1 to 5, there are functionally only three bands of skill--Levels 1 and 2, Levels 3 and 4, and Level 5. In some cases, Rare Successes, which will either level up a student below Level 5 or give a point of Disgruntlement for a student that is already Level 5, will give additional research. The bold numbers in parentheses indicate the amount of research that would be gained by a player with Equipment for Scientific Experimentation 7, the maximum that is possible to attain without Fate.

Student Student Level Watchful Challenge Research on Success ( Equipment 7) Rare Success Bonus Research Research on Failure ( Equipment 7)
Shifty Student 1-2 215 Equipment; (7) 1; (1)
3-4 210 (5/3) * Eq; (12) Eq; (7)
5 205 2 * Eq; (14) +1 (4/3) * Eq; (10)
Meticulous Student 1-2 210 Eq + 2; (9) Eq + 1; (8)
3-4 225 (3/2) * Eq + 4; (15) (3/2) * Eq + 3; (14)
5 220 2 * Eq + 5; (19) +1 2 * Eq + 4; (18)
Gifted Student 1-2 210 Eq + 2; (9) Eq + 1; (8)
3-4 215 Eq + 7; (14) Eq + 6; (13)
5 220 2 * Eq + 5; (19) +5 (5/3) * Eq + 3; (15)
Profound Student & Visionary Student 1-2 210 Eq + 4; (11) Eq + 3; (10)
3-4 215 2 * Eq + 4; (18) +1 2 * Eq + 3; (17)
5 220 2 * Eq + 9; (23) +1 2 * Eq + 4; (18)

The most efficient way to progress your teaching reputation seems to be to repeatedly take on the Shifty student, and supervise his research. Rely on the rare/alternative success for him to level up, then graduate him as soon as possible. Repeat this until you can employ the Gifted student. This will produce little research at the start, but you can get to the better students pretty quickly.

An Interlude: Disgruntlement among the Students[edit]

As students perform research, they will level up to increase their effectiveness. Once they reach level 5, they will begin to express a desire to graduate, and rare or alternate successes will begin to generate CP of Disgruntlement. When Disgruntlement reaches level 4, the non-discardable card Student Complaints will be added to the Opportunity Deck. At level 6, the card Student Fury will be added, and must be played immediately upon being drawn, costing 200 Research. Disgruntlement is most easily decreased by graduating students. Graduating any student will remove at least 21 CP of Disgruntlement, enough to reset it from level 6 to 0. Because Disgruntlement is not tracked for individual students, it is possible to retain one student indefinitely, while training and graduating other students to lower Disgruntlement.

Note that this mechanic is very useful for maximising research output. Working with visionary or profound students, which is commonly the fastest way to get research outside of some special experiments, can be modified to keep the profound student indefinitely. Through academic cruelty and immediately graduating a visionary student when disgruntlement becomes dangerous, the smaller chance for a profound student to produce disgruntlement can be exploited and the action cost of constantly having to graduate profound students, which loses all of their levels, negated.



Experts are NPCs with expertise in specific fields where you might lack knowledge. They are (mostly) hired from Adjust the Staffing of your Lab. These experts will give a lot of ordinary research in their fields. Some of them also produce specialised research. The topic of an experiment is determined by the current Experimental Object. Certain ranges of the quality are associated with specific topics of research search as chemistry, biology, etc.

