External User Policy
Grain analyzed by cosmochemsitry group.
- We welcome applications for instrument time from qualified investigators in the Earth & Planetary Sciences. Normally, the ion probe group meets on a bi-weekly basis to assess the instrument schedule. Be aware that there exists a high demand for analytical time; most user requests can be accommodated within a 2-3 month window.
- We receive a subsidy from NSF's Instrumentation and Facility program. Hence external NSF-sponsored investigators receive priority in requesting instrument time on the UCLA ims 1270 and are eligible to perform analysis at a subsidized rate. The current NSF user fee of $137.13/hour has been maintained since 2004 and applies to all currently funded NSF projects and should be used to budget for future NSF proposals. Note that our unsubsidized hourly rate is currently $305.04/hour.
- We strongly encourage the participation of Undergraduate Students in user's projects. This provides valuable exposure to analytical equipment to the students, will help to run the instrument efficiently. As an incentive to investigators, we will deduct travel expenses and a $100 per diem for one undergraduate student accompanying the investigators from the user fee.
- Selection criteria for allocation of instrument time include appropriateness of the project to existing applications and capabilities, relevance to anticipated instrument development, and judgment of what projects/users will derive the greatest benefit.
- Our goal is to provide timely access for as many worthwhile investigations as possible. Hence, we allow visitors to schedule analysis blocks of up to three days per visit. Note that we encourage seed projects to obtain initial data for grant proposal preparation. Upon consultation with facility staff, we can schedule a maximum of one day analysis time free of charge for such seed projects.
- A normal working day is considered to consist of twelve hours. Experienced users of our instrument are routinely permitted to work extended hours. Note that two or more analysts are required to keep the instrument operating efficiently over extended periods of time. We emphasize that it is imperative for investigators to accompany their students to provide the guidance necessary to ensure efficient use of the analysis time.
- All ion microprobe users are expected to prepare, properly label, and otherwise safeguard their own samples (and supporting documentation) in an appropriate manner. The safekeeping and storage of ion microprobe samples is the sole responsibility of users. To maintain an orderly work environment, the only samples that are permitted in the ion microprobe laboratory (2677) are those which will be examined in a given analysis session. At the end of an analysis session, all samples (and supporting documentation) must be promptly removed from the laboratory. If a user is not qualified or otherwise unable to remove samples from the ims 1270 after analyses have been completed, a prior arrangement must be made with laboratory personnel to recover samples prior to departure.
- External investigators are invited to utilize our facilities for sample preparation, including a TESCAN Vega-3 XMU VP (variable pressure) Scanning Electron Microscope. There is no usage fee for the SEM. Visitors also may avail themselves of our in-house data analysis software (in consultation with Center staff.)
Because we receive support from NSF to operate our facility, we
require that any data produced from the UCLA ion microprobe must
explicitly recognize NSF support by including the following
sentence in the acknowledgments section of journal
The ion microprobe facility at UCLA is partly supported by a grant from the Instrumentation and Facilities Program, Division of Earth Sciences, National Science Foundation.
- While all the personnel of the ion probe group take an active interest in assisting visitors, we have always sought flexible arrangements in defining our specific roles in the projects of external facility users. Specifically, this means that we have no requirement (explicit or implicit) that Center scientists become actively involved in scientific interpretations, and certainly no expectation for co-authorship on routine data acquisition work. It has been our experience, however, that many visitors seek our expertise in the interpretative aspects of their work and many projects have tangibly benefited from collaborative efforts. We believe that it is not only useful, but necessary, that the facility be staffed by expert scientists who are not merely technologists but are also actively engaged in geochemical and geochronological research.