To ensure that the resources of the center are available to investigators at the optimum performance level with minimum down-time the following policies have been established:
In order to gain access to DARIS Center facilities and its instruments, investigators must meet with the director of the Center and Head of Unit/s. In this meeting several things will be covered. These include availability of instruments, cost, type of analysis, time required, samples collection and storage. Investigators must then complete the request form.
Investigators should fill out the request form which provides the complete information regarding the analysis. The form should also be financially approved by his/her Department Head before the submission.
University research projects requiring multiple analyses which cannot be paid for by the relevant faculty directly must first be discussed with the Director of DARIS Centre. This is to enable accurate budgeting to be included within the project prior to submission to the University Research Committee or The Research Council for approval.
Investigators wishing to use the facilities for their own proposed research projects (through internal or external funding) must first discuss their proposal/s with the Director of DARIS Center and the relevant Head of Unit in DARIS Center indicating the type of analysis they require, what they expect from their results, the nature of the samples they intend on submitting and the expected period of study. Accordingly a budgetary estimate will be produced. In the case of collaborative research projects a co-investigator from DARIS Center will be included in the proposal. Investigators wishing to use the facilities for services only will have to pay full charge as indicated in the service charges forms. However, staff will not be responsible for result or data interpretation.
Investigators wishing to use the facilities for their project students must first submit their project to the relevant Head of Unit in DARIS Center indicating the type of analysis they require, what they expect from their results and the nature of the samples they intend on submitting. A quote must be provided by the Head of Unit in DARIS Center prior to analysis. If the project is for a final year project student approval must be granted by their respective college stating that funds will be made available for the intended analysis. The project student/s must complete a full literature search familiarizing themselves with the type of analysis and instrumentation prior to sample submission. In addition, the relevant S.O.P must have been read and where possible the COSHH assessment form filled in prior to any commencement of practical work.
It may be necessary for the investigator to be present during the analysis in order to assist the operator; for example in the case of samples being submitted for qualitative image processing using the electron microscopy facility.
The service charges are negotiable depending on the number of samples to be submitted.
Investigator should collect samples in accordance with the appropriate collecting method and submit them to DARIS Center. All samples submitted must be labeled and accompanied by the request form; samples without the correct labeling and request form will not be analyzed.
All samples should be submitted through the Center’s main Reception only and under the specified collection conditions.
Samples submitted for analysis must be accompanied by the appropriate health and safety declaration form. (All samples will be treated as potentially hazardous). However, if the investigator is aware of the nature of the sample the appropriate COSHH forms should be completed and submitted along with the sample.
It is the responsibility of the investigator to submit the relevant samples within their expiry date, as failure to do so may result in sample degradation. This is particularly important when biological samples are concerned. Delay in submission can lead to an incorrect results or interpretation.
NOTE: DARIS Centre will receive submissions only during the working hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.
Samples will remain at DARIS Center for analysis and reporting according to the agreed time.
On completion of the work the investigator will receive a report along with all raw data saved on a CD in PDF/Bitmap format. All outstanding payment will also be required at such time.
DARIS Center and staff involved in any collaborative research project reserve the right for their names to be acknowledged in any publications, poster presentations, reports, student thesis etc. DARIS Center staff involved in research projects will assist in preparing the manuscript for publication, and are fully expected to be included in the list of authors unless agreed otherwise. DARIS Center must be acknowledged in any published/produced work.
Students with final year projects will receive expert supervision using a ‘hands on’ practical based learning approach, once the student and the supervising technical staff are confident that the student is competent in almost all cases the student is encouraged to operate the instrumentation on their own to complete their project. A training log book will be provided and must be completed by both the supervisor and the student.
If investigators/students encounter any problems while operating any instruments, this should be recorded in the relevant log book and the Unit staff notified immediately.
The staff will provide instructions on how to handle chemicals and instruments in a safe manner (in accordance with the standard operating procedures). Users who are about to be involved in handling uranyl acetate are required to register for and attend classes in radiation handling prior to this work in the laboratory. No other radioactive materials are allowed in DARIS Center and the EM Unit unless approved by the Director. Users need to inform the staff before attempting to submit samples that contain radioisotopes.
All biological samples that are submitted to the EM Unit / Mass Spec Unit need to be previously fixed with the appropriate fixatives, so as to ensure that any pathogens they might contain have been inactivated.
Spills of solvents and/or chemicals must be immediately reported, and if necessary an incident report must be filled by the Unit Head. In particular, users should take great care in cleaning any contamination of epoxy resin on bench space and instruments before it has time to polymerize.
Appropriate lab coats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes and other relevant protective material must be worn at all times during laboratory work.
Instruments and chemicals cannot be removed from the lab at any time. Liquid nitrogen in the lab should only be used for the relevant applications. Computers in the instrument rooms are solely used for analysis/imaging purposes. The computers that operate the instruments should never be used to browse the internet and write/read emails.
Users who abuse the Centre’s policies and/or show disrespect towards the other users or the Center’s staff may have their access to the facility being revoked.
Instruments are made available on a first-come first-served basis. Reservation of instruments is strictly through the booking scheduling system in each Unit.
Cancellation: If for any reason you cannot use your session, it is your responsibility to delete the sign-up entry from the scheduler as early as possible and notify the Unit Head.
If a user does not show up after One hour from the start of the reservation time, such reservation will be lost, and the slot is then open to other users to sign-up. Tardiness without an advanced notice will be fully billed for the entire period.
In cases where the fully trained individual has no option but to use the Centre out of hours, this should be arranged with the Director/Unit Head well in advance so arrangements can be made for personnel to be present. This is in the interest of health and safety of the individual using the DARIS Centre’s facilities.