Freely available Experts include:

  • The Numismatrix is the first expert you'll hire into your Lab. She produces normal research and Incisive Observations, which are needed to level up some students. She can also produce Numismatic Research when you're studying coins (Experimental Object value of 30).
  • Lettice The Mercy produces Expertise of the Third City and ordinary research when your Equipment for Scientific Experimentation is level 5 or above. She is good with weapons and explosives (Experimental Objects 101-200), and gives Expertise of the Third City for Objects 110-120. Hiring her will be much cheaper, if you get Lettice, the Mercy as a companion during the Feast of the Exceptional Rose.
  • The Struggling Artist. Hiring him will remove his irritating card from your deck and add a new option which gives 125 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey per action, making it really easy to enter Parabola. It is also an easy 2.5 EPA grind.
  • The Grubby Urchin is good for Parabolan Research.
  • F.F. Gebrandt (The description for hiring her says "Her true expertise is in chemistry. She also has interesting things to say about palaeontology." I'm not sure what Experimental Objects range that is)

A number of experts only become available after finishing your ambition:

There are also a few FATE-locked assistants you can hire:

(Note: It is not necessary to actually play the fate-locked stories where these NPCs originally appear. But it'll help to get some insight why they are experts in their respective field.)


Some Experts have additional options in their field of research for supervising your students, resulting in a larger than amount of research compared to the Expert or student alone. The student must be completely leveled (Laboratory services from x Student 5). All supervision options have a Watchful challenge of 220.

Supervision Table:
Expert Student Research on Success ( Equipment 7) Research on Failure ( Equipment 7)
Cora Bagley Visionary Student 2 * Eq + 12; (26) 2 * Eq + 10; (24)
Esurient Smith Profound Student 2 * Eq + 12; (26) 2 * Eq + 8; (22)
F.F. Gebrandt 2 * Eq + 10; (24) 2 * Eq + 10; (24)
+1 CP Disgruntlement
Silk-Clad Expert Gifted Student 2 * Eq + 12; (26) 2 * Eq + 8; (22)


Lettice Cooperation[edit]

Additionally, Lettice the Mercy can work with some other Experts for additional research in her field (Weapons Research, Experimental Object 101-200).

Cooperation Table:
Expert Research on Success ( Equipment 7) Research on Failure ( Equipment 7)
April 2 * Eq + 12
2 * Eq + 8
Esurient Smith

University Laboratory qualities[edit]

There are several qualities for the Laboratory: The Prestige of your Laboratory, Teaching Reputation of Your Laboratory, and Record of Successful Forgery.

  • Prestige is a measure of how many experiments you have completed. It is raised by a single level for every completed experiment (or experiment stage if the experiment has more than one stage). It will unlock a few new experiments when raised.
  • Reputation is a measure of the amount of students you have graduated. As it increases, better and better students will join your Lab.
  • Forgeries are tracked upon certain outcomes from projects, for example in passing off the thigh-bone as a holy relic or publishing inaccurate statistical tables.

To Do List[edit]


If you still aren't sure what to actually do check this to do list by Rahv7 which he made in a reply on the Fallen London subreddit and is used here with his permission:

Important projects to do as soon as possible are:

Now you roughly need to do the following:

  • At this point you can technically continue improving your scientific equipment, although you don't have the resources yet.

Go to the Bone-Market to get resources to create Gunpowder. You'll need the Possessed Goldfish to be able to draw the Sculptress card which will convert your 2 Relics into 12 Preserved Surface Blooms.

  • Now you have the Hillmovers and the Gunpowder and can continue upgrading your Lab up to 7 if you have the remaining resources (or 9 with Fate).

To give you an idea what this is worth: At Equipment 4, a student you train will give at most 16x Research on success and 8x Research on failure. At Equipment 9 (with Fate), a student will give 27x Research on success and 22x on failure.

Also useful to know:

if you are willing to buy the Expert for Fate, you don't need the Urchin. I was a bit disappointed in her at Equipment 4, but at 9 she's not bad. She also has good synergy with the Gifted Student.

Accelerated Training of Students[edit]

There are some projects that have research options that involve specific students interacting with specific research assistants. Some other editor will eventually write those here in this guide.

For now, you will want to know that these options only become available after the students have reached their maximum levels, i.e. they are already eligible for graduation. Thus, you might desire to have them raised to this level.

Unfortunately, training students consumes Laboratory Research, and getting them to level up through their cards is a matter of fickle luck.